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On-again, off-again debate off again

The on-again, off-again three-way debate among presidential candidates Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and John Anderson was off again late Wednesday when negotiations between representatives of these hopefuls broke down.

The League of Women Voters, which will sponsor a series of forums for the presidential candidates, announced it would plan a Sept. 21 debate without Presidential Carter.

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League president Ruth Hinerfeld annouonced after 2 1/2 hours of discussions that "the impasse remains . . . I regret that very deeply."

Messrs. Reagan and Anderson have indicated that they may participate in a two-way debate without President Carter.

Mrs. Hinerfeld said the Carter campaign rejected new proposals suggested by the Reagan campaign. Among them: a series of round robin, one-on-one debates among the three candidates followed by multi-candidate debates; or a multi-candidate debate at the outset followed by a Carter-Reagan faceoff and then a vice-presidential debate between Democrat Walter F. Mondale and Republican George Bush.

Some observers believe that if the President's refusal to participate in the three-way debate triggers strong negative reaction from the public, he may still reassess his position.

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