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Several reporters have called to explore “what’s at stake” in tonight’s U.S. Senate debate and “what Hagan and Tillis have to do.”
 
Well, the answer is a lot simpler than we make it sometimes in politics.
 
The media will bravely try to focus on substance and whether either candidate “said something new.” (The candidates and their respective camps certainly hope not.)
 
The partisans will see what they want to see, unless their own candidate either shines or stumbles. And you can always tell, not matter how brave the front.
 
A lot of the back-and-forth tonight will go over most viewers’ heads. Experienced legislators like Tillis and Hagan especially have a bad habit of lapsing into mind-numbing policy and process talk.
 
Here are the two best ways to judge who won and who lost.
 
First, make it a drinking game (two or more participants required): One takes a drink every time Tillis talks about Obama. The other takes a drink every time Hagan talks about the legislature’s cuts to education. Whoever ends up drunkest, that candidate won. (You can also do this by yourself, taking a drink each time each candidate scores. This will ensure you don’t remember a thing from the debate.)
 
The second way: Turn off the sound and just watch. See if one candidate or the other looks more confident, comfortable and in command. That is the winner.
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Choo
# Choo
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 12:37 PM
There are the reruns of Andy of Mayberry running on one of the family channels. In todays world the media has dropped all pretense of being fair and we will see each side proclaim the other to be an idiot. What Tillis needs to do is not let her tie herself to some kind of wise North Carolina middle of the road values that don't exsist. There are two sides and they have never been more clear. I keep wondering when the left will stop the decption and start being proud of being a socialist. I guess their polling shows the majority don't approve of socialism.
Reaganite
# Reaganite
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 12:58 PM
Many conservative voters are still skittish about whether to vote for Tillis, and so will be watching what he says on things like immigration, energy policy,Obamacare, welfare, and taxes / spending. Waffling on these issues will not endear him to conservatives who are already suspicious of him. Conservatives want to see leaders like President Reagan who paint in bold colors, not pale pastels.
JB
# JB
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 1:07 PM
Or better yet - just take a drink each time one of them opens their mouth! You nailed this one Gary
nratt
# nratt
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 8:58 PM
Perhaps the most intelligent suggestion for judging a political debate that I've ever encountered. Cheers, Guys!
dap916
# dap916
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 9:03 PM
Neither of those two ways of telling which candidate did better than the other is correct or accurate.

First, mentioning Obama could be about any of a dozen issues with regard to Hagan. Mentioning cuts to education is one issue Hagan will certainly bring up against Tillis. So, it's apples and oranges. But, you already knew that. Your radical liberal/progressive readers here, though? They will fall for that hook, line and sinker, of course.

That "second way" you are talking about is ludicrous. At least it is for me. I take one look at Hag Hagan and she looks uncomfortable, not confident and a whole lot like Nancy Pelosi....so, turning off the sound and watching the body language just ain't gonna get it.

How do you come up with some of these posts anyway? Sheeesh.

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