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A closer look at the final gubernatorial debate

Posted at 9:39 AM, Oct 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-27 09:39:08-04

LANSING, Mich. — There was some fiery rhetoric Tuesday night as Democratic candidate Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican candidate Tudor Dixon went head to head in the final gubernatorial debate.

“Do you really think books are more dangerous than guns?" Whitmer asked her Republican challenger during a rebuttal Tuesday night. "Like do you really think that books pose a greater danger to our kids than gun violence?"

“The only reason it’s not shut down is because other people have stopped her radical energy agenda," said Dixon in response to a question about the future of energy in Michigan.

Despite barbs back and forth, Matt Grossmann, the director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State, said there was real discussion.

“I think it was useful to get through a lot of different issues we covered transportation, we covered education, we covered abortion, we covered inflation with substantive answers," he said.

But, Grossmann said it would have been beneficial to hear more concrete plans to tackle issues in the state.

“I would have liked to have seen more plans about what they would like to do in the future," he said. "So for example, there was discussion of what had been done but not necessarily what would be done in the future.”

In addition, he tells me the debate might not have had a huge impact on undecided voters this late in the game.

“Most people watch debates with a rooting interest, and so they support what their candidate says and not what the opposition says," Grossmann said. "And the people who might not have enough information to make a decision aren't really watching an hour-long debate.”

You can watch the full debate on our YouTube page before it’s time to vote on Nov. 8.

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