U.S. Sen. Mark Udall is refusing to participate in a live debate in his home state’s capital.
The Democratic incumbent is running in one of the most contentious races this fall, but decided to skip on free air time at CBS 4.
Denver’s CBS affiliate has a long history of hosting live debates for candidates for U.S. Senate. This is the first time in four decades the station won’t be airing an “open and honest” debate to help Colorado’s voters decide the election.
Udall committed to four debates before the November election, while Cory Gardner, his Republican opponent, committed to 16.
Democratic strategist Penfield Tate said Udall’s refusal to participate in the major network’s debate could create backlash from voters.
“I think it will cause many a voter to ask why – why didn’t you go on tv and do the live debate,” Tate said. “This could be one of the cuts that combined with others, could be harmful.”
A new Denver Post poll Friday has Udall up four points over Gardner, but voters are still split on which candidate would be “most trustworthy.” Can’t see Udall ducking Gardner helps voters out with that decision.