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Discussion > No Debate

Since the inception of his campaign, Douglas Herbert, the Democratic candidate, has been publicly pressuring Rodney Frelinghuysen to debate.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Frelinghuysen has declined. The traditional view is that incumbents have very little to gain by debating challengers.

I have offered to debate Mr. Herbert, even in the absence of the incumbent. I think that this would still have a good deal of value for voters in the district, as it would provide any voters unhappy with their current representation the opportunity to evaluate the positions and opinions of their other choices for the House.

Mr. Herbert has declined. He will only debate if Mr. Frelinghuysen attends.

This also is not surprising. I suspect that Mr. Herbert is declining to debate me for the same reasons that Mr. Frelinghuysen has declined.

I'm sure that he is hoping that he can pick up the votes of all those unhappy with the incumbent without much effort. Legitimizing a third party candidate whose views are probably more in-line with the voters of this highly Republican district probably doesn't sound like a very good idea to him politically.

So the two major parties play politics, and the voters suffer.

Perhaps debates should be mandatory, with ALL candidates required to be included. Who would suffer from such a policy ? Surely not the voters.

September 26, 2010 | Registered CommenterJim