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UK Political Science professor says first gubernatorial debate basically a draw

Dr. Stephen Voss, a Political Science professor at the University of Kentucky, says neither gubernatorial candidate scored a knockout during their first debate Thursday.
University of Kentucky
Dr. Stephen Voss, a Political Science professor at the University of Kentucky, says neither gubernatorial candidate scored a knockout during their first debate Thursday.

Governor Andy Beshear and challenger Attorney General Daniel Cameron faced off for the first time in a debate in Western Kentucky Thursday. Cameron repeatedly linked Beshear to President Biden, while Beshear repeatedly told the audience of his administration’s achievements. Dr. Stephen Voss, a University of Kentucky political science professor, said the main goal for candidates in debates is to not administer self-inflicted wounds.

“I didn't really notice anything that's particularly likely to shoot either candidate in the foot. So in the sense the rule is do no harm, both candidates stayed within those boundaries.”

Voss said both candidates mostly achieved their goals – and neither threw a knockout punch. Voss said the governor tried to turn Cameron’s mentions of Biden in his favor.

“Beshear transferred that usual complaint about DC politicians being too focused on the big picture and used it here in our local race and arguing that Cameron's too focused on President Biden and the bigger issues of national politics.”

Voss said if Beshear wins reelection, politicians across the country will wonder what “special sauce” he used to triumph in a state former President Trump won twice. Voters will decide who will be Kentucky’s Governor Tuesday, November 7th.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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