Who benefited most? Debatable
Republican Mike Pence won bipartisan plaudits for a calm and collected performance in Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate. But Democrat Tim Kaine claimed missionaccomplished for forcing his opponent to confront — or not — Donald Trump’s long list of provocative remarks.
Pressed by Kaine to defend his running mate throughout the 90-minute debate, Pence mostly dodged, sidestepped or let the moment pass.
He vouched for the billionaire’s tax history but was less vocal when challenged about Trump’s temperament or his inflammatory words about women and President Barack Obama.
Both sides appeared willing to concede that the only debate between the vice presidential candidates was unlikely to alter the trajectory of the race.
A total of 37 million viewers watched the debate on nine networks measured by the Nielsen company. That was down sharply from an estimated 50 million viewers who saw Republican challenger Paul Ryan debate Vice President Joe Biden in 2012.