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PORTLAND - Both candidates in the race to claim Oregon s First Congressional District claimed victory after a debate sponsored by KGW TV and the Oregonian newspaper.

Democrat Suzanne Bonamici and Republican Rob Cornilles traded barbs during the televised debate.

But Reed College political science professor Paul Gronke said neither made a significant blunder. He expected Cornilles to take even more shots at his opponent.

Gronke has occasionally written analysis articles for the Democratic website Blue Oregon. But we asked him to put on his academic hat when reviewing the debate and the race.

I think Cornilles is struggling, Gronke said. I thought he had to swing a little bit more. I don t think he got any major blows in and I think at this point Bonamici is kinda playing defense, he said.

The professor is surprised there are not more fireworks connected to the campaigns.

Very sleepy race and I think the Republicans, you know, should have seen this as a big opportunity to pick up a seat but at this point it's going to be very difficult, said Gronke.

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