In case you missed the debate—or just want to see a replay of Sean Haugh, Libertarian for U.S. Senate, giving serious, thoughtful answers to moderator Jon Evans’ questions while the other two mostly recited talking points and traded petty personal accusations. Here is the replay.
For most of the debate, Sen. Kay Hagan and Speaker Thom Tillis attacked each other and repeated the talking points from their campaign ads. Only Haugh spoke directly to the issues throughout the debate.
Here are some notable comments on Haugh’s performance.
“He was who he is. And when you are comfortable enough in your own skin, that is something that comes across as, I think, genuineness.” (Michael Bitzer, a political science professor at Catawba College, from the Greensboro News & Record, in an article that lead with Haugh’s inclusion in the debate.)
The News & Observer also used this quote from Professor Bitzer in their sidebar analysis:
"The interesting dynamic for the folks watching was Sean Haugh, who seemed to present both social and economic libertarianism that Democratic and Republican supporters would find appealing. In the end, Haugh may end up drawing enough votes to allow the ultimate winner to claim victory with less than 50 percent of the vote.
The Raleigh newspaper headlined their main story story “Interesting dynamic from Haugh in third debate for NC's US Senate seat.”
The News & Observer also quoted David McLennan, Meredith College political science professor, in their analysis:
"Voters who watched the debate were fortunate that Libertarian Sean Haugh was included because he broke up the relentless attack lines. I don’t think public opinion shifted as a result of the debate, except that Haugh may have created the possibility that neither Hagan nor Tillis reaches 50 percent on Nov. 4.
Not unsurprisingly, the Wilmington Star News, the major newspaper in the city where the debate was held, almost ignored Haugh in their story.