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Do Debates Matter?

Paul Vernon
Associated Press

In this week's Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU Public Media, Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the latest gubernatorial debate and why you probably didn't watch it.

Listen to Snollygoster on the WOSU Public Media mobile app, on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. And make sure to leave a rating and review!

In this week's episode:
Did You See That Debate Last Night?

Richard Cordray and Mike DeWine met Monday for the third and final debate in their race to become Ohio's next governor.

The proceedings were largely polite and respectful, though Cordray seemed determined to grab headlines with a long list of well-rehearsed zingers. The two fought, as always, on issues like education, Issue 1, abortion and state funding.

Debates are highly controlled by campaigns who set the rules, which don't always lend themselves to the most entertaining television. Optimistic estimates indicate that less than 1 percent of the electorate tuned in this week. Even after three contentious debates, the governor race remains basically tied.

Is Issue 1 A Winner?

Despite the fact that many state organizations representing prosecutors, judges, law enforcement, coroners and others have come out against the measure that would reduce prison sentences for drug possession, polling suggests that the majority of voters support it.

Issue 1 does have its supporters, including Cordray, the ACLU and, most recently, the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus. But election experts say they don't expect Issue 1 to drive voter turnout in November, especially compared to the governor race and U.S. Senate contest.

John Kasich GPS

Our governor continued his regular appearances on the morning talk show circuit, this time on CNN’s State of the Union where he said the mid-terms are going to be good, very good, or just O.K. for Democrats.

If you have a question, comment, or idea for the show, please email us at snollygoster@wosu.org.

Mike Thompson spends much of his time correcting people who mispronounce the name of his hometown – Worcester, Massachusetts. Mike studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University when he was not running in circles – as a distance runner on the SU track team.
Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.
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