Debates over; let the campaign conclude
Texans got a treat -- or at least those who are into this kind of thing -- when the two leading candidates for Texas govenor faced off in their second and final televised debate.
Viewers tuning in to Panhandle PBS got to see an aggressive challenger, Democrat Wendy Davis, take on her cool, calm and collected opponent, Republican Greg Abbott, on a whole array of issues.
The event was held at the public TV studios of KERA in Dallas and was broadcast around the state on public television.
The cool thing about the Internet, of course, is that these debates can be seen at viewers' leisure, which is what is available for the second Davis-Abbott debate.
So, what did the debate accomplish for either candidate?
That depends on who's doing the analysis.
Democratic partisans say that Davis -- a state senator from Fort Worth -- "won" the second encounter with her aggressive style. She challenged Abbott's support for deep cuts in public education spending.
Republican partisans say Abbott -- the state's attorney general -- acquitted himself well in defending his record and maintained his composure throughout. He challenged Davis's opposition to the state's new anti-abortion law.
Nothing I've read since the debate has suggested that the so-called "needle" moved much regarding who is likely to win the governorship in November. Abbott remains a substantial favorite to keep the seat in Republican hands, although a recent Texas Lyceum poll shows that of all the statewide races on the ballot this fall, the Davis-Abbott contest is the closest among them, with Abbott holding a 9-point lead among likely Texas voters.
The debates remain a valuable tool that enables voters to see the candidates in action, to help voters judge their reaction to pressure and criticism from opponents and to determine their ability to think quickly.
Panhandle PBS viewers can take a look as often as they wish at the two leading candidates for Texas governor.
If your mind isn't made up already, it's all right here.