The first and only vice presidential debate occurred on Tuesday night between Democratic nominee Tim Kaine and Republican nominee Mike Pence. Between the nominees numerous interruptions of the other and clashes and a debate which focused on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump rather then the men on stage, how did the nominees perform?
First, the record of each VP nominee on properly representing the views of their own ticket and those of their opponents was mixed. Each nominee flubbed the facts a bit. Second, they appear to not agree on anything, fairly predictable as this debate played out as a contention of their respective running mates, and this made for terrific social media. However, at numerous times during the debate Pence was unable/unwilling to defend Donald Trump, which many took as one of Pence’s strong points. Conversely, Kaine’s constant interruptions to question Pence about Trump and Kaine’s seemingly canned answers in support of Hillary Clinton turned off many viewers. Third, the American electorate doesn’t care and, relative to the presidential debates, don’t watch the VP debate. And VP nominees really don’t matter electorally so in effect who “won” this debate doesn’t matter.
That said, following the conclusion of the debate who does early opinion believe won? Despite a late rally by Tim Kaine expert opinion and popular opinion is congealing around Mike Pence as the winner of the debate due to his relative calm in the face of interruptions and his willingness to express opinions independent of Donald Trump.
This is good news for the GOP as they declared Pence the victor 90 minutes prior to the start of the debate.