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Mid-day Update

Mid-day Extra: Are presidential debates free advertising?

Jeremy Hobson Nov 23, 2011

Last night’s Republican presidential debate was the 11th this year, which is a high number — at least for this point in the election cycle.

An article in suggests one of the reasons that we keep hearing about lead changes  among the candidates and is because of the number of debates. Specifically because the flavor of the month doesn’t need to be the one raising the most money — and spending it on commercials.

In today’s Mid-day Extra, we ask: What does the ease of debating on TV mean for this year’s presidential candidates?

For answers, we went to Michael Malbin, SUNY professor and executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute. Good morning.

He says that while it might seem like having so many candidates debate so often might get old, it still beats the alternative: not having a relatively cheap platform for outsider candidates to get their ideas into the public realm.

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