We likely won't know for days whether Tuesday night's debate between Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul and Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin on Spectrum News 1 and NY1 moved the needle for any voters.

But with now less than two weeks to go until Election Day, both candidates are trying to convince voters that they understand the public safety issues facing New Yorkers.

Zeldin continued to link the recent suite of criminal justice law changes, including bail law changes that ended cash requirements for many criminal charges, to the broader increase in violent crimes being experienced. Hochul, meanwhile, pointed to efforts to get guns off the streets.

Both tried to highlight their opponents' alleged weaknesses on crime and guns; both sought to give voters very different visions for New York.

Zeldin is offering what amounts to a course correction after 15 years of Democrats holding the governor's office in the state and all statewide levers of power since 2019. He believes he's got precedent on his side with the victory of Republican George Pataki in 1994, toppling liberal icon Mario Cuomo in what would prove to be a wave year for the party.

Hochul in many respects is trying to do the opposite: set a precedent of her own. She would be the first woman elected governor of New York after she was elevated to the post more than a year ago following the resignation of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. She's made a conscious effort to show from a stylistic standpoint she's different from her hard-charging predecessor.

Zeldin is trying to do what John Faso, Carl Paladino, Rob Astorino and Marc Molinaro all failed to do since 2006 in the race for governor: show New York, with its heavy Democratic enrollment advantage, can still be a competitive state for the GOP.

Republicans have long run on public safety issues in New York, dating back to Thomas Dewey and Nelson Rockefeller. But at the same time, Hochul has noted successful efforts to make changes to the state's bail law that have come under scrutiny during the campaign.

"You can either work on people scared or you can work on keeping people safe," Hochul said, pointing to her efforts this spring to expand bail-eligible criminal charges and program to get guns off the streets.

Voters, Zeldin indicated, don't feel safer, however.

"Unfortunately, Kathy Hochul believes the only crimes that are being committed are crimes with guns," Zeldin added as a rejoinder. "You have people who are afraid of being pushed in front of subway cars. They're being stabbed, beaten to death hammers."

There was some news made beyond the back and forth over crime. Hochul indicated she would be supportive of lifting the cap on charter schools. Zeldin said he would back an expansion of a first-time homebuyers tax credit to make it easier to buy a house amid a challenging market.

But much also remains unclear.

Zeldin wants a wide-ranging tax credit next year, but has not specific on where he'd cut. He wants to overturn a legislative ban on hydrofracking to drill for gas in the Southern Tier, and it's not clear how he'd accomplish that.

Hochul has overseen a budget that has increased spending for schools and can point to a faster phase for a middle-income tax cut, but what hard decisions could she be prepared to make next year amid an increasingly darkening economy?

Many voters will consume this debate in sound bites and clips posted online and replayed over the news. Polling has shown an increasingly competitive race for governor, but in a starkly partisan landscape, minds may already be made up.