David Sanders, the Democratic nominee in Indiana’s 4th Congressional District, sent out a press release indicating that he and the Libertarian candidate, John Duncan, I believe, have agreed to a debate schedule. So far, Todd Rokita has apparently indicated a general desire to debate, has been invited, but has not been responsive to requests for specific debate times.
The debates are scheduled in Ellettsville at 7:30 PM on August 10 and Greenwood at 7:00 PM on August 24. It’s the same old dance, I suppose. Everyone agrees in principle that candidate debates are a healthy thing in a democracy. But, as a practical matter, a front runner does not have a great deal of incentive to debate. Mostly they have something to lose and not much to gain. Having secured the Republican nomination in the heavily Republican 4th District, Mr. Rokita probably isn’t feeling a lot of pressure to actually engage in a debate. This will always be the sort of calculus a front runner makes until voters punish a candidate for not debating or for dancing around the issue until agreeing at the last possible moment.