CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Our web channel www.live5news.com will stream live the first statewide debate between gubernatorial hopefuls Republican Nikki Haley and Democrat Vincent Sheheen. It will air on ETV at 7 p.m.
Political Science expert Scott Buchanan says the biggest thing for the candidates to do during the debate is not mess up.
"If you have a major gaff as a candidate that might hurt you. The name is to not shoot yourself in the foot, come out of it unscathed, and move on to the election," Buchanan, a professor at the citadel, said.
According to Rasmussen Reports polls Haley has held double digit leads with likely voters over Sheheen for the past four months, but now just days until the election the race has tightened.
Polls show the hopefuls just nine points apart. Haley is leading 47% to Sheheen's 38%. 11% of voters are undecided.
"There are always potential surprises. Every election has something the surprises people. The overwhelming number of races go the way the polls project them to. We have never had a poll in our tossup category go in the other direction," Scott Rasmussen said.
Political experts say the fact that the debate is televised can also play a role in voter's decision.
"Both campaigns are going to be focused on how they look tonight, how they present themselves. We are taking a relatively small handful of people given the lead Haley has at this point," Buchanan said.
Tune into www.live5news.com at 7 p.m. to watch the debate streaming live.