First Face-Off on Tap Tonight

By Sajid Farooq
|  Tuesday, Sep 28, 2010  |  Updated 7:01 AM PDT
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<a title=Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman are preparing for their first face-to-face debate in the California governor's race. The debate takes place Tuesday evening on the campus of UC Davis." />

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Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman are preparing for their first face-to-face debate in the California governor's race. The debate takes place Tuesday evening on the campus of UC Davis.

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With no clear front-runner in California's race for the governor, Tuesday's face off between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman could sway voters sitting on the fence.

The Democratic and Republican candidates debate for the first time on the campus of the University of California, Davis just days after the latest polls show the race is in a virtual tie. About a fifth of the state's voters are still undecided, according to an Associated Press report.

The former governor and current Attorney General, Brown, is faced with the task of convincing voters -- some of whom will get their mail-in ballots this week -- that his two previous terms in office are just the experience the financially-strapped state needs right now.

For her part, Whitman, the former eBay CEO and billionaire, needs to prove her political inexperience is outweighed by her business savvy. She is campaigning on a platform that she will be able to translate her business skills to successfully leading California. Whitman must also convince California's large Latino population that it is okay to vote Republican.

A University of Southern California-Los Angeles Times poll released over the weekend showed Brown leading Whitman 46 to 41 percent among likely voters but the poll had a sampling error margin of 3.3 percentage points. Polls released last week show an even tighter race.

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