"Shaheen Lost the Debate"

Posted: Oct 22, 2014 6:00 PM

One reporter’s opinion isn’t the end-all, be-all of political analysis. But as a respected, Boston-based reporter, Andy Hiller’s contention that Brown won the debate last night is worth listening to nonetheless.

“Shaheen lost the debate because she had to spend so much time on the defensive, explaining the president’s policies on Ebola, Obamacare, ISIS and immigration,” he said. “She was much more effective in the second half when she directly challenged Brown.”

“But Brown won,” he continued. “He never looked uncomfortable, he has cable network level communication skills, and in this debate the issues were on his side. He wasn’t perfect, but best for him, he’s not President Obama.”

I wrote in my post last night that Brown was indeed “relaxed under fire,” which admittedly wasn’t an easy thing to do given how partisan the crowd was. Most of the audience was comprised of Shaheen supporters (or so it seemed to me) and therefore Brown handled himself well in a hostile environment.

But what I’m most curious about is the way Granite State voters who watched it at home reacted to the debate. My sense from being at the venue itself, and following the #nhsendebate hashtag all night long on Twitter, was that the overwhelming consensus was that Shaheen won. Perhaps at best, then, we can say it was a draw.

“I don’t know how many votes [this debate] will change,” Hiller asserted in the clip above. “But if I’m right, and Scott Brown was the winner, then this very close race will get even closer.”

Thirteen days.