There was great hope for a breakaway on Tuesday night in the debate between gubernatorial candidates Ed Gillespie and Ralph Northam.

Most polls show the candidates in a dead heat. But the bigger problem is that many for Virginians still don't know the candidates and absentee voting begins this Friday.

A Suffolk University poll show 20% of the respondents did not know who democrat Ralph Northam was, even though he served in a statewide office as a lieutenant governor. Ten percent did not know who republican Ed Gillespie. He served as counsel to President George HW Bush and was chairman of the Republican national committee.

Virginia's gubernatorial race is one of only two in the country. It is seen by some as a referendum on the presidential election of Donald Trump.

Democrats are hoping a wave of voters dissatisfied with President Trump will back Northam, but so far polls do not foretell that outcome.

Tuesday's debate was held at 7 p.m. at the Capital One building in McLean. It was the second of three gubernatorial debates.

WUSA9's Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Peggy Fox tweeted live from @Peggytv and her Facebook account.