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Takeaways From Debate Night: Abortion, Crime, and Inflation Dominate Clashes in Four States

Tuesday night was debate night in the United States. Candidates in some of the country’s tightest races took the stage barely two weeks before Election Day, with early and mail voting already underway in several areas. The main event was a discussion between Democratic Lt. Gov.

Conclusions From The Night of Debate: Abortion, Crime, And Inflation Predominate Conflicts In Four States

John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz, the doctor and TV host, in the fiercely contested Pennsylvania Senate election. Candidates for governor of Michigan, where Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is seeking for reelection against Republican Tudor Dixon, met, as did candidates for governor of New York and senator of Colorado.

The characters differ by state, but each discussion featured candidates arguing about the economy and inflation, as well as abortion rights and American energy. The following are the key takeaways from Tuesday’s debates: Fetterman’s health is the only point of contention.

In Tuesday’s debate, Fetterman, who suffered a stroke in May, used live captioning as an accommodation. The captioning system was visible to both candidates, according to the opening to the debate. “I might miss some words during this discussion, mush two sentences together,” Fetterman stated at the start of the debate, and he did on occasion.

Later in the discussion, moderators pressured Fetterman to vow to share his “complete medical records,” following the publication of a letter from his doctor stating that he was healing and able to run for office. “My doctor feels I am fit to serve,” the Democrat said instead of committing.

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According to Oz’s campaign, Fetterman is not in good enough health to serve as a senator. He mostly avoided bringing up his opponent’s medical condition on stage, but he did appear to make a joke at Fetterman’s expense at one point, stating he “wasn’t clear enough for you to comprehend this” during a discussion about the cost of higher education.

The moderators pressed Oz on abortion throughout the discussion, and he said it should be left up to the states. “I don’t want the federal government engaged in any of this,” Oz stated. “I want women, doctors, local political leaders — allowing the democracy that has always allowed our country to prosper to put forward the greatest ideas so states may decide for themselves.”

Moderators also grilled Fetterman on whether he supported fracking, citing comments from a 2018 interview opposing fracking as well as more recent comments suggesting he did. When pressed, Fetterman answered, “I do support fracking,” pausing. “I don’t — I believe in fracking.”

Takeaways From Debate Night Abortion, Crime, and Inflation Dominate Clashes in Four States

Oz also promised to back former President Donald Trump if he runs for president again in 2024, although he said he wasn’t paying attention to the former president’s legal woes. In response, Fetterman stated that if President Joe Biden runs for reelection, he will support him.

If Fetterman can keep Oz at bay, Democrats’ chances of retaining their Senate majority will improve significantly. A victory in Pennsylvania would give Republicans more wriggle room as numerous Democratic incumbents face tough reelection battles.

The Abortion Question Has Sparked A Contest For Michigan Governor

The discussion in Michigan over the state’s abortion ballot initiative, which would codify the right to an abortion in the state constitution, began on Tuesday. The ballot initiative has sparked great interest in the state, while a judicial battle over a 1931 state statute prohibiting abortion is still underway. State courts are presently blocking the implementation of the bill.

“The governor is extremely important in this,” Whitmer said, blasting Dixon for supporting a near-total abortion prohibition. “The right to choose reproductive options is critical for women of all ages and from all areas of life.”

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