Incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R) and his Democratic rival in the North Carolina Senate race, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, traded barbs last night in a debate that reports describe as "civil."
The tone didn't mean the candidates agreed much, however, with the pair clashing over "the new health care law, on drilling off the state's coast and on which party was responsible for the national debt," according to the Raleigh, NC News & Observer. (The Libertarian candidate in the race -- who polls show is drawing little support -- declined to participate.)
To no one's surprise, Marshall "most often played the role of the aggressor" in the hour-long debate. Marshall needs her repeated jabs at Burr on the campaign trail to connect with voters -- and do it quickly -- if she wants to overcome polling that shows her to be an extreme underdog. The TPM Poll Average shows Burr ahead of Marshall by a margin of 50.2-32.8.
Last night's forum may not have been the tide-turning event Marshall needs, however. "The debate was civil in tone, although both candidates got in jabs," the N&O reports. "At other times, the debate seemed flat. There were no moments of high drama, and there appeared to be no major mistakes."