After more than a month of negotiations, the campaigns of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic challenger Ben Jealous agreed to participate in a single, hourlong televised debate on Sept. 24, the two camps announced jointly Thursday.
The campaigns said the debate would be moderated and broadcast...
There’s a lot of back and forth between the two campaigns about how things got to this point and whose fault it is that we’ll have the fewest opportunities to see the two major parties’ candidates debate since 2002. As a co-sponsor of the one surviving debate, we were somewhat involved in the conversation, and we still don’t quite understand what happened here.
Conventional wisdom would hold that Governor Hogan, as a popular incumbent with tons of campaign cash and big leads in all the public polls so far, would want to limit the number of debates. His campaign clearly sought to control the process by announcing from the outset that he would participate in two televised encounters and specifying which ones they would be and when. The strategy made sense for him — by publicly agreeing to two invitations, the governor could argue he wasn’t ducking debates while also seeking to avoid being pressured into more.
The only surprising thing about Mr. Jealous’ debate strategy was that he didn’t demand at least one in every county immediately after securing the Democratic nomination. His campaign coffers were sapped, and both Mr. Hogan and the Republican Governor’s Association were both already on the air with commercials seeking to define the race in the incumbent’s favor. He needed (and still needs) as much free media as he can get. It’s debatable whether the Jealous’ campaign’s initial demand that the debates be held in October, closer to the start of early voting, made strategic sense, but his proposal for five encounters certainly did.
Source : http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-0911-gubernatorial-debate-20180910-story.html