What’s It Mean When A Pol Won’t Debate?

First things first: debates are shows for TV, radio and streaming. They’re not vital organs of democracy.

So, no one wants a hissy fit from a media guy, like yours truly, when you can’t get the candidates together on a stage or in a studio. Period.

It seems like, without a hard count, somewhat more Democrats, than Republicans,  are declining debate invitations in this midterm. Why would that be?

When you consider that most media folks are super-loyal Democrats, your odds of getting sympathetic moderators and adoringly under-hand pitched questions are pretty good. I’ve also always thought Democrat-leaning viewers/listeners are more likely to watch/listen to debates, although where I pulled that out of, I have no idea.

So, why would any candidate, of any party, dodge a debate with his or her opponent?

First, you’re dumber than a box of rocks. That one’s obvious, and equal-opportunity among the parties. Because the opposite is this: if you are well-versed on stuff, have a clear policy, or a great personality or sense of humor, doing a debate is a free booster rocket for your chances.

Second, if you have a record that you don’t want to defend. In this cycle, that’s a lot of Democrats, who are trying to pull the Dobbs fig leaf over Biden, the economy, inflation, gas prices, Afghanistan, critical race theory… Granted, Republicans have their baggage, like stuff Trump says, but this time the Democrats are carrying a lot more of it.

Third, if you know you are going to win.


Do some of them already know the final scoreboard, even though the game is still being played?

Doing the debate is obviously the choice most candidates make, and easily. Intriguing to think about the ones who say no.

What do you generally conclude about a candidate who backs out or declines?



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