Some of the same, good and bad, could be found at two other recent debates I attended.

In Lynn, Tisei and Tierney argued bitterly over genuine (if sometimes misrepresented) policy differences, along with independent Daniel Fishman, in front of a sizable crowd of mostly campaign volunteers. Few ordinary, undecided voters actually saw the debate, which was not carried on TV or radio.

And in Brighton, Bielat and Kennedy sat down for a half-hour (including commercial breaks) debate for WCVB's "On the Record." With no live audience, and a Sunday-morning airing, the brief sit-down was not likely to create any electoral ripples.

NEED MORE POLITICS? Get more of Bernstein's coverage and critique — including a dissection of the Rigmarole in Lowell and a full schedule of upcoming debates — at

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Related: Running Outside the Box, The weird politics of this year’s ballot questions, Terry's Last Run: The only state senator in danger this November is the one who holds the place together, More more >
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