CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and California’s Gavin Newsom are already going head to head regarding a debate that hasn’t started yet, and North Carolina has found itself in the middle of the tug-a-war. 

Recently Fox News host Sean Hannity took the Democrat Newsom by surprise when proposing a debate between him and Republican DeSantis. 

“I’ll say, Governor Newsom, Governor DeSantis. Economy is the only word I’m going to throw out there,” Hannity said to Newsom back on June 12. “You get a minute, then you get a minute. Next topic, right? And I’ll moderate it that way. And you have my word, I’ll moderate that way.”  

“I’m all in, count on it,” Newsom responded.  

Newsom didn’t back down after his interview on Fox. He sent Hannity and DeSantis an official debate proposal that included North Carolina as one of the three potential locations, alongside Nevada and Georgia. 

DeSantis responded on Hannity’s show shortly thereafter. 

“You heard Gavin make the offer? Your answer is?” Hannity asked.  

“Absolutely, I’m game,” DeSantis responded. “Let’s get it done. Just tell me when and where we’ll do it.”  

Though according to Team DeSantis’ response sent back to Newsom, his “Tell me when and where” comment isn’t actually the case for the Florida governor. They sent a counter-debate proposal requesting the event be in either Iowa or Georgia, and North Carolina was taken off the list. 

Mac McCorkle, a political science professor from Duke University, thought of a few reasons why DeSantis wrote the Tar Heel state off. 

“Iowa is a choice for all of them, because for the Republicans, it’s the earliest state, and Trump has been weak there,” McCorkle continued. “Ted Cruz actually won it in 2016. Georgia is another Republican state, in at least at the gubernatorial level, and Brian Kemp has no love for Trump. So in both cases, it seems like DeSantis was picking two states that are strongly Republican and not as strong as Trump.” 

DeSantis also requested the debate have a live audience, with equal support for both politicians, and instead of opening remarks, he wants each candidate to provide two-minute videos explaining their governing philosophy. 

McCorkle, who’s also a former political strategist, is perplexed by this. 

“For DeSantis to come back and kind of whine and say, ‘No, we need videos’. And he’s got Hannity as the moderator,” McCorkle said. “Again, not a good signal.” 

Both Team DeSantis and Team Newsom failed to respond to QCN requests for comment. 

If they do end up agreeing to each other’s terms for a debate, it could happen on Nov. 8.