Op-ed: The Iowa soybean incident proves that debates matter

When Iowa’s Republican Senator Joni Ernst and Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield met for their second debate last week, one agriculture question stole the show. Greenfield was asked the break-even price for a bushel of corn for an Iowa farmer, and she nailed it to the penny. But when Ernst was asked the break-even price for soybeans, she had no idea. In an op-ed in The Washington Post, Art Cullen, editor of Iowa’s The Storm Lake Times, argues that debates are more than just political theater: They can have consequences. And, he says, the soybean moment proves it. “The price of soybeans isn’t just a number to know; it sits at the center of a knotty farm-belt fiasco,” writes Cullen. The public would likely never know Ernst’s blind spot were she to have declined the debate, like our current president recently did.

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