The new Marist Poll (WSJ/NBC) shows that voters overwhelmingly (78%) want all the candidates on the ballot included in debates. Two-thirds of the voters want two (42%) or more (25%) debates. Almost half (45%) of the voters said open debates would determine how they would vote. Over half (52%) of Cuomo's voters said they may decide to vote for someone else.
"Voters are not satisfied with the two choices they hear about from paid ads and the news. They want open debates where all the candidates have the opportunity to lay out their vision of how to improve our state. It is time for Cuomo and Astorino to agree to open debates," said Hawkins.
Hawkins is the one candidate who continues to rise in the polls, now pulling 9% statewide. Where Hawkins is known best, in his home town of Syracuse, a quarter of the voters plan to support him on election day.
Hawkins said it is time for the media to embrace the voters' desire for debates with all the candidates on the ballot. Hawkins did say that media outlets have begun to invite him to participate in debates. Several editorial boards have called for his inclusion.
"The media's mantra that the open debate for Governor four years ago was a circus is more accurately a description of some reporters' coverage. Voters on the other hand appreciated the opportunity to hear what the candidates had to say," noted Hawkins.
The poll crosstabs are at http://bit.ly/1xevIvH
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