TUCSON -- In the first big debate Wednesday between Arizona's US Senate candidates, Richard Mack (L), former Graham County Sheriff, did surprisingly well against Jon Kyl.
Mack established himself as a viable conservative alternative to Jon Kyl. He could peel away votes from the right that otherwise would go to Kyl.
Jim Pederson, now within 5 points of Kyl, is still the clear choice for progressives, but he must do better in these debates.
Pederson's tone and manner were slow, and uppity. Jim needs a tan and to look in to the camera, which is not easy under bright studio lights. He also needs to be more positive. Yes, attack Kyl, but also focus on why, specifically, he would be better for us in the Senate.
Kyl did well in delivering his Bush agenda, which is not surprising given his years of spin doctoring and public speaking in the Senate.
But during the debate it was clear why Kyl didn't want Mack there. Mack is on message, with a good position on Iraq. Except for Mack's anti-conservation tirade, he presented himself as a credible candidate, especially from the right.
Watch for a significant amount of GOP voters to vote Mack, not Kyl.
Great job Bill Buckmaster and KUAT for getting all three candidates to debate, despite the Kyl threat to boycott if Mack was there.
I still like Pederson best in this race, but Mack deserves some recognition here. Mack is better than Kyl.