Not the Democrats.
What has been remarkable during this election season is that Democrats in hot gubernatorial, senate, and congressional races are refusing to debate or setting up preposterous restrictions on the debates that make them worthless. In Arizona, even the media is attacking Democrat Katie Hobbs for ducking a debate with Kari Lake, which is ironic because Hobbs is supposed to be the cagey veteran, and Lake is supposed to be the political novice that says crazy “Trump-type things.”
Voters used to be able to count on debates to insert some policy discussion fiber into campaigns that were often filled with feel-good TV ads and stunts, the equivalent of campaign junk food.
Why are Democrats so reluctant to debate this year? We suspect that it is because a) they have to defend Biden (and his policies are mostly indefensible) and b) because the economy stinks, inflation and gas prices are soaring, the border is out of control, they would have to defend business and school lockdowns, and the Democrats soft-on-crime message isn’t exactly resonating.
A Brookings Institute reports that as recently as 2010, the five most competitive Senate races had 17 debates. This year there will be only seven, and the trend to early and mail-in voting will mean several will take place after large numbers of people have already voted.
Let’s get back to Lincoln-Douglass-spirited debates on the issues of the day.