Something’s missing from some of 2010’s biggest races: candidates. This year a ton of candidates, most of them Republicans, have chosen to almost completely avoid the public and media, Politico observes. They’re not holding events, or not publicizing it when they do, and refusing to debate or give interviews—with the notable exception of Fox News appearances. The calculation is simple: They’d rather endure process stories about their aversion to cameras than risk a major gaffe.
Colorado Senate hopeful Ken Buck, for example, went nine days without a single public appearance, admitting he feared the “trackers” at his rallies. Rand Paul now makes reporters submit questions in advance, and Christine O’Donnell has been so evasive that she recently issued a statement denying that she was in hiding. “It’s unprecedented here,” says one journalist in Nevada, where both Sharron Angle and Harry Reid are MIA. “Two candidates, each prone to verbal mishaps, being shielded as much as possible from the press.”