If you listen to the campaigns – something that’s not generally recommended – Friday’s GOP Senate debate resulted in a three-way tie for first.

“Today’s debate … made it clear that Tom Campbell is the most serious challenger to Senator Barbara Boxer,” crowed the former congressman’s staff.

“One thing was clear coming out of that debate: Carly proved she is the best candidate to beat Barbara Boxer in November,” said an elated spokeswoman for Fiorina.

“DeVore Wins First Debate,” was the headline on Assemblyman Chuck DeVore’s web site.

Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, even if it’s a little bit, well, self-serving. And to be fair, judging a debate is always going to be subjective.

But even without crowning a winner, it’s possible to look back and see just what each candidate got from the hour-long radio debate moderated by Sacramento talker Eric Hogue.

For Campbell, who said he called for the debate, it was a chance to answer the growing clamor about his position on Israel and the financial support he has received from people linked to Islamic terrorists.

The answer, not surprisingly, is that he loves Israel, hates terrorists and boy is he sorry he ever took that campaign cash.

“That’s the truth, let’s air it and let’s get it over with,” Campbell said, adding that since he’s now answered every single charge on Israel and links to terrorists, any more questions will be referred to his new website, CampbellFacts.org.

Nice try, but pretending – and wishing and hoping — that those questions are behind him doesn’t mean they’ll go away. Fiorina and DeVore will see to that.

The chance to air those charges on a radio program aimed at California conservatives was a big boost for Fiorina and her wrangling with Campbell over taxes was a bonus.

Campbell admitted that he proposed raising taxes in California when he was state finance director, but said he has never advocated raising federal taxes. That’s a distinction without a difference to anti-tax conservatives.

But while Fiorina vowed never never never to raise taxes, she ran into a couple of problems of her own. While she slammed Campbell for what she said was his support of taxing the Internet, her own record back in her days as CEO of Hewlett-Packard is, at best, murky.

Fiorina also argued that the country would never need a tax increase because any unexpected expenses could be covered by, you guessed it, trimming “the waste and bloat that sits in the federal government bureaucracy.”

At least she didn’t go through the entire litany of “waste, fraud and abuse” as GOP gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman did on a trip to San Bernardino last week.

As for DeVore, he got most of his work done in his opening statement, when he reminded listeners that he was a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve and first got involved in politics and policy “20 years ago when I was Ronald Reagan’s youngest appointee to the Department of Defense.”

He spent the rest of the hour taking potshots at both Fiorina and Campbell, arguing that “I have no questionable corporate history. I have no past association with anti-American radicals. I have no history of liberalism of any kind.”

The only hope for DeVore, who’s running third in most polls, is to appeal to the GOP conservatives who typically make up a big chunk of the primary voters. That plan received a boost this weekend when he was endorsed by the California Republican Assembly.

The radio debate format, which Hogue purposely kept loose and open-ended, resulted in some entertaining and occasionally informative back and forth between the candidates, something that’s all-too-often missing in more formal campaign debates.

Of course, having DeVore and Campbell in the studio with Hogue while Fiorina phoned in her comments from her Bay Area home left the suspicious to wonder how many of the responses were direct from the unseen Fiorina and which, if any, came filtered through the same efficient campaign team that was sending out instant responses to reporters during the debate.

John Wildermuth is a longtime writer on California politics.