New Hampshire Voters React to U.S. Senate Debate

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and GOP challenger Scott Brown met Tuesday night in a debate

People leaving the Concord Center for the Arts were buzzing about the New Hampshire U.S. debate as if they had just watched a great movie, saying they were entertained and saw sides of the candidates they hadn't before.

It was an exciting night for New Hampshire voters, and even for some who are too young to vote.

Ebhardt Banks, a sophomore at St. Paul's Boarding School, said he was honored to be in the audience.

"I thought the atmosphere was amazing," Banks said.

Watching Sen. Jeanne Shaheen go head-to-head with her Republican challenger, Scott Brown, was enough to get high school kids fired up.

"We thought Scott Brown didn't answer any of the questions, he deferred away from them," said sophomore Justin Wilcox.

From students to war veterans, locals officials and moms and dads, the diverse crowd told NECN who they thought won the debate.

"I think Shaheen took the crowd a little more than Brown," Bow resident Chris Matheson said.

Manchester resident Charlie Bauer agreed, saying, "I think she had substance and personality."

Some people were won over by a certain response to a particular issue. Alice Chamberlain was impressed by Shaheen's stance on women's contraceptive rights.

"Her position on women was a strong point for me, and also equal pay equality for women," Chamberlain said.

NECN tried to talk with Brown supporters, but many of them weren't willing to give us their opinions following the debate. Brown's campaign adviser Ryan Williams said that has nothing to do with the way Brown performed.

"It provided a clear contrast for voters to look at and realize it's time for a new direction," Williams said. "He spoke at length about her voting with Obama 99 percent of the time a record that Jeanne Shaheen couldn't defend."

Voters told NECN they were pleasantly surprised with how civil the candidates were toward each other. Many people said they were looking for information on the issues, and as audience members filed out of the Center for the Arts, they told NECN that's what they got.

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