The campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry has said he’s unlikely to participate in all of the upcoming debates — at least 12 are scheduled between Nov. 9 and the Florida primary Jan. 31. While Perry’s reluctance stems from his poor performance in most of his previous debates, his camp is right on the mark, writes Byron York, chief political correspondent of The Washington Examiner.
“Perry has a point when he suggests there are just too many debates scheduled in the rapidly dwindling number of days before voters go to the polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and other key primary states,” York says.
The debates will be even more compressed, given that there probably will be a respite over the holidays. “That's a lot of debates in very little time,” York writes.
In the Nov. 9-15 period alone, three debates are scheduled. The debate calendar made more sense a few weeks ago, when the primary/caucus season wasn’t scheduled to begin until Feb. 6, with the Iowa caucuses.
But then Florida set its primary debt for Jan. 31, and all heck broke loose. So now the voting is scheduled to begin Jan. 3 in Iowa, and a lot of debates are being held in a short period of time.
Early debates help candidates introduce themselves, and late ones help voters make up their minds, York writes. But those in the middle, like the next few, serve no real purpose, he says. “What would the candidates do if they weren't debating so much? They'd campaign more . . . And being a good campaigner is important.”
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