(WASHINGTONPOST) — Voters in Michigan torn between giving Gov. Rick Snyder (R) a second term or opting for his opponent, former Rep. Mark Schauer (D), will have only one chance to see the two men share a stage to debate their records. They’re lucky – voters in Minnesota are getting no debates at all: Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has even refused to participate in a Minnesota Public Radio debate at the state fair, a tradition that stretches back 20 years.
Across the country, in some of the most competitive contests for Senate seats and governorships and some of the least, incumbent office-holders are refusing to meet their opponents in front of television cameras.
The dearth of televised debates isn’t for lack of trying: Media outlets have proposed dozens of televised forums. But this year, more than ever before, candidates have squabbled over venues, hosts, dates and formats for debates – and as a consequence, all but a small handful of the faceoffs, rare opportunities for voters to weigh two candidates against each other, have been canceled.
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