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Downballot: Monday night (debate) madness

Candidates in four different Senate races across country -- Indiana, Nevada, Arizona, and Connecticut -- squared off Monday night as they reach the homestretch in the march towards Election Day, MSNBC’s Michael LaRosa reports.  In Indiana, Richard Mourdock (R) spent the hour-long debate tying Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) to the Harry Reid and Barack Obama agenda.  Donnelly tied himself to the legendary home state Republican Lugar, painting Mourdock as a partisan extremist unwilling to compromise and as a Lugar antagonist unfit to fill his shoes.  "It is not unprincipled to be bipartisan," Donnelly said. Mourdock fired back,  "It is this bipartisanship that you said is so important, that has also given us a 16 trillion dollar debt.”

In Nevada, both Dean Heller (R) and Shelly Berkley (D) clashed over the Ryan Budget, Medicare, tax cuts, partisanship, and equal pay. When Heller claimed to be an independent voice in the Senate, Berkley pushed back claiming that Heller voted 92% of the time with the GOP.  Berkley told host Jon Ralston that both candidates were likely to support their party leadership most of the time.  

In Arizona, Richard Carmona (D) denounced a Jeff Flake (R) ad with a woman accusing the Democrat of having "anger issues" and having "issues with ethics and women."  "The woman in that ad was a disgruntled employee," Carmona said.  "But most importantly, this best exemplifies the type of politics that Congressman Flake is involved in," Carmona explained. Flake responded that Carmona does not have the "temperament" to be in the Senate.  "You've got to have the temperament to work with both sides," he said.  "It is worthy to note that he [Carmona] wasn't asked to stay for a second term in the Bush administration, and that is part of the record and part of the temperament issue we're talking about," he continued. 

And in Connecticut, Linda McMahon (R) and Chris Murphy (D) took to stage before a raucous crowd that defied ground rules by booing, cheering, interrupting, and shouting down the candidates through much of the hour long format.  "This is quite a crowd of supporters you have here ,Mrs. McMahon," Murphy chastised his opponent after being interrupted by McMahon enthusiasts in the audience. When it came to substance the two rivals clashed over jobs and tax cuts. "If more tax cuts for the wealthy created jobs, then we wouldn't be in the mess in the first place," Murphy said.