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Governor Candidates Debate in Charlotte

Survey results released today by Public Policy Polling in Raleigh show Democrat Bev Perdue ahead of Republican Pat McCrory by a slim margin in the race for North Carolina Governor. Tonight the candidates meet in Charlotte for their last televised debate. As televised debates go, Pollster Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling says most people only watch the presidential ones. But tonight's meeting between McCrory, Perdue and Libertarian Mike Munger could be different, because it airs right before the last presidential debate. "Some folks might say well I was going to spend an hour and a half on politics tonight so maybe I'll just spend two and a half hours on politics tonight and make a more informed decision on the governor's race, too," says Jensen. "So I don't think any of the other ones mattered, but tonight's could." McCrory has the home court advantage tonight. Jensen's polls show half of Charlotte voters support McCrory, which is his biggest advantage anywhere in the state. The data shows 30-percent of people who claim to be Democrats in the Charlotte area - and even plan to vote for Obama - are also voting for McCrory. "The reason that he's as competitive as he is in this Democratic state is because so many Democrats in the Charlotte TV market are crossing over to vote for McCrory," says Jensen. "So I think really Bev Perdue has the most to gain from tonight because she's gonna have Charlotte voters paying attention to her in a way that they haven't before." Jensen says Libertarian Mike Munger is also hurting Perdue, because 60 percent of his supporters are Democrats planning to vote for Obama. Munger has about four percent of North Carolina votes in the latest poll, which Jensen says is plenty to make a difference in the final tally, since Perdue and McCrory are currently separated by a single point. Tonight's debate will be at the studios of WTVI public television in Charlotte. WFAE will carry it live at 7 p.m., followed by the final presidential debate from New York.