With early voting starting on Monday and the election four weeks from today, debate season gets underway tonight in Perry. Supporters of Nathan Deal, Jason Carter, Michelle Nunn and Devid Perdue are expected to descend en masse on the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry for the two debates.
And indeed, part of the excitement of the first debate is the huge crowd, and the cheering and booing from the attendees as the candidates make their cases. The AJC provides a preview of what to expect.
The rowdy debates provide a jarring contrast with the face-offs that will be held over the next month in sterile TV studios. With four weeks until Election Day for a pair of races that are drawing national attention, voters will get to take stock of the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial hopefuls side by side.
It’s the first true turnout test of the general election, and the campaigns are working to pack the place with their fans. Audience participation is more important than ever in Perry, where there’s little attempt to control a crowd that can — and often does — interrupt candidates with applause or boos.
The festivities get underway at 7 PM, with Senate candidates Michelle Nunn, David Perdue and Amanda Swafford. Then at about 8:10, it’s the candidates for Governor, with Jason Carter, Nathan Deal and Andrew Hunt.
If you are not among the hordes headed to Perry, some of our most annoying contributors will be live-tweeting the event, using the hashtag #gasen for the Senate debate, and #gagov for the Governor’s debate. We will also have some interns at the fairgrounds providing local color.