This debate was just what you'd expect a week before an election in a race too close to call.

John Connolly and Marty Walsh traded charges and argued over issues.

Each wounded the other, and both made mistakes.

But there was a clear winner.

You name it and they talked about it: their records, unions, education, casinos, and visions for the future.

Walsh improved his performance from past debates, giving his strongest answers yet about his links to unions, and what they may mean for future city contracts. But–no surprise–a key focus was on the negative campaigning this race has turned to in its last days.

But Walsh made a big mistake, leveling a charge he couldn't prove about a push poll he blames directly on Connolly:

Walsh said, "This wasn't a testing, this was an attack on me in certain parts of the city of Boston and my opponent in this race paid for it."

Connolly replied, "It's a complete fabrication, there was no push poll or negative attack on Representative Walsh, the article that was written on this was based on the claims of two Walsh supporters.

Walsh said, "I'm not the one with the history of negative campaigning here."

Connolly said "Rep. Walsh opened the doors to these outside groups who spent over 2 million dollars supporting his campaign, and have used negative tactics as part of that support."

Maybe it's not fair, but after three debates, it's obvious John Connolly is a better debater than Marty Walsh.

Connolly won this debate the same way he won the others: he looked more comfortable and sounded more confident–which made him appear more competent.

I won't say Connolly is going to win because of the debates, but I will say–if Walsh wins–it won't be because of the debates.

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