They came into the date with a suddenly and drastically different landscape. For months, Washington Post polling showed Tim Kaine and George Allen tied, but that dramatically changed overnight. New numbers have Kaine up seven or eight points, but both sides denounced them. Allen says too many democrats were part of the survey and Kaine doesn’t want anyone to ease up in this fight.
In a fight for so few undecided Virginia voters, governors Kaine and Allen drew plenty of lines in the sand, none more definitive than on taxes.
"I would be open to a proposal that would have some minimum tax level for everyone," said Kaine.
"Lower taxes create more jobs, great opportunity and makes our country more competitive and it's amazing to me... who would raise taxes on people buying used cars and people earning as little as $17,000 a year," argued Allen.
The two are polar opposites on everything from Medicare to marriage.
"Marriage should be between one man and one woman," said conservative Allen.
"Relationships should be treated equally. Equally under law," argued Kaine.
Allen, trying to regain prominence after a tough fall in his last Senate bid, stayed on point, bringing almost every argument back to jobs, even when asked about gay rights or how to win women voters.
“Women, mothers that I’ve talked to, whether they’re married or unmarried, care about jobs or the economy,” said Allen.
“It’s demeaning to suggest ‘Oh those little social issues, we don’t need to spend time, we need to talk about jobs. Women are more than half of this economy,’” said Kaine.
Even the fallout from the debate is up for debate.
“This is going to be a close race, a neck-and-neck race,” said Allen.
“Who would be undecided now?” asked Kaine. “They know me and they know George Allen.”