2022 Minnesota gubernatorial race to characteristic fewest variety of debates in a long time

September 20, 2022

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz says he’ll take part in a complete of three debates in the course of the basic election marketing campaign, considered one of which has already occurred.

The 2 further debates he agreed to in October imply the 2022 marketing campaign will characteristic the fewest debates in a Minnesota governor’s race since a minimum of 1998. The final one will take lower than two weeks earlier than Election Day.

“A whole lot of voters don’t tune in till very near election day, and so late debates may very well be crucial in giving them important info, however candidates have very totally different calculations about debates than voters do,” says Carleton School political analyst Steven Schier.

Walz agreed to a debate on Oct. 18 hosted by a gaggle of tv stations in Mankato, Rochester, Duluth and Fargo. As of now, that debate is not going to be carried stay within the Twin Cities, the place the vast majority of Minnesota voters stay.

The second debate will likely be hosted by Minnesota Public Radio on Oct. 28, 11 days earlier than Election Day. Which means 75 days could have handed between the Farmfest debate in August and the following debate on Oct. 18. It additionally comes 26 days after hundreds of Minnesotans could have forged ballots in early voting.

In a press release launched over the weekend, the Walz marketing campaign mentioned, “The extra debates will convey the full variety of debates for the marketing campaign to 3, together with FarmFest. This is identical variety of debates that had been held within the U.S. Senate elections gained by Amy Klobuchar in 2018 and Tina Smith in each 2018 and 2020.”

Nevertheless, in line with our analysis at 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, three debates would be the fewest in a governor’s race since a minimum of 1998. That 12 months Reform Occasion candidate Jesse Ventura gained a three-way race after debating his opponents a minimum of 4 occasions. In 2002, there have been seven debates, and 2006 featured 5 debates. The 2010 race for an open governor’s workplace featured a minimum of 21 debates. After Democrat Mark Dayton gained that race, he scaled again to 4 debates in 2014. In 2018, once more with no incumbent, Walz debated Republican Jeff Johnson six occasions.

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All of these races featured a minimum of one statewide televised debate and sometimes two. Until one thing modifications, this 12 months there will likely be none, regardless of Walz telling 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS in an interview final month he needed a debate on statewide tv with as extensive an viewers as doable.

“My positions are extra standard,” he mentioned of his race with Jensen. “I’ve performed this for many years. I’m glad to do it. However I’m additionally very involved. I’m not going to offer him a platform to speak about Ivermectin and vaccine lies. That we have to have moderators there and we’ll set that up…and I desire a broad viewers. I need the TV’s throughout the state to have the ability to see it…”

To this point he has not agreed to such a debate.

“The governor needs the messaging about him to return from his marketing campaign and the best way to do this is to not debate extensively,” Schier says.

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KSTP-TV invited the main candidates within the governor’s race to participate in a stay “Debate Night time in Minnesota” on Sunday, Oct. 23. Jensen agreed to seem. On Monday the Walz marketing campaign instructed 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, “We is not going to be making additions to the talk schedule.” Jensen will nonetheless be featured in a stay interview, however the invitation to the Walz marketing campaign stays open.

Walz has additionally declined to take part in a stay statewide debate on TPT’s “Almanac” program. A producer at TPT says this would be the first time since 1998 they won’t host a debate on the ultimate Friday earlier than the election since 1998.