Campaigns, experts weigh in on future of debates

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – While the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden did little to affect polling in battleground states like Wisconsin, both campaigns and experts believe there should be more debates, even as the future of ones previously planned are in flux.

“We absolutely need more debates, we absolutely need to hold conversations we need to hold Joe Biden accountable,” RNC Senior Communications Advisor for Black Media Affairs Paris Dennard told CBS 58. “For months and months and months he has sat in his basement in quarantine doing absolutely nothing. We are waiting to hear and hold him accountable on his record.”

The Biden campaign is also ready for more debates.

“I certainly think that the debates should be held,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Biden campaign surrogate, said in an interview. “Joe Biden stands prepared to face the American people, to talk and listen to the American people, especially with the format that was planned for this second debate which was really a town hall style questioning from voters.”

The latest Marquette University Law School Poll released on Oct. 7 showed Biden ahead 46-41 over Trump, but within the margin of error and there are still 8 percent of voters who say they are undecided. It’s that sector of voters that experts believe Trump can still reach in another debate.

“Generally, the person who thinks that they’re behind, wants to maximize the number of exposures in debate and the person who’s ahead wants to minimize the number,” Mordecai Lee, a professor emeritus at UW-Milwaukee said. “If one were advising President Trump, one would say, do the debate, and go for those Wisconsin voters […] given that Wisconsin is going to decide the election, that he should go into the debate and talk to Wisconsin.”

Both campaigns say they plan on continuing a heavy presence in Wisconsin with less than a month to go until Election Day.

Vice President Mike Pence is set to travel to Waukesha on Oct. 13 with Eric Trump making stops in the state Oct. 12 in Milton and Menomonee Falls.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Sen. Amy Klobuchar will visit a farm in western Wisconsin to discuss Biden’s plan for the rural economy. Former second lady Dr. Jill Biden will hold a virtual campaign event focused on Milwaukee and Joe Biden’s economic plan on Saturday, Oct. 10.

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