DES MOINES, Iowa — Governor Kim Reynolds did three last time, but just one this year. Senator Chuck Grassley did two last time, but just one this year. These two Iowa Republican incumbents are limiting their debates against their Democratic challengers in 2022, compared to recent years.

Governor Reynolds debated Fred Hubbell, a Des Moines businessman, three times during her re-election campaign in 2018. Senator Grassley debated Patty Judge, former Lt. governor, two times during his re-election campaign in 2016.

Both Reynolds and Grassley agreed to one debate in 2022 on Iowa PBS, which at least assures a statewide audience.

David Yepsen, a former longtime political columnist for the Des Moines Register, said the two incumbents don’t see enough upside in taking the risk of a live debate, especially since polls don’t show that either race is especially close. Although, Yepsen points out that Grassley’s race appears more competitive against Franken, according to the polls, than any election that he has had since winning the seat in 1980.

See Grassley’s previous margins of victories here.

More voters may be entrenched in their political loyalties, too, Yepsen believes. In other words, there may be fewer “swing voters” who can still get persuaded to change their minds while watching candidates debate.

This isn’t just an issue in Iowa, some candidates in prominent races in other parts of the country have also agreed to few, if any, debates.