There are few CD-6 debates on the calendar right now, but it is not for a lack of trying. In a very unorthodox move for someone challenging a sitting U.S. Congressman, 6th District Democratic nominee Morgan Carroll declined to participate in a debate hosted by the Denver Post.
This highly unusual on a number of levels. Most importantly, challengers are traditionally eager for any opportunity to to challenge the incumbent in open-format, high-profile debate settings. The Denver Post has routinely hosted debates for the most high-profile races in Colorado, including U.S. Senate and the governorship. And, in spite of diminishing readership levels, the Denver Post is still the most widely read and distributed newspaper in Colorado, and probably the entire Rocky Mountain region – you don’t want to ignore those guys.
To decline a debate opportunity similar to what the Denver Post offered is a sign of serious weakness. What is Carroll trying to hide? Is she unprepared to challenge Coffman on the issues? Is she afraid that her hard-left values would be off-putting to the people in CD-6? Is she afraid of committing some sort of gaffe that would sink her chances?
This weakness has not gone unnoticed by the Coffman camp of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Zach Hunter, NRCC spokesman, had this to say about Carroll’s strange tack: “By declining to participate in the Denver Post’s debate, Morgan Carroll has not only insulted the largest paper in Colorado, but also the 6th District voters that deserve to hear directly from Carroll herself before Election Day. If Carroll is too afraid to defend her extreme record in public, then she should just admit now that she will not debate and save everyone the trouble of parsing her political doublespeak as she painfully tries to explain away her sudden shyness.”
For whatever reason, Carroll’s decision to avoid the Denver Post debate is one that indicates deep flaws in her campaign and in Carroll as a candidate. Almost any other candidate in her shoes would not just accept this debate, but actively seek additional debate opportunities.