With all the lead-up in the press about the vice presidential face-off between Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who’s Donald Trump’s mate, and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, on the ticket with Hillary Clinton, you’d think Americans would have a strong view of how they stood on either candidate.
But they don’t—at least they didn’t until last night.
In fact, polls show that voters really needed the Vice Presidential debate to get to know their candidates:
“According to the HuffPost Pollster favorable rating chart, Pence has a net positive rating of 6 percent, with a 37/31 percent favorable/unfavorable score. A significant number of voters ― 32 percent― are undecided on how they feel about him,” the Huffington Post reported.
Kaine, meanwhile, suffers under similar tepid response.
As the Huffington Post reported: “Polls show Kaine with a net favorable rating of just over 1 percent. His favorable/unfavorable rating sits at about 32/30 percent.”
Kaine does have one distinct advantage over Pence when it comes to favorability among votes: His home state of Virginia likes him more than Pence’s home state of Indiana, it seems.
A Morning Consult poll of senatorial approval ratings found 54 percent of Virginians gave thumbs-up to Kaine. That same poll for governors, however, found only 45 percent of Indiana voters approved of Pence.
In the end, however, numbers for the vice presidential candidates might not even weigh much in the overall race to the White House.
As Huffington Post wrote: “This all begs the question if VP debates even matter. Vice presidential debates rarely attract high viewership, with the exception of the Joe Biden and Sarah Palin one in 2008. It’s likely that more people will form an opinion of both candidates after the debate, but studies show that VP debates rarely move the needle of an election.”
All that said, the debate was far more interesting and engaging than most expected. The surprising consensus was that Pence had far more composure, gravitas and better answers to the questions, while Kaine revealed himself to be only one thing: Hillary’s attack dog. He interrupted Pence and the moderator constantly and failed to answer simple questions on multiple occasions, just to take more time to attack Trump.
Hopefully Americans can see some clear numbers on how views have shifted on these candidates in the coming days, and how, if at all, their heated debate affected the presidential race.
Source: Huffington Post