There is no major debate in either the US Senate or the governor of Alabama

MOBILE, Ala (WKRG) – This is an election that includes a seat in the US Senate, open for the first time in 36 years, and a gubernatorial race with eight candidates for incumbent president in her own party. But when Alabama voters go to the polls on Tuesday, they will do so without seeing any televised debates across the country in any of these unique competitions.

Political consultants say “get used to it”.

WKRG and parent company Nexstar Broadcasting had staged a debate in the Republican Senate to be televised across the state. However, Mike Durant refused, and Katie Britt said she would not argue if Durant did not.

“I think that makes you look like a political coward,” said Mobile-based political writer Queen Hillier. “The people of Alabama deserve to have candidates to answer questions.”

Kay Ivy did not run for governor four years ago and will not debate again this year.

“It would be nice if the tall stepper was tall enough for debate,” Hiller said, mocking Ivy’s playful slogan.

Ivy was elected without a runoff four years ago without debate and could do the same this year. Tommy Tuberville copied the strategy two years ago and was elected to the US Senate without debate. Mobile phone mayor Sandy Stimpson declined to discuss contender Fred Richardson last year.

“Every candidate’s goal is to win,” said John Gray, a mobile-based political strategist who has led dozens of campaigns in Alabama.
“Each of these strategic decisions boils down to ‘Does it help me win?’ If you’re a candidate and you’re behind, you want to debate.”

In the run for governor at the moment, this is Tim James, who, according to research, lags behind Ivy by a big margin.
“A governor really needs to be exposed there, challenged in public, with reporters and everyone else,” James said.

One of the arguments for the debate is that all Republican candidates, regardless of position, say the same thing in their television commercials.
They are for Trump, for weapons, for God and for life. They are anti-immigrant and anti-transsexual.

That is why many say they want to see the candidates against each other.
But Gray says the debate is a safe proposition for leading candidates.

“If you’re a man and you win 42 percent of the vote, or if you’re a lady and you’re ahead, why would you do that?” He asked.

Gray says leading candidates are reluctant to take the risk of saying something outside the message, especially when technology already allows them to deliver targeted messages to voters without risk.

“They don’t want to do this anymore because they can now do it through the digital environment, alone and in complete control of the story,” Gray said. “There may be something in your mailbox for the 2nd Amendment if you are identified as finding it important. You may receive digital ads for an issue that is important to you based on your Google search history or your Facebook history.

Hillier says it is a cynical approach that does the electoral process a disservice.

“If you never answer questions, if you just hide behind your pre-produced TV spots, does the audience really know you?” He asked.

Gray says candidates are not necessarily interested in what is best for the democratic process.

“Candidates are in it to win,” Gray said. “It is.”

Gray says the public may not be interested if there is debate across the country.

“Regular spectators do not join in at 7:30 for any casual debate about the governor,” he said.

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