About a half hour before the debate started, there were a few punches thrown between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman supporters. The demonstrators outside the Mondavi center stood a foot apart, shouting at each other. Gregory Sherman supports Meg Whitman, and he got hit in the face by one of the punches. He says the scuffle started after he began arguing with a Brown supporter.
Gregory Sherman: Emotions are high, people are out of jobs, they're trying to feed their families. It's a touchy issue. A matter of livelihoods is at stake.
Democrats had camped outside of the Mondavi Center for most of the day, with the Whitman supporters showing up about an hour before the debate. It was hot outside, and Democratic organizers had passed out about two hundred bottles of water. Clare Conlyn was one of the Democratic faithful. She says it was important for Brown supporters to weather the heat.
CONLYN: We just wanted to make sure the public knows we are opposed to Meg Whitman over and buying the Governors mansion, basically. We don't want only rich people who wanna get rid of regulations take over our state.
Conlyn didn't get to see the debate---afterwards, she and her fellow demonstrators walked away peacefully---content to let their candidates do the fighting from here on out.