If you didn’t watch Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate, don’t worry! You didn’t miss all that much. The entire spectacle was far less entertaining than the slugfest between pathological liar Hillary Clinton and loud-mouthed bully Donald Trump.
In short, a policy-literate Mike Pence trounced buffoonish aggressor Tim Kaine with a better handling of facts and details and far more grace and class.
However, as The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro noted, the debate won’t shift the dial on this election all that much. Ultimately, voters will cast their ballots for the two individuals at the top of the ticket. That said, public opinion was fairly clear about Tuesday night’s winner, among other things.
Here are 5 stats you need to know about the VP debate:
1. “48% of voters who watched the debate [said] Pence did the better job while 42% [thought] Kaine had the best night,” according to the latest CNN/ORC poll. Polls from both left and right-wing media outlets found about the same results. Moreover, analysts and media observers across the political spectrum reached a rare consensus over this match: Pence overwhelmingly won the debate.
2. Roughly two-thirds of voters who watched the debate said Pence’s overall performance was better than expected, according to the same poll. Only 14% said he performed worse than expected. As for Kaine, the viewing public felt as though he dramatically underperformed. A robust 43% felt he did worse than expected. Only 38% said he exceeded expectations. It’s worth noting that both men are still relative unknowns on the national stage. Aside from the party conventions, Tuesday night was likely the first time most voters across party lines really got a long look at both VP candidates.
3. A majority (58%) of viewers thought Kaine defended his candidate better, according to the highly-cited CNN-ORC poll. Only 35% thought Pence did a more effective job at defending Donald Trump. This one is self-evident. It’s really hard to defend many of the statements made by Trump, who habitually shoots from the hip and has a penchant for late night tweets. For much of the debate, Pence had to pretend that Trump either didn’t exist or existed in some alternative sane universe just to stay on message.
4. Pence was seen by viewers as far more likeable. A majority (53%) felt as though Pence was the more likeable on stage. Only 37% thought felt that way about Kaine. Both men enjoy higher likeability numbers than their respective presidential candidates.
But Kaine's likeability took a hit Tuesday night, following his media-obsessed “nice guy” shtick over the last few weeks. CNN reports:
His unfavorable rating rose from 28% among this same group of debate watchers when they were interviewed pre-debate to 40% after, while his favorability number held about even at 55%. For Pence, his favorability rating bumped up 7 points to 57%, from 50% pre-debate. His unfavorable numbers held about even 40%.
5. Kaine was flat-out rude, interrupting his opponent more than 70 times, according to analysis by FiveThirtyEight.com. Pence only interrupted his opponent 40 times. Kaine’s laughable “tough-guy” routine would have likely been more convincing if he wasn’t the walking incarnation of every dad joke ever. But his handlers at the Clinton campaign clearly didn’t get the memo. They thought they could dispatch a machismo attack-dog. It didn’t work. Not only did Kaine interrupt Pence a number of times, but he interrupted the debate moderator endlessly. In effect, he came off like an annoying weasel, eager to defend his grotesquely corrupt candidate by any means necessary. Judging from the polls, the viewing public didn’t like that tactic all that much.