Political Stakes Couldn't Be Higher

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown will meet for a final time in the North Bay Tuesday night.

    The political stakes could not be higher than they are Tuesday night in San Rafael at Dominican University.

    Republican gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman takes on her Democratic rival former-governor Jerry Brown in a third and final debate of this election season.

    The latest polls show a dead heat between the two, with just three weeks to go before Election Day.  The key to a win is getting the 20-percent who say they still haven't decided who they are going to vote for, to turn their direction.

    Governor Debate Preps Hit Home Stretch

    [BAY] Governor Debate Preps Hit Home Stretch
    A North Bay campus is a flurry of activity for the final debate between the candidates for governor of California.

    The campaign has turned ugly in recent days with a focus on personal attacks in television commercials, on line and in one case a sexist slur on a voicemail.

    It remains to be seen if the conversation Tuesday will continue the mugslinging or if it will return to the substantive issues that are so vital to the future of the state.  The economy tops that list.  California's unemployment has been stuck above 12 percent for more than a year and although a state budget was recently passed by lawmakers, California remains mired in debt.

    VIDEO: Tom Brokaw Prepares For Debate

    [BAY] VIDEO: Tom Brokaw Prepares For Debate
    Brokaw says he's excited to play a role in California politics.

    Whitman is a billionaire and former eBay CEO.  She has spent $140 million of her own money on the campaign so far and may write herself a few more checks in the coming day.

    Brown is a former governor, former mayor, and current Attorney General. He has no personal war chest and has been campaigning on his political experience.

    The first two debates showed a clear contrast in style.  Whitman sticks to the script and tends to repeat campaign speeches, while Brown tends to wonder from the talking points allowing for "moments" of self-deprecation on things like his age and admitted failures from his political and personal past.

    The Associated Press also notes that Brown has only made a few campaign appearances in recent weeks while Whitman has hosted a series of prominent Republican surrogates at campaign events. The famous faces include former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

    Brown is back on the trail this weekend and is scheduled to appear with former President Bill Clinton.

    Former NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw will moderate from a seated position, after recently breaking an ankle.