Tonight we saw the two vice presidential candidates US Senator Tim Kaine and Governor Mike Pence battle it out in their only face-to-face encounter of the election season. The two vice presidential candidates discussed everything from taxes, national security, Russia, immigration policy, defeating domestic and foreign terrorism and a load of other issues. Both candidates tried to make the case for their bosses and tried to defend their more questionable behaviors. Viewers that were polled after the debate believed that Pence won the debate by a margin of four points, beating Kaine 48 to 42 percent. But experts are doubtful that Pence’s performance will help Trump, with many observers noting that Pence missed many opportunities to defend his boss.
Though the vice presidential debates have been known for being more lively with memorable moments such as the confrontation between George H.W. Bush and the first woman vice presidential pick, former New York congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and when Alaska Governor Sarah Palin asked Delaware Senator Joe Biden if she could call him Joe before the debate in 2008. However, this debate is expected to be a lot more boring, to use a layman’s term, as both Tim Kaine and Mike Pence are arguably a lot more tame than their bosses Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump respectively.
The first presidential debate that took place last week drew a record-breaking 84 million views on television and another 88 million through live streams hosted on YouTube. The debate was highly anticipated in the months leading up to it and marks the first of three that will occur in the 34 days (as of this writing) before election day. The only vice presidential debate was not expected to draw nearly as big an audience as the first presidential debate. As Republican strategist Tucker Martin put it, “You’re essentially following Ali-Frazier a few days later with a nationally televised book club”.
The first debate gave Hillary Clinton a much-needed boost in the polls at a time where Donald Trump was creeping up on her both in national polls and polls in key battle-ground states due to her performance. Pre-debate Clinton was trailing Trump among men by over 20 points, she now trails by 4. Quinnipiac University post-debate polls show Clinton leading Trump in four of the five key battleground states, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Colorado where her lead is in the double digits and the crucial state of Florida where she has a four point lead over Trump. Tonight’s debate will likely not move the needle among undecided voters nearly as much, though Trump’s campaign could sure use Mike Pence’s temperament and focus on policy to their advantage.
With slightly over a month left before what could be the most pivotal election in the history of the United States, every single day counts. Clinton needs to continue her outreach to millennials and working-class men, voter blocs that she has struggled to gain traction in. Trump, however, needs to FOCUS on the issues and policies which he plans on implementing rather than focusing on petty scandals and feuds with former beauty pageant contestants. The next presidential debate will take place on at. It will be interesting to see whether Trump will actually prepare for this debate and finally show his presidential temperament after months and months of his surrogates saying he would. But Trump is quickly running out of time and seems to not understand the severity of his lack of focus. In fact, he continues to prove the worries of many undecided voters that he is simply not fit to run our country nearly every time he speaks. It’s Clinton’s election to lose and Trump is seemingly handing her victory on a silver platter.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will meet again this Sunday at 9 pm eastern in a town hall-type debate at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.