The Veeps had a Slugfest, But Let's not Lose Sight of the Stakes in this Election, and It's Not Style Over Substance
Most Americans will read about the debate or will watch snippets and I think those who had already chosen will not change their vote, but there could be some on the fence who may be motivated to vote for Clinton, women and minorities especially. Hopefully the editors and fact-checkers will realize that Kaine was right and Pence just danced around the issues, often choosing not to even defend the indefensible DT.
Many pundits, focus groups as of now think that Pence did much better because Kaine was too aggressive. Again, style over substance--that's how most analysts talk about the debates, which of course is ridiculous. There are serious policy differences. T-P ticket stands for failed economic policies, favors to the rich, anti-choice, for a conservative Supreme Court, anti-science, anti-environmental policies, no consumer protection, no health care, no education, crazy conspiracies, and for militarism--and with Donald as C-i-C is a very scary proposition.
Governor Pence has a record of extreme conservatism, so while many talking heads liked his performance tonight, his politics are out of the mainstream, today and I'd imagine in the future, should he decide to run for the presidency.
Lastly, we still remain a country where a non-religious person (or someone who admits it) cannot be a viable candidate for high office. Beliefs on bad evidence and horrible logic are a badge of honor and a requirement for the highest office in the land.
I thought this VP debate also revealed what issues Hillary Clinton would try to talk about next Sunday at the second debate against Trump. Issues like, Trump's taxes and bad business acumen, nuclear weapons and foreign policy, hateful speech, bad temperament, Supreme Court and right to choose, health care, education, immigration, LGBT issues, and Donald's disrespect for women.
At this point, campaigns don't change minds. Actually very few people are moved by logic and evidence during campaigns. Most are intuitive, have certain views that don't change so quickly. Even the CBS and CNN focus groups that said Pence won tonight also showed that no one changed their intended vote.
The key is to excite--positively for your candidate or negatively against your opponent--your political base and get it to go out and vote on Nov. 8th. Fivethirtyeight, HuffPol, Electoral-vote, and a few other reputable poll crunchers have Clinton at about 80% chance of winning. Time is not in Trump's favor right now, and he's failed to get closer or overtake Clinton so far, especially after the first debate. If the plethora of polls are right, there's a clear trend and the candidate that's ahead in mid-October goes on to win the election.