New DIY Scorecard For Brown-Warren Debate

Here’s a new, do-it-yourself scorecard to judge which Senate candidate won Wednesday’s debate, Sen. Scott Brown or Elizabeth Warren. (WBUR will have live coverage at 7 p.m.)

My prior scorecard asked you to imagine how undecided voters would view the debate, to gain a better perspective on who really “won” the debate. But reader comments revealed that most partisans have no real interest in viewing the debate more objectively. After watching a debate we want to praise our candidate (“the obvious winner”) and insult the opponent (“a disgraceful phony.”) That is what we humans call “human nature.”

So here’s a debate scorecard with the political criteria that most pundits use in analysis.

Just put B for Brown or W for Warren after each question. Add the scores, and whoever has the most is your declared winner. (My prediction: Your candidate won! Congrats.)

CLOSING — Who made the most favorable last impression?

SOUNDBITES — Who had the most quotable, compelling lines?

CONVICTION — Who spoke more genuinely and passionately about their issues?

CONTROL — Who kept the opponent on the defensive most effectively?

NEWSWORTHY — Who said something new and worthy that should generate publicity?

MISTAKES — Who was best in avoiding gaffes and factual errors?

CONNECTION — Who was better in relating to the feelings of folks watching at home?

STRATEGY — Who best fulfilled his/her strategy (Brown wants to focus on character and bipartisanship; Warren focuses on liberal policies and party control of the Senate)?

EXPECTATIONS — Who did better than expected — better than the previous debate?

POLLS — Who do you think will get a bounce in polls as a result of the debate?

Todd Domke is WBUR’s Republican analyst. For more political commentary, go to our Payne & Domke page.

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  • Ruth

    Elizabeth Warren clearly won this.  She was calm, cool, collected and in control of the facts.  Brown tried to ride on Romney’s debate lines, which Romney delivered with style, but which were manipulative and disingenuous half-truths nonetheless.  It was unbecoming of Brown to repeat them . Warren effectively took those on.  Brown came across as querulous and I couldn’t stand the name-dropping he engaged in as he pandered to Western Mass.

  • Nancy L Magro

    Question: Why would Elizabeth Warren be agreeable to the perk of a low interest loan from Harvard, if that is the case as was communicated by Scott Brown? I believe she is true to her cause, however…

  • KB

    So do you think the disparaging salutation of “professor” is working? Does the GOP really think that the term is unproblematically negative? Is that any way to show respect tosomeone? Or does it seem clearly a snarky way of addressing someone?

     It seems more or less a good way to remind voters that there’s only one candidate in the race who’ll fight for educating our children: Professor Warren. 

  • Banannamom

    I can no longer bear to hear how great Brown is FROM Brown! He is so self-absorbed, at least twice, he looked shocked that he had run out of time. And family aside, he is not Pro-Coice. He needs to own that.

  • LeonardNicodemo

    Can’t speak for the whole debate, as I was only able to catch the first half hour (on the radio).

    I thought Warren owned it.  She seemed poised and ready. Her attacks on Brown’s record were not malicious, they were poignant. She seemed calm, cool, and collected when discussing her own policies. It was a big turn around from the first two debates. I hope she kept it up for the full hour.

  • Carol Ott

    Warren won!   Brown cares for catering to Grover Norquist.  He also stated cuts to Medicare will hurt Seniors which is a lie.   Wasteful spending was cut…..not beneficiaries money.  But he is of the Party that wants to end Medicare so that’s good enough for me.

  • WBUR listener

    I heard the two analysts, Todd Domke (R) and Dan Payne (D), discussing the debate this morning on my way to work.  I found Todd’s commentary this morning to be more partisan, more condescending,  and more personally degrading of the other side than the democratic analyst Dan was.  I’ve found this to be true a lot lately.  Then, I saw this article in which Todd Domke wrote sarcastically about voters partisan views of debate outcomes (“your candidate won!  Congrats.”).  Well, what a surprise, Todd also found that Brown, his candidate, won the debate even though Elizabeth Warren had a very strong showing.  Congrats, Todd! 

    Honestly, I’m ready to turn off WBUR when I hear Todd Domke because of his superiority complex. 

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