In my humble opinion. Of course, you don't have to take my word for it; you can read the comments at Burnt Orange or the Chron's Texas Politics or the Bell blog or Coyote Mercury, or Vince's analysis or Hal's take or Muse's musings.
There's enough play-by-play to suit anyone at those links so I'll summarize my favorite moments:
-- Bell opening with "I'm glad to be here with my three Republican opponents";
-- Grandma not knowing the recently-elected president of Mexico's name;
-- any of Kinky's disjointed ramblings, but particularly when he turned to Bell and asked, "What do you think the heroes of the Alamo would think of (our cowardly governor refusing to debate more than once)?";
-- the relentless pummeling given the incumbent from three angles, so badly was he hurt that he actually ducked out on the post-debate media Q &A.
Chris Bell was poised, confident, and articulate. He never got cut off for time, and he answered the question he was asked and didn't just spout some talking point. It was such a strong performance in comparison to his inept three stagemates that he likely sent himself to the Governor's Mansion tonight.
Quorum Report quotes moneybags trial lawyer John O'Quinn as saying Bell will not only get his financial help but also that of his fellow Democratic rainmakers:
Houston Attorney John O'Quinn, prominently featured tonight in Chris Bell's post-debate appearance, said he would do whatever it takes to raise Bell's profile in the race. Pressed by Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News in a post-debate press gaggle, O'Quinn said he was ready to put at least a million dollars into the Bell campaign, if not more.
"Chris Bell will not lose because of a lack of resources," O'Quinn said.
Thirty-three days to go, and we'll have a new Governor in Austin.
Update II (10/7): C-Span will rebroadcast today at 12:59 pm and 10:00 pm (note that the times posted at the C-Span site are Eastern; I changed them for this posting to Central).