Q:  In political debates, when is a tie a win?

A:  When the other side says it was a tie.

That’s the problem Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown faces on the morning after his first debate (of four scheduled) with Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren.  WBUR political analyst and former Republican political consultant Todd Domke scored last night’s debate a tie; his Democratic counterpart Dan Payne scored it a clear victory for Warren.

That seemed to be the general consensus:  Brown had some good moments, particularly towards the end of the debate, but he started off poorly and Warren was, for the most part, steady throughout.

Warren also repeatedly aimed at one of Brown’s weak spots:  a vote for Scott Brown is a vote for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell…and Environment & Public Works Chairman Jim Imhofe…etc.

Scott Brown may be a “nice guy” (and Brown did himself no favors by starting the night with an attack on Warren’s ancestry, an issue that seems to fascinate the political chattering classes…and nobody else), but his problem with Massachusetts voters is that he hangs around with the wrong crowd.

Update: The Dorchester Reporter breaks the other big political news of the day in this race: Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who tends to maintain a certain distance from the party’s Amherst-Cambridge-lefty-reformist wing, will publicly endorse Warren at a rally in Roslindale, a neighborhood Menino first represented as a district city councilor nearly 30 years ago.

Crossposted at: http://masscommons.wordpress.com/

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