Why Won’t Governor Nixon Participate In A 2nd Debate

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WEST ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO. (KTVI) – Two weeks before Election Day, Governor Jay Nixon was visiting a west St. Louis County farm on official business.

He was awarding W. Stemme Farms an agricultural award for their four generations of working the same land.

After the ceremony we asked the governor why he has not agreed to any additional debates, following last month's debate in Columbia, Missouri.

"We're out in the state making sure we can communicate where the state needs to go in the future," said Nixon.  "I think we'll continue to do that and meet directly with folks around the state."

Republican challenger Dave Spence requested that Nixon's campaign agree to five additional debates, including one that would be moderated by FOX 2.

"I'd suggest similar ground rules to those that we agreed to for the MPA (Missouri Press Association) debate," wrote Spence in a letter sent to the governor's campaign manager.

We asked Spence why he felt the debates were so important.

"I've got a plan to get Missouri back to work," said Spence. "I'd like to explain that to the voters of Missouri and have them make up their minds."

It's not unusual for candidates trailing in the polls to request more debates.  One recent poll shows Nixon ahead (click here for poll data).

Spence has been crisscrossing the state in the final days of the campaign to try and close that gap.

"We're doing an average of eight to nine stops a day.  We're averaging around 1,700 to 2,000 miles a week," said Spence.  "We are hustling like heck and talking to everybody who wants to talk to us."

Nixon was asked if he would consider using some of his campaign money to help other Democrats whose races are perceived to be tighter than his.

"At moments like this I keep my thoughts to myself," Nixon said.  He did not elaborate.