Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs is refusing to debate rising Republican star and gubernatorial candidate, Kari Lake.
The Hobbs campaign issued a statement through campaign manager Nicole DeMont, saying,
“…debating a conspiracy theorist like Kari Lake – whose entire campaign platform is to cause enormous chaos and make Arizona the subject of national ridicule – would only lead to constant interruptions, pointless distractions, and childish name-calling…”
The Arizona Clean Elections Commission (CEC) decided to ask the campaign directly whether they would debate Lake during a recorded Zoom meeting. The campaign refused to answer the direct question:
The Lake campaign released a statement following Hobbs refusal to debate. She accused Hobbs of attempting to “hide from Me, the Press, and the Voters throughout the entirety of this campaign and run out the clock on the people of Arizona…”
Beyond the facade of blaming Lake’s character as the reason for avoiding a debate, the move by the Hobbs campaign may be strategic. Of the available polling for Arizona, Hobbs has led by 5+ points from early summer through late summer. In August, this polling tightened, giving Hobbs only a 0.8-point lead over Lake.
FiveThirtyEight gives Hobbs a 53 in 100 chance of winning as of the date of this writing.
If Hobbs views herself as having a lead, a public debate would have zero strategic upside. Traditionally, debates benefit either (a) the underdog in a race or (b) the non-incumbent. Kari Lake is viewed as the non-establishment underdog trying to defeat the former AZ Secretary of State.
Lake is a highly skilled public speaker and communicator. She worked in TV broadcasting for 27 years and became well-known in the Phoenix area. With slightly less than two months before November 8th, the Hobbs campaign may view a public debate as a massive risk and is trying to avoid the subject.
In June, Rogue Review reported on Lake’s engagement with a CNN reporter who ambushed her for comment.
PC: BiographyTribune, New York Post.
Trending on Rogue Review Media