search
Sections List
American Journal News

GOP senators are refusing to debate as polls show their challengers surging

Republicans are backing out of debates in a last-ditch effort to save their seats.

By Daniel Boguslaw - October 12, 2020
Share
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

More Republican candidates are backing out of debates ahead of the Nov. 3 election, as polling shows Democrats gaining ground up and down the ballot.

In the presidential election, Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis has all but ensured an end to future debates with former Vice President Joe Biden. On Friday, the Commission on Presidential Debates canceled the second debate, which was scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami. Trump has refused to agree to safety precautions required for an in-person debate, while also also refusing to take part in a virtual debate.

“I’m not gonna waste my time in a virtual debate,” Trump told Fox Business last week. “That’s not what debating is all about. You sit behind the computer and do a debate, ridiculous. And then they cut you off whenever they want.”

The third and final presidential debate — scheduled for Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee — is still on for now. But that could change quickly if the Biden and Trump campaigns can’t reach an agreement about the format of the event.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has taken a page from Trump’s playbook in the race against his Democratic opponent, Amy McGrath. In a stunning move, McConnell has refused to release his own coronavirus test results ahead of his debate against McGrath, which is scheduled for Monday night in Lexington, Kentucky. It is the first and only debate between the two Senate candidates.

“I’m unaware where Amy McGrath went to medical school, but I take my health care advice from my doctor, not my political opponent,” McConnell said in a statement. “At the end of the campaign season, it’s imperative for all of us to tune out erratic and uninformed campaign rhetoric and make health care decisions for ourselves based on CDC guidance and our health care professionals.”

Recent polls have shown the race tightening in McGrath’s favor, and she is now within striking distance of McConnell, who is perhaps the Trump administration’s most powerful ally outside the White House.

Trump and McConnell aren’t the only Republican candidates showing signs of stage fright. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has decided to skip out on his second debate against Democratic opponent Jaime Harrison. Like McConnell, Graham has refused to say whether he has tested positive for the coronavirus — a move which forced Harrison to bring his own plexiglass barrier to their Oct. 3 debate.

After Graham refused to get tested ahead of last Friday’s scheduled debate, the event was scrapped in favor of separate interviews with the two candidates. The latest poll shows Harrison up by one point, in a race that has turned from solid red to a toss up over the course of a few short months.

In West Virginia, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) has flatly refused to debate her Democratic opponent, Paula Jean Swearengin. The move led actor Mark Ruffalo to ask Capito on Twitter why she won’t debate Swearengin. As of yet, Ruffalo’s question has remained unanswered.

And in Mississippi, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) walked back a previous offer to debate former Rep. Mike Espy (D-MS), the newly viable Democratic challenger who represented Mississippi in Congress for six years before serving as Secretary of Agriculture under President Bill Clinton.

“We are in the middle of a campaign. We have 27 days left. The last thing I’m worried about is a debate,” Hyde-Smith told WJTV on Thursday.

Hyde-Smith added: “There is just such stark differences, so why would such stark differences, so much emphasis being put on a debate — if it was, if we were so close and people really wanted to hear, Mike Espy would be the most liberal candidate we’ve ever had in Mississippi. I’m a proven conservative, so, you know, I don’t think a lot of minds would be changed.”

With Democrats climbing in the polls, Republicans have every reason to hide from the debate stage. On Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) warned of a potential landslide loss for Republicans in November.

“I think it could be a terrible election. I think we could lose the White House and both houses of Congress,” Cruz told CNBC. “It could be a bloodbath of Watergate proportions.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
AJ News
Latest
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

By Jesse Valentine - February 23, 2024
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

By Jesse Valentine - February 22, 2024
More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

By Megan Henry, Ohio Capital Journal - February 22, 2024
Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

By Kyle Dunphey, Utah News Dispatch - February 21, 2024
Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

By Nick Evans, Ohio Capital Journal - February 20, 2024