Gretchen Whitmer and Tudor Dixon met for their second and final televised debate in Rochester on Tuesday.

The two went for each other’s throats as rhetoric was thrown around. This comes in the face of shrinking poll margins between the two as Election Day rapidly approaches, now less than two weeks away. 

While Whitmer did mount a semblance of a defence in the first debate, this time around she “had to engage” according to a report from the Detroit Free Press quoting  Aaron Kall, director of debate at University of Michigan

Overall however, the second debate at Oakland University in Rochester didn’t really cover new ground, according to Kall, nor did it change the race in any significant manner.

Here are 4 key takeaways from the second Whitmer-Dixon debate.

Whitmer on the defensive

The Governor of Michigan was seen making clarifying remarks when Dixon pointed out that shutting down the Enbridge Line pipeline would affect heating prices for homes still using propane. Whitmer said that there had been “no change in Line 5.” Similarly, she was defensive when it was pointed out that student performance in  standardized tests in Michigan had declined. 

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Dixon states facts incorrectly

The GOP challenger inaccurately characterised Whitmer’s Michigan pension tax as a public pension and “not for all voters”. However, Whitmer’s proposed changes would apply to both public and private pension income. Additionally, Dixon incorrectly stated that abortion would no longer would be legislated if Proposal 3 passed. However, Proposal 3 makes room for future legislation, saying, “the state may regulate the provision of abortion care after fetal viability, provided that in no circumstance shall the state prohibit an abortion that … is medically indicated to protect the life or physical or mental health of the pregnant individual.”

Whitmer’s earlier decisions continue to haunt her

While the incumbent Michigan governor made steps to combat inflation by putting money in the pocket of state residents, she also vetoed a number of Republican bills that might have helped, like the removal of pension taxes, increased child credits, reduced income tax rate and more. Dixon attacked the veto decisions saying that while Whitmer espoused herself as working across the aisle, she should have negotiated with GOP lawmakers. 

Whitmer stepped up attacks on Dixon

Dixon has been amongst many GOP members who have denied the results of the 2020 presidential elections. Whitmer targeted her on those lines in addition to saying that Dixon associated with conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers and was part of the 2020 plot to kidnap her. The Democrat also said that Dixon’s rhetoric “stokes violence.”