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Mitch Perry Report for 11.12.15 — Does the DNC want anyone to watch their debates?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Overnight returns give Fox Business Network’s prime-time GOP presidential debate showing a 8.9 rating among households and 13.5 million viewers in prime-time. That’s just shy of the 9.5 rating and 14 million viewers earned by CNBC’s recent coverage for the third. And while it’s not nearly as large as the gaudy ratings numbers that Fox and CNN reaped this summer (24 million and 23 million. respectively), it should be noted that the Fox Business Network is in a lot less homes.

Say what you will, but the debates have been great advertisements for the GOP brand.

And now to the Democrats, who seem deliberately like they’re trying to reach the smallest audiences possible, leading credence to the rumors that the whole thing has been set up by Debbie Wasserman Schultz to make it as easy as possible for Hillary Clinton to ease to the nomination with little rancor.

Last week, the three Dems running participated in a forum from South Carolina hosted by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on a Friday night. And the second official debate takes place this Saturday night (?) on CBS from 9-11 p.m.

Yes, on a Saturday night, with college football and a U2 live broadcast aired on HBO as competition. And oh yeah, the fact that it’s Saturday night, where lots of folks are out and about and nowhere near a television set.

The next Democrat debate after this one? The Saturday night before Christmas.

Whatever the reasoning is behind this, it appears as if the Democrats look like they don’t want anybody to watch their debates.

While this could lead to renewed criticism over how Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has handled this whole debate scheduling situation, the cries from the likes of Martin O’Malley to have more debates has died down substantially since the Dems finally debated in Las Vegas last month.

The media isn’t letting DWS off completely, yet. Time reported last week that three of the four most recent DNC chairs absolutely denied her claims that she had consulted with them regarding the primary debate schedule. DWS has emphasized that it was necessary to limit the schedule to six debates to prevent candidates from repeated “distractions” on the campaign trail. There were more than 20 during the epic Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton standoff in 2007-2008.

In other news.

On Veterans Day, Tampa and Hillsborough County officials unveiled Operation: Reveille 2.0.

Jim Norman fans were touting that the former Hillsborough County Commissioner has such support from the community that he’d raise $100,000 upon immediately entering the District 6 countywide race. They were sort of right — it just took two months to happen.

Democrats and reporters share their thoughts on the GOP presidential debate Tuesday night in Milwaukee.

We personally had never heard of Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s thoughts about the Tampa Bay Express toll lanes project. Until yesterday.

Tuesday night the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization heard from the citizenry who will be most affected by the TBX. Again, they called on the project to be shut down.

GOP Senate candidate Carlos Lopez-Cantera unveiled no less than 9 Central Florida state representatives who are backing his candidacy.

And Bob Dole endorsed Jeb Bush, and will work on his campaign.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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