Minimally I think the debates allow citizens a closer look than the candidates handlers want us to see, which is a good thing. I watch them all (the candidates that is, not just the reps and dems either), there's more out there than the media would have us ever believe.
The mainstream media goal is to LIMIT our choices, much as the entire 'Primary' system, along w/ the Electoral College. These are only in place to limit voter participation.
I'm not fond of the mainstream media either which is why other than the debates, I pretty much boycot them all.
However, if one has a computer and has access to BeeMaster there is little excuse for missing any of these debates unless its a personal choice.
Besides I think watching 'any' politician squirm (or not) when under pressure is also a good thing IMO.
Buddy Roemer is the 'only' Republican candidate not beholding to Big Money, hence the reason he has so little and is barely known, but the election is 11 months away, plenty of time to weed out the chafe.
He is slowly getting the word out and doesn't have to beg from those who control the majority of candidates. Can you tell I like Buddy? His message is as accessible as any of them out there.