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Analysis: Mayoral Debate Had No Clear Winner, 'Wow' Moment04:41
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Mayor Thomas Menino and City Councilor Michael Flaherty debated at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Dorchester Monday night. (Pool photo by Yoon Byun/The Boston Globe)
Mayor Thomas Menino and City Councilor Michael Flaherty debated at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Dorchester Monday night. (Pool photo by Yoon Byun/The Boston Globe)

Monday night's Boston mayoral debate between incumbent Thomas Menino and City Councilor Michael Flaherty failed to significantly change the political landscape with just two weeks remaining before the Nov. 3 vote, said former mayoral candidate and one-time City Councilor Larry DiCara.

Flaherty was facing pressure to use the debate as a way to close a gap he's facing among voters, according to recent poll numbers, but he was unable to gain much ground on Menino, DiCara said.

"There was no 'wow' moment," DiCara said. "There was no conversation which people will be talking about today at the water cooler ... The mayor was like the old prize fighter: He kept bobbing and weaving, but he didn't get knocked out."

If the Flaherty did earn any supporters, DiCara said it would likely not be enough to overcome Menino's broad support among the city's minority population and public workers who turn out heavily in city elections.

In the final weeks of the campaign, DiCara said Flaherty will aim to get voters excited and increase voter turnout, saying a turnout of 125,000 or more would mean a very close race.


Click "Listen Now" to hear DiCara talk with WBUR's Bob Oakes about the debate and final days of the campaign.

This program aired on October 20, 2009.

Bob Oakes Twitter Host, Morning Edition
Bob Oakes has been WBUR's Morning Edition anchor since 1992.

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