If it’s Sunday, it’s Allen and Webb
Political junkies across the Commonwealth and the nation will rise and shine at 9am this Sunday morning, when Senator George Allen and his Democratic opponent, former Navy Secretary Jim Webb square off on NBC's Meet the Press. It will be the first time the two candidates have debated publicly. The first debate was hosted by the Virginia Bar Association at their annual convention at The Homestead, but was not allowed to be televised.
It could be a key point in a race that's proving to be tighter than most pundits expected. Following "Macaca-gate," Allen's lead has slipped from 12 percentage points in July down to just four with a four percent margin of error in the most recent Mason-Dixon poll.
The informal, hour-long debate will be moderated by Meet the Press host Tim Russert, as part of the program's ongoing series of senatorial debates. It's hard to forecast how the veteran Washington reporter will steer the debate, but one might expect that the two candidates' recent spats over Webb's use of Ronald Reagan in a campaign ad and a 1979 article of Webb's entitled "Women Can't Fight" about the place of women at the U.S. Naval Academy will be discussed.
The following day, Allen and Webb will debate again at the Hilton in McLean where the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce will host the candidates. That tussle will be moderated by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.