Who ben­e­fited most? De­bat­able

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - — As­so­ci­ated Press

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.

ETHAN MILLER/GETTY

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