DETROIT – Michigan is gearing up for a very important governor’s race between republican candidate Rick Snyder and democratic candidate Virg Bernero this November. Candidates are new to the majority of Michiganders, Rick Snyder has never held a public office and Virg Bernero has mostly been involved in local Lansing area politics.
Rick Snyder edged out his two other Republican candidates Pete Hoekstra and Mike Cox the Michigan Attorney General by over 10% in the primary elections earlier this month. Virg Bernero also won his democratic nomination, but by a wider 17 % margin over House Speaker Andy Dillon, but even in victory Bernero is still not a household name for the voters of Michigan.
With only roughly three months until voters go to the polls, the three scheduled gubernatorial debates will be crucial for connecting with Michigan voters. So crucial a pre-debate debate has broken out between the two campaigns over how many debates they should actual take part in.
Most elections have three debates; there are no hard rules on the matter, three debates is the typical standard both major parties have been accustomed too. Virg Bernero would like to add three more on top of that and possibly another two after those three if warranted. The Snyder campaign, who enjoys a more recognizable and likable candidate at this point for the Michigan voter, is still up over 12% according to the latest Rasmussen polls, and would rather just have just three debates.
Such a minor dispute between campaigns has gained some traction for both candidates across the state and voters are asking why Bernero wants so many debates, and what is Snyder hiding or afraid of to not take Bernero up on his invitation for further debates?
Perhaps the Snyder campaign knows the numerous campaign commercials due to invade public airwaves in the next couple months along with numerous debates could lead to an overkill and turn voters away. The populous and charismatic Bernero could be thinking the same thing, and could be counting on Snyder’s self-admitted nerdy persona to turn off voters watching them debate on television.
With the first agreed on debate by both parties still about a month away, the pre-debate issue has given us voters, our first real chance at getting to know the candidates a bit better. Now if only both candidates could agree to add one additional debate that is strictly a town hall debate where questions come from registered voters.
Such a hot box environment where the candidates will have to answer the voters number one questions would not only be productive for the candidates, but also will help shape the issues facing our next governor. To support adding a fourth debate, where registered voters ask the questions, call the Snyder campaign and the Bernero campaign, and express your desire for this type of town hall debate. Then perhaps we voters can get some meaningful information that we can use when voting for our next governor this November.