Well actually, I wish I could tell you who the winners were, but I can’t. I can say the losers were those interested in learning about the Senate candidates and their positions on the issues, but couldn’t because the debate was not televised or streamed. Since I was in Gwinnett and not in Savannah, all I had was the spin room of Twitter’s #gapol and #GASen to go on.
For many of the previous debates, those who wanted to watch could catch a live YouTube stream provided by candidate Derrick Grayson. His team tried to stream last night’s debate, but due to bandwidth issues or something else, the streaming didn’t work. And ultimately, it shouldn’t be up to a candidate to broadcast the debates.
The Georgia GOP took on the responsibility of holding the Senate debates. Perhaps it was because the party wanted them to be held in places not named Atlanta. Maybe it was because, fearful of a Todd Akin moment, it wanted to be able to select moderators who wouldn’t try to embarrass the candidates. Whatever the reason, the purpose of the debates should be to give as many people as possible the opportunity to hear each candidate make his or her case for being elected.
In a February 22nd meeting of the DeKalb County GOP, GAGOP Chairman John Padgett said he expected future debates would be streamed. I was impressed enough to tweet it:
— Jon Richards (@SiteROI) February 22, 2014
Two debates remain: in Augusta on April 19th, and in Columbus on May 10th. By the time those debates occur, the election will be a month or less away. People will be voting absentee ballots. Those who don’t read Peach Pundit or the AJC’s Daily Jolt on a regular basis will finally be paying attention to the race, and will be looking for more information on the candidates.
I hope Chairman Padgett and the Georgia GOP follow through and provide at least an audio stream of the final two debates.
Oh, interested in the candidates who were winners and losers last night? Here’s Russ Bynum’s report from the Associated Press. And Daniel Malloy in the Political Insider. There’s also a link in Malloy’s report to a longer article behind the AJC paywall. The Savannah Morning News has some info on the questions asked and the candidates’ responses. Hopefully, these stories will let you figure out who won and lost. But, recaps aren’t as good as watching and listening to the debate itself.