After the Republican and Democratic campaigns failed to reach an agreement on a televised debate, voters in Nevada will not be able to vote between the major party candidates for U.S. Senate.
Both the Republican and Democratic campaigns for Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto slammed each other for failing to schedule a debate. Each campaign had received invitations from different Nevada media outlets to debate, but not the same.
“The senator was eager for debate and accepted three statewide discussions that, unfortunately, her opponent decided he would not participate in,” Cortez Masto spokesperson Josh Marcus Blank said to NBC News.
Laxalt claimed that Cortez Masto “hide” in a recent statement.
Laxalt stated that she accepted televised, the statewide discussion offers from two respected, neutral Nevada media outlets, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Nevada Newsmakers. “We hope Catherine Cortez Masto will come out of hiding and accept at least one offer.”
According to polls, Nevada is a tight race with Cortez Masto being one of the most vulnerable incumbent senators. The Senate currently has a 50-50 majority of Democrats, which is the narrowest possible. This means that even one loss in this election cycle could give control to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
In such an environment, televised debates can be high-risk and high reward. Candidates who are unable to defend their positions under pressure will face strong incentives not only to limit or avoid debate appearances but also for a strong debate performance.
Cortez Masto’s campaign received three invitations for debate. The first was to take place in Reno at KOLO-TV, in partnership with the League of Women Voters (LWV) and the Reno Gazette-Journal. After Laxalt’s campaign failed to respond to the invitation, that debate was canceled. He has also been invited to debate by Vegas PBS/Nevada Public Radio on Oct. 13 and KLAS-TV on Oct. 20.
Sinclair Broadcast Group and Nevada Newsmakers invited Laxalt to debate.
The candidates couldn’t agree on the same venue for the debate so there won’t be any debate before the election.
Other Senate candidates in crucial battleground races have either already debated or are scheduled for debate in the three weeks prior to the election.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) His Democratic opponent, Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor, will be facing him. Mandela Barnes will be facing him for the second consecutive time tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern. Livestreaming will be available for the debate.
Georgia’s Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democratic-Ga. Senator will face off against Herschel Walker in their first and only scheduled debate, Friday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. Eastern.
Ohio Senate candidates J.D. Vance (R), and Rep. Tim Ryan will be facing each other for the second time Monday, October 17, at 7 p.m. Eastern. At 8 p.m. Eastern, Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R), will face Evan McMullin, an independent challenger.
Colorado Senator Michael Bennet (D), and Joe O’Dea (Republican challenger) will take part in a 30-minute forum about mental health on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Then, they’ll debate again one week later on Tuesday, Oct. 25. A third and final debate is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 28.
Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman (D), and Republican Dr. Mehmet O will debate on Oct. 25 at 8 PM Eastern Time.
Senatorial candidates in Arizona and North Carolina have already been debated.