I’ve written from time to time about this year’s gubernatorial race in Virginia, where Republicans are well-positioned to reclaim control. Indeed, it’s been my understanding that the most worrisome obstacle to Republican Jerry Kilgore’s prospects may be the presence of a third candidate, “centrist” Republican Russell Potts.
In an unusual move, Democrat Tim Kaine has decided to debate Potts (Kilgore declined to participate). That debate will immediately follow a scheduled debate between Kaine and Kilgore. The Kilgore-Kaine debate will be hosted by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce in mid-September. The Chamber did not invite Potts pursuant to its long-standing policy of including only the major-party candidates.
John Behan at RedState speculates that Kaine may want to debate Potts because he thinks Potts is hurting him. I’m no expert on this race or on Virginia politics, but I would have said that Kaine sees the debate as a probable win-win, given his weak posiion. If Kaine does well, he gains. If Potts does well, Potts gains. If Potts gains at Kilgore’s expense, Kaine also gains. If he gains at Kaine’s expense (which seems less likely to me), all that happens is that Kilgore wins by a bigger margin than he’s heading for under the status quo.
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