But viewers who watched the basketball made a better TV choice
Given how old both Trump and Clinton are then actuarially then the two men who took part in the overnight VP debate have probably got a reasonable chance of becoming President. So although the event will only have attracted a fraction of what Clinton-Trump secured last it is important. It will also get far less post debate coverage.
It also put both men in with a chance of being regarded as contenders for 2020.
Post debate polling gave it to Republican Mike Pence though judging by the reaction it was not an enjoyable evening. There was strong criticism afterwards of the moderators. This from respected commentator, Taegan Goddard’s of Political Wire.
“Moderator Elaine Quijano had no control over the candidates and raced through topics as if the goal was to cover everything possible in just 90 minutes. She robotically read through her list of questions but seemed to disregard the answers.
Neither Tim Kaine or Mike Pence came off very well either. They didn’t answer questions. They tried and failed with canned attack lines. They were disrespectful of the weak attempts by the moderator to keep them on topic. They both talked over each other so much that it was annoying to almost everyone watching.
Pence had a much tougher job at the outset. After Donald Trump’s disastrous debate performance last week, Pence needed to do something to reverse the momentum. He didn’t do it. Aside from brushing aside what Trump has said, it’s not clear what his strategy was. On some issues, like Russia and Syria, Pence actually disagreed with Trump..
… After watching the debate, it’s clear that Kaine is running for vice president in 2016. But Pence sounded more like he’s running for president in 2020.”
48% of debate watchers polled by CNN gave it to Pence – 42% to Kaine. There has been no discernible impact on the main Clinton Trump betting.