Losing The Race for Arizona Governor?
It's starting to look like Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is falling behind in the race for Arizona governor because she refuses to debate her GOP opponent, Kari Lake.
A CNN reporter asked to interview Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake last summer and Lake responded:
“Um, I’ll do an interview. As long as it airs on CNN plus. Does that still exist? I didn’t think so because the people don’t like what you guys are peddling, which is propaganda. Thank you.”
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All the while Lake had a smile on her face, a lilt in her voice, and was shaking the bemused female reporter’s hand.
It is entirely understandable that Lake’s Democratic opponent Katie Hobbs doesn’t relish the idea of a debate with Lake, a former professional news anchor and experienced public speaker.
So it appears that, for the first time in twenty years, there will be no debate in Arizona’s gubernatorial race because Hobbs refuses to debate Lake.
Hobbs told Arizona’s Clean Election Committee last week that she refuses to debate a “conspiracy theorist” because it would subject Arizona to national ridicule and “would only lead to constant interruptions, pointless distractions, and childish name-calling.”
Realistically can Hobbs refuse to debate Lake and expect to be elected governor of Arizona?
The latest polls by OH Predictive Insights, InsiderAdvantage (KSAZ-TV, Phoenix) and Beacon Research/Shaw & Co. Research (Fox News) show that Lake has inched ahead of Hobbs.
Hobbs excuses are less convincing after the perfectly civil televised Oct. 6 debate between Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly and Republican Blake Masters, which focused mainly on Arizona’s pourous border and abortion.
One can only speculate why Hobbs is loath to take on Lake.
Hobbs was in charge of the election process that Lake disputes.
Lake is a poised and accomplished public speaker; Hobbs, while an experienced politician, has a degree in social work.
Women historically have been raised to be non-confrontational.
But even if Hobbs is a poor debater, she would get points for just showing up.
In Georgia, Republican Herschel Walker, a former professional football player who was the target of utterly devastating headlines about his personal life in recent weeks, showed up last week and debated Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, the pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. It went well for Walker.
Hobbs may be betting that her refusal to debate Lake will be seen as a principled stance rather than one of weakness. That’s wishful thinking. Voters are not content to simply read a canned interview from Hobbs’ sympathetic AZ media. They want to see how candidates handle themselves under pressure, in the heat of battle.
Lake is right when she says an election is a job interview. Can Hobbs get the job without showing up for the interview?