First NJ Gov Debate Tonight

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For months Governor Jon Corzine and his Republican challenger Chris Christie have attacked each other over the airwaves. Tonight they'll have their first debate face-to-face. WNYC's Bob Hennelly has this preview.

REPORTER: It's still five weeks out and polls show the race is tightening. In tonight's debate on NJN TV, Governor Corzine and former US Attorney Christie could try and hit the campaign reset button and pledge to go positive by debating policy. But there's potential for the live debate to get mired in finger pointing over the veracity of both campaigns' negative ads.

Also on stage tonight will be Chris Daggett, an independent candidate for governor. Daggett is the former head of the state's Department of Environmental Protection. He raised enough campaign cash to qualify for the state's public campaign finance program and participate in tonight's debate.

Despite the millions spent on broadcast ads, voters still may not be engaged. An FDU Public Mind Poll this week found only five percent of likely voters knew the debate was tonight. For WNYC I am Bob Hennelly.