Yesterday’s vice presidential debate was generally predicted to be a snooze in comparison to last week’s presidential one—early CNN reports say it got less than half as many viewers as Clinton and Trump’s face-off—but it was packed with plenty of fiery moments. Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine and Republican VP hopeful Mike Pence got heated in their discussions about Russia and Putin, the use of nuclear weapons, immigration, terrorism, the economy, abortion, and more.
Some experts enlisted by the Los Angeles Times say Pence won by staying calm, ignoring Kaine’s attacks on Trump, and sticking to talking points blasting Clinton, Obama, and their decisions during their last eight years in office. Kaine, on the other hand, came off as markedly more hyper and less cool-headed in his arguments—even the ones that were articulate, accurate, and effective. Both candidates constantly spoke over CBSN anchor and moderator Elaine Quijano, who struggled to keep control over the conversation (but did so better than Lester Holt did last week, IMO). At one point she said, prompting chuckles in the audience, “Gentlemen, the people at home cannot understand either of you when you speak over each other. I would please ask you to wait until it is that the other has finished.”
While polls will roll in over the next few days showing which candidate viewers at home thought performed better, an early CNN/ORC poll reports that 48 percent of people thought Pence won, with 42 percent saying Kaine had the better night. Ultimately I can see why experts and viewers alike are admitting Pence had the upper hand for much of the time—it was just about his tone, attitude, and demeanor, which was generally more stoic yet focused than Kaine’s. Still, even if Pence has slightly redeemed the Republican camp after Trump’s disastrous debate performance last week, Kaine still had a better mastery of policy, as well as the actual facts, in keeping with this election’s overarching trend. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how Clinton and Trump do when they take the stage for a second time this Sunday night. And with a little over a month until Election Day, make sure you’re registered to vote.
Until then, check out what celebrities were saying in live time while Kaine and Pence went head-to-head last night.
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