The White Rabbit, one of my favorite characters from Alice in Wonderland, cautioned Alice on not believing what she saw – "Things are not always as they seem," says the Rabbit.
Well, word in the hall Under the Dome is that the "battle", as described by Brandon Larrabee of Morris News, was all a ruse, contrived to evoke memories of "Miller vs. Murphy" thus institutionalizing the new GOP powerhouse in the memories of voters.
Associate Press, AJC, Morris – they all fell for it. Everyone in the press bought the ruse, accept for Dick Pettys of Insider Advantage. Can't point you to the article though — it is subscription only.