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Monday, October 29, 2012

Senator Scott Brown Pulls Out of Debate

BOSTON - Senator Scott P. Brown's campaign announced Monday afternoon that he would not participate in his fourth and final debate with Elizabeth Warren, his Democratic challenger, on Tuesday night, citing Hurricane Sandy.

“It is simply not appropriate to go forward with a political debate when a disaster strikes,” Colin Reed, a spokesman for Mr. Brown, said in a statement.

The announcement came with little notice to the debate sponsors, a consortium of Massachusetts media outlets.

The Warren campaign subsequently issued a statement saying that Ms. Warren agreed that safety was paramount and that the debate should not be held.

A poll in The Boston Globe on Monday showed Mr. Brown, above, in a dead heat with Ms. Warren, a positive turn of events for the Republican, who had been trailing in most recent polls.

Still, some political experts said Mr. Brown's pullout seemed risky.

“He appears to be slightly down in this race and he could use a big debate to change the dynamic,” said Rob Gray, a Republican consultant not involved in the race. “We're not talking about an incumbent who is up by 10 points; we're talking about a death match where you need to do everything you can to beat the other candidate.”