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9.10.2020 63

A civil vice presidential debate has little impact on the race

Published October 9, 2020

< 5 minutes

< 5 minutes


  • Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris met yesterday in their one and only Vice Presidential debate in Salt Lake City. This was the second most important milestone in the 2020 Presidential election, and early indications on the morning after the debate is that it did not change the trajectory of the race that has moved decisively in favor of former Vice President Biden.  For VP Pence it was to attempt to try to change the narrative of this election and define Biden.  With time running out, there was an urgency to this after last week’s debate debacle by President Trump. For Senator Harris, it was to reassure voters that she has the experience, temperament and gravitas to assume the presidency if Biden chooses not run for re-election. 
  • There was probably more heightened interest in this debate compared to most VP debates.  First, following last week’s raucous debate that failed to shed new light into policy, viewers will be eager to see a civil and substantive political debate. Second, given the health and age of the presidential nominees, voters will be scrutinizing Pence and Harris to see if they are capable of becoming commander in chief at a moment’s notice. The debate covered nine topics such as COVID-19, the role of the Vice President, Economy, Climate Change, China, Role of US leadership, Supreme Court, Racial Justice and, finally, acceptance of the Election Result.


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