Why did she win?
Because the other two ignored her sometimes, and ran roughshod over her when she tried to butt in sometimes. This is something every woman knows from personal experience, and women will have noticed this and this alone will give her a bit of a sympathy bounce.
Because she brought both of them down from their lofty perches with her description of them as "suits". That word is code for a whole lot of meanings, none of them flattering.
Because the two men seemed to trade facts and figures but devoid of human content, while she loaded her bytes with human interest snippets. This made her seem human, and the other two seem remote from the concerns of ordinary Ontarians.
Because she more than held her own, demonstrating that her apprenticeship in the world of politics has been a whole lot more educational than one would believe from a simple reading of her biography. It's a bit like Obama's: just because you spend a lot of time in things that are not traditional suit mainstream activities, does not mean that you are not learning the ropes that all politicians need to learn.
Because neither McGunity nor Hudak demonstrated a vision for the province that would make viewers stop their popcorn nibbling, and start thinking they want to follow this guy. The two came across as technocrats, as competent managers.
But not as leaders, who have a plan to make Ontario and Canada great, to change the plundering of good jobs that has been done over the past 30 years or so, and to change the world, in a good way, that all can benefit from.
They seemed more like two feisty accountants arguing about how many decimal points the balance sheet figures should reflect.
And finally, because she more closely fit the bill of the trite question American media trot out every time they talk about candidates: Would you like to have a beer with him?
Horwath went one better. She spoke about serving a beer. But she spoke about it with wry humour, and pride in what she has had to do to carve her way in life. Her comment made her human, made her appear practical and tough, and made her likeable.
Someone you would like to serve a beer to you, and then pull up a chair, sit down, and quaff one with you while you start talking about what really matters in politics.
A good beginning, Andrea. Keep it up.
And remember the price for your support for any minority government: proportional representation legislation.
Then you will go down in history.