This VP debate could answer more questions in this presidential contest than most people think.
The Five W’s of Tonight’s VP Debate
Who: Vice Presidential Candidates Tim Kaine (Democrat) and Mike Pence (Republican)
What: They are having their first (and only) vice presidential debate.
When: It’s scheduled to start 9 PM Eastern.
Where: The debate itself is being held at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. You can watch the debate on all major networks or online here.
Why: Many voters know very little about the VPs this presidential election. This debate should go a long way in introducing themselves to the electorate.
A Polite Fight
Debates in this 2016 election cycle have been extremely contentious. Even going back to both the Republican and Democratic primary debates, they have been contentious in a way that they haven’t been in the past few presidential cycles. Granted, when you have such polarizing nominees as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, that shouldn’t come as a big surprise, yet the fascination over the debates have been as much about entertainment as it’s been about policy.
Tonight’s debate between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine however, will be anything but entertaining. Between Pence just wanting you to forget the GOP performance art piece that is Donald Trump and Kaine being so folksy that he carries multiple harmonicas with him wherever he goes, tonight’s debate is expected to be pretty mundane compared to the others this election cycle. If you just want a vanilla debate about broad political policies, then tonight’s your debate!
The Softening of Donald Trump
Out of the two candidates tonight, Mike Pence has his work cut out for him. Even if you agree with Donald Trump’s policies, it’s hard to deny that Trump’s delivery of his message is pretty crass. Now to those who already support Trump, the way he presents his message is part of the appeal. For undecided voters however, Trump’s delivery can be hard to support.
Not sure if Pence is exactly the guy to soften Trump’s conservative message – as Indiana Governor, he’s been known to make some harsh statements regarding gay marriage and Syrian refugees – but as Trump’s VP, that’s essentially his main purpose. It’s been said behind closed doors Pence has reassured many wary Republicans regarding their support of Trump. Tonight he looks to do the same, just on a much bigger stage.
Tim Kaine Making a Case to the “Bernie Bros”
As you saw from the Democratic National Convention, Tim Kaine is a very likable guy. However, many liberals in the Democratic Party weren’t as impressed with the choice. Between his complicated views on abortion (he’s a pro-life Democrat) and his history with cutting state budgets (been known to cut social programs Democrats support), many liberals fear Kaine could drag Hillary Clinton’s policies more to the center if she were to become president.
Considering Clinton has had trouble bringing Millennials that voted for Bernie Sanders to her campaign, Kaine has the potential to bring them into the fold tonight. While there are some that will never get behind Clinton in her bid for the White House, if Kaine can tie Pence’s conservative policies to Trump’s controversial ideas, it might be enough to spook enough liberals to back Clinton in the presidential contest. Given that’s not the most ideal way to gain votes, but at this point of the election cycle, the Clinton campaign will get votes anyway they can!
(Photo Credit: farmvilleva.com, Pixabay.com, Donald Trump’s Instagram, Google Images)