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Monday, November 14, 2005

Incumbents Proposing Debates

Posted by DavidNYC

A reader writes in asking if and when other incumbents, ala Dick Santorum, have proposed debates. I did a little quick Lexis searching and came across two other times when this has happened in recent history:


Hahn proposed 3/23 a series of eight debates with Villaraigosa before their 5/17 runoff. Hahn: "I think the candidates for mayor owe it to the voters of Los Angeles to participate in a wide variety of debates that reach our city's diverse communities." Villaraigosa: "This is coming from a mayor who refused to participate in most of the debates during the primary election." The two have agreed to a debate 3/28 and 4/9. Hahn said he also wants to debate 4/11, 5/12 and 5/15 with two others to be determined (Los Angeles Daily News, 3/24). [Hotline, 3/24/05]

Outcome: Incumbent Hahn crushed, 59-41.


State Rep. Rich Grucela, D-Northampton, has invited his Republican opponent to participate in a series of debates or public forums, but Leonard Q. Gruppo is undecided. [Allentown Morning Call, 9/7/00]

Outcome: Incumbent Grucela wins, but by just 52-48.

Anyone know of any other occurrences? These are actually pretty difficult to find using Lexis because there aren't really any good search phrases. You can come across things like, "The incumbent proposed three debates..." but usually the second half of the sentence is something like "... in response to the challenger's call for a series of ten debates." But if you recall any - and especially if you have any cites - let us know.

Posted at 07:12 PM in General | Technorati

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I really hate to be the pessimist here, but I hope no one really thinks that the Dems have this Senate race in the bag a year out. Incumbents are always difficult to beat, especially those with as much money as Santorum, and are as willing to get as nasty as he's probably going to. While I agree this is a strange (and perhaps desperate looking) move, it is one that Casey needs to be careful of. At this point, with Casey effectively having captured much of the center, at least for now, I really think Santorum's best argument is one that shows him as consistent and Casey as not really standing for anything. I could see a tagline saying something like "Rick Santorum, you know where he stands. Where does Bob Casey stand?" All this points to Casey really needing to clearly convey to the voters of Pennsylvania why he wants to be Senator, other than holding office being the family business.

Posted by: IndianaProgressive [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 14, 2005 11:06 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment