Steve Gill: GOP Gubernatorial Primary Debate Cancellation May Be Due To Perceived Lack of Effectiveness

Steve Gill

A top political analyst says he is not surprised that three of the candidates running in the Tennessee Republican gubernatorial primary dropped out of the last statewide televised debate scheduled for this weekend in Knoxville.

The cancellation comes after Randy Boyd, Beth Harwell and Diane Black dropped out, WKRN said.

“My assessment is that I would guess is the debate was not going to move as many votes as [the campaigns] targeting where they need to move them,” Steve Gill, political editor of The Tennessee Star, told WKRN.

An advisor to the Bill Lee campaign said he would be there regardless and if his opponents did not show, he would hold a rally at the debate site, WVLT said.

Campaigns may not have believed a debate so close to Election Day on Aug. 2 and well into early voting would be effective, Gill said. The possibility of candidates attacking one another in a debate, like some have in recent advertising, may have been another factor, Gill said.

“Who gets the benefit of that?” Gill told WKRN. “Because the attacker is going to lose a few points and the person you are attacking is going to lose a few points — where do they go? And in these debates that is the big question mark as well. If I do well in the debate, who else moves up with me?”

The race is close between Black and Boyd, with Lee staying close by and Harwell still hanging on, Gill said.

“People are going to be voting on who they like and that impression they get, that image they portray,” Gill said. “That dictates a lot more at this point than where they are on the issues because most of them are relatively close on the issues and they are trying to create distinctions that may not be as big as their television ads portray.”

Wathc the full segment:







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9 Thoughts to “Steve Gill: GOP Gubernatorial Primary Debate Cancellation May Be Due To Perceived Lack of Effectiveness”

  1. […] Boyd set off a chain reaction when he cancelled Sunday night’s GOP gubernatorial candidate primary debate in Knoxville. Now, one reporter says […]

  2. […] The event was cancelled when the other three candidates–Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd, Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-06), and Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R-Nashville)–said they would not be attending. […]

  3. […] The event was cancelled when the other three candidates–Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd, Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-06), and Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R-Nashville)–said they would not be attending. […]

  4. JustLearning

    Stuart is definitely entitled to play his outdated and shallow version of horse race betting which is nothing more than his odds in a race based on his preferred mix of metrics and data, but his major human flaw is he simply doesn’t factor character and the person as a worthwhile metric.
    That said, it is with great pleasure to say he will be equally as happy when Lee wins, so its a win – win. Its just too bad that his vote will end up in the coffer of the #2 spot, in my opinion, as he is wasting a lot of air trying to push #2 because of this dying dog mentality. Trump proved that it is dying – if not dead.
    But that being said, it is worth repeating and more to say there is a deeper developing movement here that citizens of this movement put a high value on judge of character AND as well as data and those people’s intelligence and passion for this movement to continue will show up on Aug 2 and beyond and dominate elections in the correct way. Diane will not win. Lee WILLbe the next governor, and everyone (including Stuart) will be happy. Maybe that will be the turning point for Stuart to see there is more than meets the eye besides this than his old school methodology. Maybe Trump in a second term will convince him? TBD. How many of these kind of “errors” in his judgement when the people speak will it take to convince people like him? Even at your age, Stuart, you are still welcome to hop on the bus!
    Well said Kevin. & Terry. I am fully share, and are expecting to contribute and see the realization of your forecast of: Bill Lee is going to win this race the same way Donald Trump won when the polls all said “no way”.

  5. Kevin

    My theory is that it’s not that the three can get more votes from other places, they know that all they can do is lose votes. Harwell is all done! Black and Boyd both struggle in public, unless it’s a scripted, set piece event! Both know that their true colors come out when the heat gets turned up. And all three know that their stars are fading!

    Only Bill Lee’s stock is trading higher, and they all know it! So for them it’s damage control and attack, attack, attack!

    1. Stuart I. Anderson

      Kevin either has a battery of pollsters in his employ or he is engaged in either dreaming, wishful thinking or deliberate misdirection. The day is late for me to once again go over the fact that Lee has absolutely no political record whatsoever from which to seek to occupy the top political job in this state. It’s almost laughable. Despite this fact, however, I would be perfectly willing to cast my vote for him if he was most likely to defeat Randy!. BUT HE ISN’T! Every poll I have seen indicates Diane Black is the most likely to defeat Randy! so under this circumstance it is she who should be the recipient of the votes of conservatives who are unifying in order to beat Boyd.

      By all means let’s keep monitoring the results of polls as they become available. By election day armed with the latest poll results hopefully as many conservatives as possible will forget the silly campaign slogans and their favorite alternatives to Randy! who simply can’t win in order to unify and cast the most strategically useful votes with the result that we have eight years of ANYBODY BUT BOYD.

      1. Terry

        Per Stuart: “By all means let’s keep monitoring the results of polls ..:

        Translated: “By all means don’t think for yourself, don’t examine the issues, don’t research the candidate’s background and make a value judgement as to their personal integrity. No, no – you might be mistaken, just let others (like Stuart, for example) do that for you.”

        No thanks. If that’s the strategy, why bother to vote at all? Switch over to the Democrats if all you’re going to do is go along with the crowd – that’s their signature characteristic. Or just stay home if all you’re going to do is let someone else decide for you. Maybe take the kids fishing or something.
        The Bill Lee campaign is gaining positive momentum and while I put little stock in polls, he is increasing his position daily, at the expense of the others. What’s saddest about this cancellation is that it would offer a debate among the leading GOP candidates – the three who dropped out obviously don”t want to debate issues – it’s probably true that they’d lose badly to Bill Lee. It’s equally obvious that he’s the only candidate that has enough respect for his fellow Tennesseans to offer them a reasoned debate on issues that will impact their lives.

        All of these candidates have a background, a record if you will. Boyd is a patent globalist who outsourced jobs to China rather than support Tennessee – a very long and public record of doing so. This globalist mindset is also why he is such an advocate for open borders – forget the campaign rhetoric, examine the record. LaRaza Randy indeed, or should that be in deed?

        DC Diane is a RINO swamp creature through and through – her voting record and public statements show a slavish devotion to the RNC and she engages in Alinskyite smear tactics rather than any meaningful dialogue. The Governor needs to be concerned with the people of Tennessee, not the will of DC nor the RNC. Party ideologues we don’t need.

        Beth Harwell has run a lackluster campaign at best – so that leaves Bill Lee.

        But the good news is: this isn’t just a choice of “who’s the last man standing?” His business career shows a devotion to the people who helped build his company – it’s been consistently ranked as one of the best places to work in the state. When he erred badly and got jammed up on a big job, he almost lost the family business and had to lay off half his people – not good. But he recognized his error, brought in the help he needed, and rebuilt the company in a more measured and conservative manner. One of the interview questions I used to pose for job applicants was “Tell me what was your worst career mistake and what did you do to correct it?” On that score, Bill Lee wins hands down. Moreover, he’s the only one that offers a road map (and concern) for how he wants all Tennesseans to prosper, not just the moneyed interests. He’s the only one taking on the issue of criminal recidivism and improving educational outcomes – he demonstrated that with devoting his time to mentoring an ex-offender and an at-risk youth, respectively. Per his account, it was that experience that drove his decision to run for office, to improve the lot of all Tennesseans.

        Anyway, that’s just my logic – your circumstances may dictate an entirely different choice – that’s why we’re a republic, not a democracy – the envy of the world really.

        1. Stuart I. Anderson

          We “bother to vote at all” because there are two fundamental choices before us. We can either choose Randy! Boyd who will be indifferent if not hostile to conservative policy initiatives for the next eight years just as his mentor Bill Haslam has been for the previous eight, or we can choose Black, Harwell or allegedly Lee who will be inclined to support those policies. That’s what this election is all about and to make it about anything else is to needlessly complicate matters with things that can’t be known or are irrelevant. Thus, for those of us who are conservatives our simple task is to find out as well as we can which of the latter three candidates is most likely to prevail over Randy!.

          I don’t know why you insist on over-thinking this thing. We have too many conservatives who don’t bother to vote because they think you have to do the research that you advocate before one can cast an educated vote. Please send them to me, it needn’t be that complicated

          1. Kevin

            Stuart is captive to the thinking of the people that would control him. Unfortunately it seems Steve Gill has the same illness. We have one very good candidate and three deeply flawed candidates. I am pretty sure the voters of Tennessee have this race figured our properly. That is now scaring the heck out of the three deeply flawed candidates. Bill Lee is going to win this race the same way Donald Trump won when the polls all said “no way”. This is not the earlier Kevin by the way who commented but a new voice with the same name. When Bill wins that will confirm polls mean nothing and that term limits are in force. Incumbents not welcome.