Politics & Government

Strong VP debate gives Pence – and Trump – a big win in our poll

The pundits mostly awarded Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate to the GOP’s Mike Pence, and readers who took our Twitter poll overwhelmingly agreed.

Eighty-four percent of the 3,543 people who responded to the poll said the Indiana governor was the debate winner, versus just 13 percent who thought Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine had the better night.

Pence’s winning result may have had as much to do with the make-up of the poll’s audience as it did with his debate performance. Fully 91 percent of respondents said they plan to vote for the Trump/Pence ticket in the poll on The State’s website. Only 5 percent of the 2,930 voters said they plan to vote for Clinton/Kaine.

In one voter’s opinion, even that number was lopsided – because they accidentally voted for the Democratic ticket.

Others were skeptical of the poll’s validity, since online polls have been more favorable to Trump than more scientific gauges of voters’ opinions.

Whatever the outcome of this week’s debate, it may not have had much of an effect. Seventy-six percent of the 3,009 people who answered our third question said the debate strengthened their choice of the side they were already supporting, and 20 percent said it had no effect on their vote at all. Only 3 percent said the vice presidential debate had changed their minds.

The two candidates at the top of the ticket will have another chance to sway the voters on Sunday, when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met in the second of three debates between the two.