Things have been getting heated this summer in the Virginia Governor’s race as we inch closer and closer to November’s election day. At 11 am today, the candidates, Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe will square off in their first debate of the election cycle. The potential governors will be debating at The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs Virginia. The debate is being hosted by Virginia Bar Association, and will be moderated by Judy Woodruff, the co-anchor of “PBS NewsHour”. The debate will cover the issues most on the minds of Virginians and will likely be the ultimate partisan match up. You can watch the Virginia Governor debate live online here. The live streaming video of the Virginia Governor debate is online below.

This debate will be an interesting match-up based on a number of factors. For starters, up until this point both candidates were more or less neck in neck according to the polls. Recent develops within the Cuccinelli camp, his link to current Governor McDonnell’s financial scandals and aggressive campaign to reinstate Virginia’s anti-sodomy laws have given McAuliffe a slight lead. According to the most recent Quinnipiac poll, McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli 43 to 39 percent.

The biggest hurdle entering this debate will be the likability factor. Both candidates have developed a reputation for representing caricatures of the worst of their respective parties: McAuliffe is viewed as the wealthy elitist liberal, whereas Cuccinelli is viewed as the backwards, sexist conservative. Through this televised debate, both candidates will be seeking to come across as likable and moderate.

Also, unique to this debate, is that candidates will be allowed to ask direct questions to one another. The open format will allow Cuccinelli to attack McAuliffe for his DC insider status, while McAuliffe will be able to question Cuccinelli on his ties to McDonnell’s ongoing FBI investigation, as well as pointing out the Republican’s potentially unfavorable views on homosexuality and abortion.

Let the games begin.