This is what 1.2 million dollars bought Bruce Guthrie: the largest media outlet in Seattle telling the world that he won the debate.
From the Seattle PI:
Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and Republican challenger Mike McGavick exchanged mostly familiar verbal blows Tuesday in an hour-long debate, a sedate event except for a barbed zinger by Cantwell about her opponent’s tenure as Safeco’s chief.
But if anyone “won” the televised exchange — Cantwell’s and McGavick’s second and final formal debate — it was a third candidate, Libertarian Bruce Guthrie, just by being there.
You can watch the debate in its entirety, or read Guthrie’s writeup about it .
From Guthrie’s blog:
I made some definite mistakes. I said Um and Uh and You Know way too many times, and I had those two lapses in my closing statement. Fortunately, I had written out my closing statement on the note pad in the 15 minutes before the cameras started rolling (we weren’t allowed to bring in any notes) so that I was able to get a cue and continue. But these flaws show that I am human. It should be noted that Cantwell and McGavick knew months in advance that they would be in the debate. I only had about a week to prepare. My position statements and closing remarks were not completed until two or three days before the debate. Not enough time for rote memorization.
Guthrie did trip up a few times, but I agree with his assessment-it didn’t hurt him. The fact that he could pull off such a powerful performance without the advantages available to the duopoly just makes him all the stronger of a candidate.
Debate skills are key and knowing one’s constituency is key. Guthrie does both quite well and I would expect that he should be able to grab a large percentage of the vote because of this.