Senate Race Notes And Thoughts

--OK, we've had the two televised debates. No big gaffes or triumphs. That presumably favors the incumbent -- unless the incumbent is in a tailspin that she needed to halt. I think you'd have to say that the candidates acted as though they believe their own claims about internal polling that I reported here yesterday. That is, Coakley acted like someone protecting a sizable lead, not someone fighting off a serious challenge, while the others acted like they had to maneuver against each other (ie, for the votes falling away from Coakley), not like they had to knock the frontrunner off a 20-point perch.

--There's been some good analysis and commentary about the debates elsewhere. I would add this caution. While it's fun and to some extent useful to judge and evaluate the debates, they almost certainly had no impact on the race. I strongly suspect the ratings were very low, and those who were watching were surely predominantly junkies, most of whom have made up their minds already. What might matter a little is the media coverage of the debate, but even that was probably minimal, since A) none of the candidates 'made news' in the debates, and B) nobody other than junkies reads newspapers or watches local news anymore.



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