Political debates dwindling nationwide
Ohio's lack of gubernatorial debates this year illustrates a national trend.
What's happening: Political candidates are increasingly deciding not to participate in debates — and their rivals are trying to make them pay a price, Axios' Andrew Solender reports.
Why it matters: Once conceived as a frank exchange about serious issues, then as a chance to score a few rhetorical points in front of a big audience, debates have now become a casualty of politicians' increasing ability to bypass traditional media.
Zoom in: Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, who has a comfortable lead over Democratic challenger Nan Whaley in the latest polls, refused to debate this year.
- The Ohio Democratic Party repeatedly criticized DeWine for this, and Whaley dubbed her recent campaign stops the "Debate Ohio Deserves Tour" in response.
By the numbers: There were a total of 17 debates across the five most competitive Senate races in 2020. This year, there will only be six, according to Brookings.
Of note: Ohio U.S. Senate candidates J.D. Vance and Tim Ryan have debated twice. Though the race is close, the Brookings analysis did not consider it one of the nation's most competitive.
🗓️ Reminder: Election Day is in one week. Read our voter guide to prep before going to the polls.
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