Our political insiders think Senator Orrin Hatch is ducking Dan Liljenquist in their primary match up, but they also think it's a very smart and savvy move by the Senator.
Hatch and Liljenquist will debate one time on KSL's Doug Wright show. Liljenquist has said he wants 8 debates prior to the election. Hatch has agreed to just the one.
Read on for our results and anonymous comments.
Sen. Orrin Hatch has agreed to debate Dan Liljenquist once on KSL radio. Liljenquist was asking for eight debates. In your opinion, do you think Hatch is being fair to Liljenquist, or is he avoiding debates?
|Republican insiders||Democratic insiders||UtahPolicy.com readers|
|Liljenquist and Hatch debated plenty of times prior to the convention||21%||9%||5%|
|Hatch is busy with his duties in Washington and one debate is fair||9%||11%||2%|
|Hatch should agree to more debates, one is not enough||19%||29%||30%|
|Hatch is ducking Liljenquist||51%||51%||63%|
Some anonymous comments:
"I think one debate is fair, given the short time before the primary election, as long as it's on TV during prime viewing hours. One debate on the radio will not reach enough people, and Hatch knows it."
"This will be the third debate between Senator Hatch and Dan. The call for more debates would appear to be an honest gesture, yet Dan has revealed his true motives in inadvertently admitting that he wants them to happen merely for the opportunity to disparage the Senator."
"Liljenquist is pushing the debates because he needs free earned media due to lack of fund raising. Let's be clear, Liljenquist is doing this for his best interest. Sen. Hatch doesn't have anything to gain from more debates, this is desperation on the part of the Liljenquist campaign."
"If Hatch has time to be a campaign surrogate for Romney he has time to debate for his own seat in the senate. The number of debates may not be as important as the place and time. They need to be in front of live audiences on weeknights, not on the radio in the middle of the day."
"The public deserves as many opportunities as possible to hear the views of the candidates. One debate would not be sufficient. Hatch has not made himself sufficiently available to the public; especially since this is a vote in June ."
"I worked in Washington DC as a Senate Page, so I know first hand that the Senate adjourns early on Fridays and convenes late on Mondays so that Senators have time to return to their home states to meet with their constituents. Debates have traditionally been the way for candidates to share their positions and reach out to the public. Stating that Hatch is busy with his duties is simply an excuse to avoid debating."
"No upside to Hatch debating Liljenquist; only downside. He will not change his position unless Liljenquist can make this an issue the public cares about, which is doubtful."
"Liljenquist is lucky Hatch is doing any debates."
"I don't think it will make much difference--nobody is listening in May and June anyway-but Hatch would look more open if he agreed to at least one more."
"Eight is too many--it's a primary election for heaven's sake. But one is not enough. Two to three debates would be fine."
"Hatch is in 'the catbird seat.' He doesn't want to risk anything at this point. It's called the power of incumbency."
"Liljenquist is frustrated because the only way he gets any attention is when Hatch brings the spotlight to him."
"Not that I blame him, but Hatch is just running out the clock. He got creamed in the other debates. Why he want to do it again?"
"The smart incumbent always tries to ignore the opponent."
"Hatch has nothing to gain, everything to lose as an incumbent and front runner. Suspect if tables were reversed, Dan would be use same strategy. Politics as usual."
"Hatch has nothing to gain adding more debates. Hatch has the name recognition, grass roots organization, money in the bank, and organization to move forward to the primary election. People have most likely already made up their mind if they are going to vote for Hatch or not. More debates only helps Liljenquist get exposure at little or no cost. So of course he wants all the debates he can get."
"Hatch is appropriately ducking and covering...there is zero benefit for him to debate Liljenquist and lack of debates doesn't make enough hay to start a grass roots fire."
"Hatch already did two debates with Liljenquist. This debate on Doug Wright will be the third. All debates are or will be available on the internet. Liljenquist should stop crying."
"Three debates (two before convention, one now) before a primary election is more than most challengers ever dream of getting. Liljenquist should be grateful he got three!"
"Does it really matter? This isn't new. The challenger always wants to debate the incumbent, and the incumbent wants use the proverbial 'Rose Garden' strategy. If Vern Romney had gone to Hawaii instead of debating Scott Matheson on TV, he probably would have been elected Governor. Who said politics was fair?"
"Hatch is playing it smart, plus he is the only one of the two that has a job at the moment. Stop your crying Dan."
"Where was Liljenquist all those time when the legislature refused floor debates on important issues opting instead for closed door negotiation? This is posturing by Liljenquist just trying to get some press. What percent of primary voters will watch the debate or even care about it?"
Respondents include -
Fred Adams, Stuart Adams, Jess Agraz, Scott Anderson, Patrice Arent, Bruce Baird, Tom Barberi, Heather Barney, Steve Barth, Jeff Bell, Tom Berggren, Mike Bertelsen, Ron Bigelow, Rob Bishop, Laura Black, Jim Bradley, Ralph Brown, Ken Bullock, Chris Bleak, Curt Bramble, Ralph Brown, Aaron Browning, Dave Buhler, Ken Bullock, Ric Cantrell, Maura Carabello, Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Kay Christensen, David Clark, Thomas Clay, Peter Corroon, Fred Cox, Lew Cramer, Gene Davis, Richard Davis, Brad Daw, Alan Dayton, Margaret Dayton, Mike Deaver, Brad, Dee, Joseph Demma, John Dougall, Randy Dryer, Donald Dunn, Becky Edwards, Scott Ericson, Jessica Fawson, Janice Fisher, Wendy Fisher, Lorie Fowlke, Ronald Fox, Adam Gardiner, Jordan Garn, Luke Garrott, Dave Gessel, Natalie Gochnour, Robert Grow, Karen Hale, David Hansen, Neil Hansen, Joe Hatch, Jeff Hartley, Deidre Henderson, Lyle Hillyard, Randy Horiuchi, Ben Horsley, Bruce Hough, Scott Howell, Miriam Hyde, Allison Isom, Eric Jergensen, Mike Jerman, Roger Johnson, Michael Jolley, Gordon Jones, Leslie Jones, Kirk Jowers, Brian King, Scott Konopasek, Chris Kyler, Fred Lampropoulos, Douglas Larson, David Litvack, Larry Lunt, Matt Lyon, Ben McAdams, Gayle McKeachnie, JT Martin, Jason Mathis, Karen Mayne, Derek Miller, Rob Miller, Ethan Millard, Brett Millburn, Karen Morgan, Mike Mower, Holly Mullen, Wayne Niederhauser, Mike Noel, Ralph Okerlund, James Olsen, Val Oveson, Scott Parson, Kelly Patterson, Frank Pignanelli, Jason Powers, Joe Pyrah, Mike Reberg, Jill Remington Love, Lauren Richards, Holly Richardson, Robin Riggs, James Roberts, Luz Robles, Ross Romero, Don Savage, Bryan Schott, Jay Seegmiller, Patrick Shea, Randy Shumway, Soren Simonsen, Jeremy Slaughter, Carol Spackman-Moss, Howard Stephenson, Mike Styler, Todd Taylor, Juliette Tennert, Gary Thorup, Kevin Van Tassell, Royce Van Tassel, Michael Waddoups, Chuck Warren, Christine Watkins, LaVarr Webb, Todd Weiler, Alan West, Ted Wilson, Carl Wimmer, Mike Winder, Thomas Wright
Results from the UtahPolicy.com/KSL Insider poll can be heard on KSL Radio every Friday and read on Utah Policy.com every Monday.