September 30: Out of Style

Empty Debate Podium

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Top Story

1. Political Debates Are Going Out of Style

Katie Hobbs is the Democratic nominee for governor in Arizona. Once it became clear she will not debate her GOP opponent Kari Lake, the Republican Governors Association had some choice words for her. “Bawk, bawk, bawk…” RGA spokesman Will Reinert said in a news release.

Calling someone chicken might be enough to start a fight in seventh grade, but it’s not enough to convince a politician to debate. Around the country, numerous candidates for governor and other offices have decided that participating in debates is not in their own best interest. At this point, it looks like there won’t be any debates in Ohio’s governor race, or in the New York governor race, or Pennsylvania, or California, or … you get the idea. In some other states that have traditionally held three or more debates, such as Iowa and Wisconsin, this year there will only be one.” (Governing)


Why We’re Seeing Fewer Debates in a Lot of 2022 Midterm Races. “According to a Politico analysis, there are fewer general election debates scheduled in U.S. Senate races this year than in past midterm election cycles. We’ll talk to an expert in political communication about why, and what we lose when candidates start debating less.” (Wisconsin Public Radio)

This Midterm Season, The Role of the Debate Has Changed. “Fall means crunching leaves, college football, pumpkin spice and sweater weather. In election years, it’s always meant something else as well — the arrival of debate season. This year, though, things are a little different.” (NPR)



2. Gubernatorial Races in PA, Michigan Tip In Democrats’ Favor

“A nonpartisan election analysis site is tipping pivotal gubernatorial races in Pennsylvania and Michigan further in favor of Democrats.

A Cook Political Report update changed the prediction of the two races from “lean Democrat” to “likely Democrat.” Analyst Jessica Taylor stressed in a blog post that both races are still expected to be toss-ups but that Republicans have faced a precipitous decline in ratings throughout, more than any other current race. The two elections have pitted two Trump-endorsed conservatives, state Sen. Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania and conservative commentator Tudor Dixon in Michigan, against Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, respectively.” (Washington Examiner)


Fetterman’s Lead Shrinks as Shapiro’s Lead Expands. “The latest Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey of Pennsylvania voters finds Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman with a two point lead over Mehmet Oz, 45% to 43% in the race for US Senate” (Emerson College)

Only Group Running Anti-Shapiro Ads Bows Out. “Pile this onto the heap of recent bad news for Doug Mastriano — the only group funding television ads to help the Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania just walked away.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)



3. PA Counties Can Help Voters Fix Problems With Their Mail Ballots, State Court Rules

“A state judge cleared the way Thursday for Pennsylvania counties to continue helping voters correct small mistakes on their submitted mail ballots, saying nothing in the law prohibits the practice.

The decision was a loss, at least temporarily, for Republicans who have tried in recent years to stop local elections officials from offering voters the opportunity to fix errors like missing signatures that would otherwise cause their ballots to be thrown out.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


Everything You Need to Know About Requesting, Filling Out, and Returning Your Mail Ballot. “The mail voting process can be confusing and has been made even more so by legal challenges, disinformation undermining public faith in elections, and efforts by many Republican lawmakers to prohibit its use.” (Spotlight PA)


Around the Commonwealth

Candidates For PA Governor, Senator, Detail Energy Policies at Shale Conference. “The two major party candidates for Pennsylvania governor and the Republican nominee for the commonwealth’s open U.S. Senate seat addressed oil and gas executives Thursday at the Shale Insight conference at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie.” (Erie Times-News)

Former Governor Ridge Endorses Fellow Republican Oz For PA Senate Seat. “Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge endorsed Republican Mehmet Oz for U.S. Senate on Thursday, giving the cardiothoracic surgeon and TV celebrity the stamp of approval from a longtime mainstay of the GOP’s establishment.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

PA House Preview: Philadelphia. “We continue our series on the candidates for the Pennsylvania State House with a look at Philadelphia.” (PoliticsPA)

PoliticsPA Average of Polls. “Here are the moving averages for polls for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat and governor’s mansion.” (PoliticsPA)

Krasner Impeachment Hearings Kick Off, With Witnesses – Many on Videotape – Also Placing Blame on Mayor and Police Commissioner. “The Pa. House panel deciding whether to impeach District Attorney Larry Krasner began public hearings Thursday at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.” (Billy Penn)

PA’s Local Pension Funds Mostly Well-Funded, In Good Shape. “Even as a pandemic drove down stock returns and caused fluctuations in the economy, Pennsylvania’s city pensions stayed in relatively good shape.” (The Center Square)



  • resident Biden and Congress Must Put Partisanship Aside to Protect PA Jobs. (PennLive)
  • The Republican Advantage: It’s Easier To Be Against Things, Than For Them. (Michael Friedman)
  • Being Civil is a Lost Art – We Need to Get Way Better at It, Especially in Politics. (Frank Pizzoli)
  • Fetterman’s Everyman Act Conceals a Radical Policy Agenda. (Thom Nickels)
  • The Case of the Missing Bills. (Debra Schiff)
  • Signs of Public Support Waning in Trump Country. (Chris Kelly)
  • Improve PA Elections By Expediting Ballot Work. (York Dispatch)
  • The GOP Cavalry Arrives. (Washington Free Beacon)


  • When Should The Special Elections For The PA House Be Held?

    • May 16, 2023 (Primary Day) (51%)
    • March, 2023 (47%)
    • April, 2023 (2%)

    Total Voters: 173

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