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Analysis: Last Dem debate was one of substance

There were no knock-out blows, and everyone on stage essentially played their part and held their own.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — In the end, there were no high-stakes histrionics or "gotcha" moments.

Instead, when Terry McAuliffe, Justin Fairfax, Jennifer McClellan, Jennifer Carroll Foy, and Lee Carter took the stage at Christopher Newport University's Ferguson Center, there was a disciplined and civil discussion of the issues of the day.

And that's just what CNU Political Science Professor Quentin Kidd hoped for.

"I think there was a real effort last night to say, 'Let's stay focused on the issues, the things that are really important to voters, the things that Virginians need to know about the person that aspires to be the next governor,'" Kidd said.

He does not think any of the five Democratic candidates for Governor of Virginia substantially changed the dynamics of next Tuesday's primary.

"I think all the candidates came in, in a particular pecking order and I think they left largely in that same particular order."

When all was said and done, Kidd believes the debate was a valuable civic exercise that viewers learned much, perhaps most importantly, that this is how politics can be: a rational conversation about subjects that matter to people.

"This is what we should be doing and I feel very proud of what Channel 13 did last night, and I feel proud of what CNU did last night," Kidd said. "It's a part of what we should do and I think it's more important than ever in this age of scream at each other politics."

You can watch Tuesday night's debate, which was moderated by 13News Now anchors Janet Roach and David Alan, below: