Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called off the votes in the Senate early yesterday for the sole purpose of getting Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., to attend a televised debate with Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren:

Madam president, I’m so sorry. We have no more votes today. No more votes today. It’s obvious to me what’s going on. I’ve been to a few of these rodeos. It is obvious there is a big stall taking place. One of the senators who doesn’t want to debate tonight won’t be in a debate. While he can’t use the Senate as an excuse, there will be no more votes today.

Reid was referring a comment Brown made to the Boston Globe that he might skip the scheduled debate if it conflicted with his official duties as a senator. Brown has missed only one Senate vote since taking office.

After Reid called off the remaining votes, Brown took an afternoon flight back to Boston where he and Warren had a spirited debate. A survey indicates that Brown won it:

Fifty percent (50%) of voters who watched tonight’s U.S. Senate debate between Senator Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren said the Senator won, with 40% saying that Warren won the debate (6% thought it was a tie and 4% were undecided) according to a Kimball Political Consulting survey of “likely voters” in Massachusetts.

The poll further indicates that 55 percent of likely voters watched the debate, giving it a substantial audience in a tight race where Warren has a slight edge.

So, if Harry Reid had not called off the votes, Brown would have likely stayed in DC, allowing Warren to claim he was running from debating her. Instead, Reid arranged it so Brown had no reason not to debate her, allowing Brown to score a needed win.