Despite strong poll numbers, Governor Ted Kulongoski is bucking conventional wisdom and has agreed to debate Ron Saxton four more times. (They've already debated once already.)
Over at Loaded Orygun, they've got an analysis:
Pretty ballsy, but possibly also pretty smart. In a race where both candidates are relatively well known, the risk that voters will be introduced to the challenger and form a favorable first impression is lessened. Kulo's people also may be betting that some of Saxton's proposals are likelier to hurt him than help him, such as his prior suggestion to fire all state workers and rehire them as a way to "reform" PERS, or yesterday's idea to let Portland-area school kids choose any school in the region regardless of residency.
But one often runs into danger trying to worry about the other guy. The best reason for agreeing to five debates, may be that what holds Kulongoski back from greater and stronger popularity is the perception that he's been a cipher in his first term. By showing up to debate so many times, he can feed the idea that he is in fact engaged, does have a plan, and isn't hiding out at Mahonia Hall.
They've also got the schedule of debates. Check it out and discuss over there.
Aug. 23, 2006 | | elsewhere.Posted in