The gubernatorial candidates faced off Sunday night for the first--and likely only time--this election season.  But did they do what they needed to do: sway the all-important undecided voter?

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and his Democratic challenger, former Congressman Mark Schauer, spared on a number of issues last night from alleged education cuts, the appointment of emergency managers, pension tax and road funding.

The event at Wayne State University was moderated by representatives of The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press and was broadcast on Detroit public television.  It was carried at other PBS stations across the state.  It was the one televised debate that the two candidates could agree on.  While it was "technically" a debate, it had few rules characteristic of such a face-off, including timed segments.  It was televised as per Schauer's request and it was a town hall-style event as Snyder wanted.

Voters in the audience, about 100 of them said to be undecided on whom to vote for in November, saw a much more assertive Governor Snyder.  The governor has been on the offensive of late, likely prompted by other Republicans who say a strong performance by him in November will have an effort on other candidates.

Governor Snyder, who is normally considered quite subdued, even challenged moderators to allow him more time to finish what he said was an "important" point to be made.

Pundits, for the most part, say Snyder did a good job and that Schauer missed several key opportunities to drive his point home.  They believe Schauer may get a bit of bump in polls to be held this week simply because more now know who the Democratic is!   They also believe that bump will go away the closer we get to the election.

 Join Jo Anne Paul weekdays for news updates on 99.1 WFMK-FM, 100.7 WITL-FM and 1240 WJIM-AM and the other stations of the Michigan Talk Network 

joanne.paul@townsquaremedia.com