On The Front Lines: Supports Rally Around Congressional Candidates

Thousands of East Texans across the district are paying close attention to this race. With a lot at stake, it is gaining the attention of national figures.

It's also a close race, and hundreds of supporters from both camps are hoping to sway those undecided voters.

Republican Challenger Louie Gohmert: "I want to go [to Washington to] help because I want to make this country better and I'm full of hope."

The race for the finish is on.

Democrat Incumbent Max Sandlin: "We're going to stand up and do what's right for our nation."

A nation is looking on East Texas. With a congress so closely divided the supporters for both men know how important this election is. And they're behind their candidate 100 percent.

Like Peg Kern of Nacogdoches for Max Sandlin.

"I like his stand on education. I like his supporting our troops. I don't know much that I don't support that he does," she says.

Gene Graves also from Nacogdoches is behind Louie Gohmert.

"He has the same philosophies I do. I'm a conservative Republican and Christian and he's of the same, so I support him."

The auditorium was mostly full -- SFA says 900 people were there. Many of them were students who are getting their first chance, perhaps to vote as well as work for a political campaign.

How do the candidates think they did in this first televised debate?

Gohmert: "I'm me, and I stood up and came from the heart and I hope voters will see that."

Sandlin: "The questions were good from the panelists. I think I was able to point out that I am independent."

Through the fray, supporters said they heard what they wanted to hear, but the number of undecided voters rarely is clear. Both sides hope they will be the ones the debates sway.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.