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MPT/WBAL to invite Moore, Cox for gubernatorial debate

Using its own candidate research and the Goucher College Poll published Sept. 19 as criteria for participation, Maryland Public Television (MPT) established that the MPT/WBAL-TV Maryland general election gubernatorial debate airing Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. will consist of Democratic Party candidate Wes Moore and Republican Party candidate Dan Cox.

Gubernatorial candidates Democrat Wes Moore, left, and Republican Dan Cox.

Both gubernatorial candidates meet the criteria for participation outlined in MPT’s editorial guidelines found at mpt.org/about/editorialpolicies/. Included in these criteria, a candidate must demonstrate significant voter interest and support. Polls are a key measure of voter interest. A candidate who receives at least 10% of voter support in an established, reliable, nonpartisan general election poll is considered a significant candidate.

The Goucher College Poll surveyed 1,008 Maryland residents in September from which 748 likely voters were identified. Among the topics in the poll, likely voters were asked for their candidate preferences in the upcoming statewide general election contents.  The poll was funded and co-sponsored by the Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics at Goucher College, The Baltimore Banner, and WYPR.

In the content for governor, 53% of respondents said they plan to vote for the Democratic nominee, Wes Moore and 31% said they would vote for Republican nominee Dan Cox. Libertarian Party candidate David Lashar received 4% support in the poll and Green Party candidate Nancy Wallace garnered 2% support.

Should another established, reliable, nonpartisan statewide poll be published with findings that show another gubernatorial candidate having 10% or more support of respondents, this candidate will be invited to the debate stage. These poll findings must be published 48 hours or more before the debate takes place to enable MPT to facilitate additional candidate participation.

Gubernatorial candidates on the ballot but not currently slated to be on the debate stage have appeared or will soon appear on MPT’s weekly “State Circle” program, which is broadcast and streamed live on Fridays at 7 p.m.

David Harding, Working Class Party candidate for governor, appeared in a nearly 10-minute “Ask the Candidate” segment, which aired on Sept. 16 and is viewable on MPT’s website.

Lashar appeared in a similar 10-minute “Ask the Candidate” segment on Sept. 23. The interview is viewable on MPT’s website.

Wallace is also being interviewed for an “Ask the Candidate” segment, scheduled to air Sept. 30.