Sunday, December 21, 2014


In a combination of staff and campaign handout photos, candidates for governor, from left, Mark Schauer and Gov. Rick Snyder and candidates for U.S. Senator Teri Lynn Land and Gary Peters are shown. Michigan voters have viewed at least $20 million worth of political ads in competitive gubernatorial and U.S. Senate campaigns. But whether they will see debates between Gov. Snyder and Schauer or Land and Peters side by side this fall is in question. “It seemed like in the past you had to do a debate. But I’m not sure that that’s the case anymore,” said Dave Doyle, a Republican consultant with Marketing Resource Group in Lansing. (AP Photo) (AP)
Debates in governor, US Senate races in doubt
Debates in Michigan governor, US Senate races in doubt; recent precedent suggests lost cachet

Posted on Aug. 16, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Aug. 16, 2014 at 4:01 a.m.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan voters have viewed at least $20 million worth of political ads in competitive gubernatorial and U.S. Senate campaigns.

But whether they will see Gov. Rick Snyder and Mark Schauer, or Terri Lynn Land and Gary Peters, in one-on-one debates this fall is in question.

Debates appear to have lost cachet in Michigan’s statewide races.

In 2010, Snyder and Democrat Virg Bernero had just one debate in the governor’s race. Two years later, incumbent Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow and GOP challenger Pete Hoekstra couldn’t agree on even one debate.

Because those precedents were set, political strategists say they wouldn’t be shocked if no debates are scheduled. They suggest, however, that voters have come to still expect at least one public debate from statewide candidates.