Wednesday's debate was the first opportunity for Indiana's gubernatorial candidates to square off face-to-face -- also an opportunity for the two trailing candidates to gain ground.
The latest numbers from September's Howey/Depauw University poll show Republican Mike Pence with a strong lead at 47 percent of likely voters. Democrat and former House Speaker John Gregg trails with 34 percent. Libertarian candidate and former reality TV star Rupert Boneham scored three percent of likely votes.
Wednesday's debate focused mainly on education, jobs and fiscal policy. Congressman Pence discussed a plan to lower the average cost of a degree for students by creating financial incentives for completing college on time.
Gregg fired back, arguing such a plan would not benefit "non-traditional" students who are unable to complete college in four years for financial reasons.
The former speaker would remain on the offensive for much of the night -- at one point criticizing Pence's attendance record in Congress.
The candidates will have two more opportunities to debate. The next debate is scheduled for October 17th in South Bend.