In their first joint appearance since each won their parties’ respective nominations, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds and Republican nominee Bob McDonnell debated on Saturday at the 109th convention of the Virginia Bar Association in a ballroom at the historic Homestead resort in Bath County in Western Virginia.
The 70-minute debate included opening and closing statements from both candidates. In between, each was given two minutes to answer three segments of questions; two from the moderator, two from the audience, and two asked of each other. They alternated who was first to answer each question and that person then had a one-minute rebuttal at the end of the question. Both men appeared poised and prepared for the issues brought up in the questions.
Most observers questioned afterwards felt that the debate could be scored as a tie, as neither man made a misstatement or glaring error in their comments. Both candidates took questions from the media in the lobby outside the ballroom after the debate, followed by a reception with audience members.