Pro IQRA News Updates.
With nearly all primaries over, it will soon be time for general election debates—except that there may not be much discussion to pay attention to.
Across nine major battlefield states, five major office discussions have been confirmed so far this fall, according to an ABC News count.
Much of the resistance comes from Republican candidates who, they say, would like to debate on their own terms. While this isn’t a stunning break from previous cycles—say, Trump’s team in 2020 attempted to make claims about what the final presidential debate covered—it is more than likely in a few races at least pivotal to whom the balance of power in the Washington, such efforts will not lead to formal television debates throughout this fall.
A few swing states confirmed the events on the calendar. In Texas, Republican Governor Greg Abbott and Democratic contender Beto O’Rourke will debate at the end of September in the Rio Grande Valley.
In Florida, potential confrontations are anticipated, but not certain. The Sunshine State hosted two governor’s debates in 2018, and while there was no official word if the candidates would agree to the debate this year, the “pre-vote” host group has begun marketing events in contests for both the governor and senator.
From there, logistics became more controversial.
Here’s the breakdown on the major battlefields.
Arizona Republicans Carrie Lake and Blake Masters — the nominees for governors and Senate, respectively — have posted a campaign strategy to paint their opponents, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Senator Mark Kelly, as having something to hide rather than debate, RSVPs, while Democratic teams say they are negotiating Terms with the Citizens’ Clean Elections Commission, the state’s leading group for the past 20 years. The committee requested a response to the invitations by the end of August.
So far, only in the Arizona secretary of state race have both candidates, Republican Mark Finchim and Democrat Adrian Fontes, committed to the debate.
Lake officially committed to discussing Hobbs on Wednesday, October 12, after he mocked her in a viral video on Twitter while Hobbs’ team told ABC they “would like to participate” but were “asking them to make some adjustments to the format.” Masters used a similar strategy to Lake, challenging Kelly on Twitter to four debates — but so far only sticking to one, on Thor, Oct. 6, which Kelly’s team says they also plan to attend “pending some final discussions with the hosts.”
The Arizona attorney general’s argument is rescheduled from August 29 to September 28. In response to questions from ABC News, Hamadeh’s team said they are working with the CEC to secure a date that is appropriate for both parties, which the commission has set. has been confirmed. Democrat Chris Mays stuck to the original deadline weeks ago.
Another bickering state is Pennsylvania. This month, Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate for the Senate, released a list of five debates he agreed to attend and called on his opponent, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, to reveal whether he would participate. Fetterman’s team has been mostly silent: The candidate, who was recovering from a stroke in May, did not respond to questions after a recent event in Pittsburgh, but his spokesperson, Joe Calvilo, told reporters, “We’re ready to discuss Oz.”
During the Democratic primary, Fetterman called the debates an “important piece of history” and that “voters deserve at least three televised debates over the network.”
In late July, local station KDKA in Pittsburgh invited candidates to a debate it plans to host on September 6, but only heard from the Oz campaign, an editor at the station told ABC News. By comparison, the Keystone State Senate candidates were debated twice in 2018.
Meanwhile, Republican Senator Doug Mastariano of Pennsylvania last week proposed rules that would prevent news outlets from obtaining exclusive broadcast rights over debates with his opponent, Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and would allow each candidate to choose a mediator. A spokesman for Shapiro called the proposal a “stunt” and an excuse to avoid questions from the far-right Mastariano, who has shunned nearly all traditional media while directing his campaign message away from the hard-line positions he took during the primaries – instead, for example, focusing on inflation and economic concerns. .
No public discussions have been announced.
J.D. Vance, the Republican candidate for the Ohio Senate, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the status of his plans for the general election debate. The campaign of his Democratic opponent, Representative Tim Ryan, agreed to three televised talks.
“It’s been a long time since J.D. Vance has walked out of his San Francisco mansion, visited Ohio, and spoken directly to the people he says he wants to represent. Once J.D. agrees to these three debates, Tim Ryan will discuss JD at any other time and place,” said Director Ryan campaign, Dave Chase, for ABC News.
There’s another tug of war in Georgia, where Herschel Walker, the Republican Senate candidate, has agreed to participate in the October 14 debate. The agreement comes after pressure from his opponent, Reverend Senator Raphael Warnock, who accused him of evading discussions in a campaign ad released last month.
However, the debate Walker is proposing is not one that Warnock has actually accepted: Warnock previously accepted invitations to debate in Savannah, Macon and Atlanta in October while Walker did not commit to any of those invitations — another layer of discord.
Nevada’s governor and Senate debates have both been set – but the candidates’ participation remains unclear. Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak and his Republican challenger, Clark County Police Chief Joe Lombardo, are scheduled to face off on October 2.
As for the Senate race, Republican candidate spokesman Adam Laxalt tweeted that while he “looks forward” to discussing Catherine Cortez Masto, incumbent Democrat, Laxalt’s team “has not accepted any calls for the debate at this time and is still reviewing all debate options.”
Democratic Senate candidate Sherry Beasley has accepted the invitation of the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters to hold a debate in October — but there has been no confirmation yet from her opponent.
Republican Senate candidate Ted Budd told ABC News he is open to discussion but will not make decisions until after Labor Day. Budd did not discuss any of his primary opponents nor indicated that he would accept an invitation to a public debate on the election.
Other controversies remain in the Michigan governor’s race, with Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Republican candidate Theodore Dixon arguing over better dates, with Whitmer’s team confirming to ABC News that she accepted two debates: October 13. in Grand Rapids and on October 25 in Detroit.
Dixon’s team was late for appointments, however, writing on Twitter that “debates should begin before voting begins, not afterwards as Whitmer demands.” Dixon further argued that her opponent “wants to hide, but people deserve answers.”
In response to Dixon’s comments, Whitmer’s campaign told ABC News that “For more than a decade, Michigan has held a statewide televised debate or two in October. Governor Whitmer looks to continue that tradition through debates on October 13 and October 25, so the Michiganders have a chance to see the stark contrast between the candidates as they make up their minds in this crucial election.”
Neither Democratic Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes nor incumbent Republican Ron Johnson responded to requests for comment on the debate plans. Johnson debated his opponents in the 2016 and 2010 races.
The Big Picture
Last April, the national arm of the Republican Party withdrew from the presidential debate committee, severing ties with the election public debate process, and dismantling the bipartisan process that had been in the making for 30 years.
The Republican National Committee voted unanimously at the time to leave the group, which they claimed was biased.
“We will find newer and better discussion platforms to ensure that future candidates are not forced to delve into biased CPD in order to make their case to the American people,” RNC President Rona McDaniel said in a statement at the time.
CPD responded at the time: “CPD’s plans for 2024 will be based on fairness, impartiality, and a firm commitment to helping the American public learn about candidates and issues.”