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.