The debate was contentious and free-wheeling, but O’Donnell failed to land many punches, much less a knock out, and was put on her heels several times when asked about her views on evolution and her past financial problems…
Coons declined to attack her on her financial past, calling it a “distraction.” But that prompted one of the more awkward lines of the night. O’Donnell referred to the multiple skits on “Saturday Night Live” in which she has been mocked for her comment that she “dabbled in witchcraft,” among other things.
“You’re just jealous that you weren’t on Saturday Night Live,” O’Donnell said to Coons.
Coons said he was “dying” to find out who would play him. But for much of the debate his scorn for O’Donnell was barely disguised, and he risked appearing overly negative toward his opponent.
Geraghty says that Coons was “terrible” and repeats another claim I heard a lot tonight, that the moderators — especially the local Delaware reporter — were deep, deep, deep in the tank for the Democrat. (“This was supposed to be a debate, not a show trial.”) As noted earlier, Coons currently leads her by a wide margin on the question of which candidate better understands “the needs and problems of people like you,” so maybe his aggressive jackassery this evening will cut into that. The only clear error she made that I saw righties on Twitter grumbling about was her failure to name a Supreme Court case she disagreed with (no Kelo?), which the Times is naturally framing as her “Palin moment.” It probably won’t matter given that she was otherwise smooth throughout and that economic issues dominate this year to the exclusion of almost all others, but it surely didn’t help. Exit question: Will she pick up a few points from tonight’s performance?