Last night Paul watched the Christine O’Donnell/Chris Coons debate and concluded that O’Donnell won handily. I didn’t get to see the debate between Sharron Angle and Harry Reid tonight–the only one they will participate in–but based on news accounts, it sounds as though Angle scored another win for the Tea Party movement.
For a straightforward account of who said what, see the Las Vegas Sun. Even the Sun’s blow-by-blow story, however, makes Angle sound confident and in charge:
Each candidate had a minute to wrap up with their closers.
Reid, again, went first (that’s what losing the coin toss loses you, it appears — the final word.) …
Angle had the money spot, and she milked it. “Why do I smile so much?” she started, grinning. “I’m an optimist, like Ronald Reagan, I believe in American exceptionalism.”
Angle outlined “simple solutions” with a lighthearted lilt in her voice — cut spending, pay back debt, repeal health care. She ended with a closer straight out of Politics 101. With a smiling shrug, she hit the cameras with: “I’m Sharron Angle, and I’m asking for your vote.”
The Washington Post, which you would expect to back the home-town Democrat, headlined “Angle is the aggressor in her first and only debate with Reid.” Here, too, it sounds as though Angle came out on top:
In a crackling campaign debate, Republican challenger Sharron Angle attacked Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D) on Thursday night as a career politician who lives in a fashionable Washington condominium and has voted to raise taxes 300 times. The four-term veteran called his tea-party-backed rival extreme and accused her of distorting his record. …
Angle played the aggressor from the opening moments of the hour-long debate, at one point taunting him to “man up, Harry Reid” as she urged him to concede that Social Security faces financial difficulty.
All that matters, of course, is how Nevada voters saw the debate. Here, I would be quite confident: Angle’s positions on the issues are more popular than Reid’s, and if she held her own and gave as good as she got, as was evidently the case, the debate should give her a boost.