N. Carolina Democrats debate tonight via the Web

With North Carolina Democrats facing spirited primaries for offices ranging from governor to state auditor, a group of liberal bloggers are playing a key role in the state party's political conversation. Tonight, they'll host an online debate between the two major contenders for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and state Treasurer Richard Moore.

The two candidates will face off on a Web site called BlueNC at 7:30 p.m., with questions submitted by regular readers and anyone with an Internet connection. Instead of speeches given at podiums, Perdue and Moore will duel with words tapped out on keyboards.

In 2006, BlueNC promoted Democratic congressional candidate Larry Kissell, who came within a few hundred votes of unseating Republican U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes of Concord despite little support from the party establishment. Since then, it has become a major stopping point for Democratic candidates trying to reach a progressive audience.

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