Ohioans want candidates to debate. But will it hurt them if they duck?

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Ohioans overwhelmingly want candidates for the state’s top political posts to face off in one-on-one debates, according to a new USA TODAY Network/Suffolk University poll.

About 84% of likely Ohio voters said candidates for Ohio governor and U.S. Senate should debate each other. Only 10% said they should not debate, according to the new poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Strong support for debates spanned across age, gender and political party, according to the new poll.

U.S. Senate hopefuls J.D. Vance and Tim Ryan are expected to debate, but they haven’t yet agreed to the same time and place.

In contrast, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has all but said he won’t debate Democratic challenger Nan Whaley, a former Dayton mayor.

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