I've had a few conversations with people who were in attendance. They all say Franken was not impressive, that he appeared to simply jump into attack mode and offer no real solutions.
I've seen reports that this was a very conservative audience/group to discuss these issues with.
While I understand that the Senate and Congressional debates were separate, I'd think that the crowd would not have changed that much over time. People wanting to see political debates were there to see just that.
For instance, if this crowd were so conservative, why would Bachmann and Kline ditch this event? It would seem like a great opportunity to "preach to the choir" even though they voted against the Farm Bill...they're conservative...right?
Why would such a conservative crowd spontaneously applaud Congressman Walz for his work for farmers?
I went to Farm Fest in 2006, I found the crowds to not be staunchly left or right, but concerned about farm issues. Duh...
Just because it's held in what we label a conservative area, does not necessarily mean the crowd was overtly conservative. Even with $3.50 gas, people flock to stuff like this.
BTW, I hear Steve Sarvi rocked it out at this event. I hear he was very well spoken on the issues, and despite the temptation to take a shot or two at John Kline, he kept himself to the issues.
Some I spoke to were concerned that Elwyn Tinklenberg spoke to much about Congresswoman Bachmann not being at the debate...to each their own.
From what I have heard from my peeps on the ground, Franken simply lost a great opportunity to actually debate Coleman and not fill the day with rhetoric and attacks.
Many say that Dean Barkley was the star of the show...