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Yesterday's debates

COLORADO: “Unlike many previous encounters between Democrat John Hickenlooper, Republican nominee Dan Maes and American Constitution Party standard bearer Tom Tancredo, immigration as a debate topic was mostly missing-in-action,” the Denver Business Journal wrote of last night’s gubernatorial debate. http://bit.ly/d3emy0

KENTUCKY: In yesterday’s Senate debate, Republican Rand Paul said publicly for the first time that he would vote in a Senate Republican caucus for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Louisville to lead the GOP,” the Lexington Herald-Leader wrote. “He has said before that he supports McConnell for the leadership position but has hedged to say he would vote for whomever the caucus selects. That gave rise to speculation that he might back U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, a favorite of the Tea Party movement.”

MISSOURI: “Democrat Robin Carnahan cast Republican rival Roy Blunt as a lobbyist's best friend while Blunt retorted that she was repeatedly twisting the truth Thursday in the first debate of Missouri's U.S. Senate race,” the AP reports.


NEVADA: "In a crackling campaign debate, Republican challenger Sharron Angle attacked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday night as a career politician who lives in a fashionable Washington condominium and has voted to raise taxes 300 times. The four-term veteran called his tea party-backed rival extreme and accused her of distorting his record," the AP says. "Angle played the aggressor from the opening moments of the hour-long debate, at one point taunting him to 'man up, Harry Reid' as she urged him to concede that Social Security faces financial difficulty."

The Las Vegas Sun: "U.S. Senate candidates Sharron Angle and Harry Reid had clear-cut strategies in their lone joint appearance before an audience of mainstream voters this campaign. Angle, the Republican, sought to use Thursday’s televised debate to buck the constructed image of her as an extreme conservative. Reid, the Democratic Senate majority leader, sought to convince voters he understands their economic plight, and defend the policies that so far have failed to generate a significant recovery in Nevada. Neither candidate, analysts agreed, was able to deliver that perfect message capable of wrenching away their opponent’s supporters or moving undecided voters into their column."

Politico’s Martin adds, “While neither gaffe-prone candidate committed a major error, both struggled throughout the hour-long forum at a PBS station to convey their message and defend their past statements. The much-anticipated showdown here had more flubs than fireworks.”

The New York Times: “What viewers saw here was a vivid contrast of philosophy between two competing forces in American politics this election cycle: Mr. Reid, the face of the Democratic establishment and champion of President Obama’s policies, and Ms. Angle, the hero of the Tea Party.”

WASHINGTON: “Meeting for their first debate Thursday, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican challenger Dino Rossi clashed on tax cuts for the wealthy, the health-care overhaul and whether gays should openly serve in the military,” the Seattle Times reports. “But above all, the rivals offered starkly different views of whether Murray's 18 years of experience in the U.S. Senate are beneficial for the state.”