Front-runner Richard M. Daley, fearing his two opponents would gang up on him, skipped the only televised debate of the Chicago mayoral campaign, forcing his rivals into a surprisingly bitter battle between themselves. The two underdogs, third-party candidate Timothy C. Evans and Republican nominee Edward R. Vrdolyak, had been expected to devote much of the hourlong debate to mauling Daley for refusing to appear with them. Instead, they spent most of it attacking one another, largely ignoring Democratic nominee Daley. The unanticipated turn of events played into the hands of States Atty. Daley, who holds a comfortable lead in the polls with less than two weeks to go before the April 4 general election.