Jeffrey W. Ladewig is an associate professor of political science at the University of Connecticut specializing in the U.S. Congress and American political economy. Here he offers a report card for each candidates’ performance in the first debate:
Blumenthal’s highlight: He offered a broad understanding of public policy and a dedication to the middle class.
McMahon’s highlight: She offered a focused argument on economic growth and performed well in the political debate venue.
Blumenthal’s low point: He was weakest in his comments about the internal workings of World Wrestling Entertainment.
McMahon’s low point: She was probably weakest on concentrating so much on the internal workings of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Blumenthal’s effectiveness as a communicator: B-
He seemed, for the most part, in-tune with the policy debates, and the argument about the job of senator — as opposed to a businessperson – was forceful.
McMahon’s effectiveness as a communicator: B-
Though unsteady at times, she stood tough at the podium. The argument about pushing all of the economic buttons during a recession was left uncounted and, thus, was particularly forceful.
Blumenthal’s responsiveness to questions: B
He provided, generally, well-rounded responses that answered the questions while maintaining a central argument.
McMahon’s responsiveness to questions: C
She often did not answer the posed question and backtracked to respond to previous points made by Blumenthal.
Blumenthal’s final grade: B-
Blumenthal did well, though perhaps he underperformed expectations at times.
McMahon’s final grade: C+
McMahon did well, and perhaps overperformed expectations at times.