Debates haven’t gone so well for some of the Republican senators facing tough challenges this year—see Ernst, Joni—and one Republican who isn’t supposed to have a hard time has decided not to give herself the chance to screw up. Mississippi’s Cindy Hyde-Smith is refusing to debate Democrat Mike Espy.
She’s just flatly blowing it off, saying, “To be honest with you, the debate about debates, that is something that losing candidates and reporters care about.” As Espy pointed out in response, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently debated Amy McGrath. Joni Ernst may regret it, but she did debate Theresa Greenfield. Hyde-Smith’s contempt for the very idea of letting voters see her head-to-head with her challenger is not universal even among Republicans.