The two Prime Ministerial contenders - both from the Waikato - were at war on home turf on Wednesday, and while Jacinda Ardern got a ribbing from farmers, Judith Collins was fired up after claiming victory over the first TV debate.
But in a quiet moment with her biggest fan, Collins revealed just how much is on the line for her this election, telling him: "I've got one chance, one chance."
Fresh out of her first debate against Ardern, Collins celebrated on Wednesday with a victory lap of her hometown Matamata, where fans reviewed her performance highly with remarks such as "you did very well" and "you hit the mark".
Collins said she can't wait to get back in the ring for next week's Newshub leaders' debate.
"I really enjoyed it and I just know that I've got another one next week and I've got to, you know, come up for that as well," she said.
Commentators noted how Ardern was less fiery during the debate.
"Whatever the nature of those debates are we'll take them as they come," the Labour leader said on Wednesday, after revealing she didn't want it to become "bloodsport".
"She didn't think debating should be a bloodsport," Collins scoffed as she spoke to supporters in Waikato. "Poor wee thing."
Collins was the homecoming queen in Matamata on Wednesday while Ardern - who hails from neighbouring Morrinsville - got a very different reception in rural Mooloo country.
The farmers think Labour's agriculture policies suck.
"Dealing with you fellas at the moment is a challenge," a farmer told Ardern and Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor during a sit-down.
Ardern later said, "My view is that we have the same goal, it's just about how we get there."
The plight of farmers brought Collins to tears.
"This makes me emotional because as you know I come from a farm," she told a crowd of supporters.
"I think about the families where there have been suicides and how very affected people are by the constant belittling and bagging," Collins told Newshub.
Collins is still trailing well behind in the polls.
Newshub asked her if she would step down as National leader if she loses the election, but that's not something she's planning on.
"I'm not intending to do any such thing."
But she opened up to her number one fan, telling the man who got her tattooed on his thigh, that this is her one shot at becoming Prime Minister.
"I want to do better too. It's for the team you know. I've got one chance, one chance, that's it."
National MPs are ruthless - they don't tolerate losers.