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Blunt, McCaskill Will Debate Tonight

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By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Missouri gubernatorial candidates Claire McCaskill and Matt Blunt will meet tonight (Monday) in Kansas City for the first of two televised debates.

McCaskill, the State Auditor, is a former state representative and Jackson County prosecutor. Blunt, Missouri's Secretary of State, served in the General Assembly and as a naval officer. The two will undoubtedly draw on those experiences to explain why each is best suited to assume Missouri's top government post.

But UM-St. Louis political science professor Lana Stein says in a debate, it's often the moderator's line of questioning that makes a difference in each candidate's performance. "You've seen this in the presidential debates where each of the three people who were moderators as opposed to the town hall debate here had a slightly different style, a slightly different approach," Stein says.

Stein also feels McCaskill is a practiced debater who could gain the edge tonight. "I clearly felt that she won the debate with Holden," she added. "With Matt Blunt, I don't know. I've seen him talk in commercials, basically or on the news for 30 seconds, maybe and I don't think he will have quite the self-possession that she would have in the debate."

There will not be any televised debate that takes place in St. Louis because Blunt refused such an invitation from local media.

<You can hear tonight's debate here on KWMU, starting at 7:00.

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