ROCHESTER, Minn. – According to the latest CBS News poll 7 out of 10 voters planned on watching vice-presidential candidates Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia and Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana debate on Tuesday night. Which is probably a good thing considering according to a different poll, around 40% of Americans could not name either VP candidate.
Millions tuned in to the debate whether that was at home, or at a watch party. On Tuesday night, about a dozen people showed up to the Rochester Area DFL Headquarters for a viewing party.
Local Democrats and Republicans we talked to agreed that the vice-presidential debate was going to be about Kaine and Pence introducing themselves to America. While typically, VP candidates tend to be afterthoughts, the Chair of the Olmsted County GOP Aaron Miller thinks that things will be different this election cycle.
“Both candidates are relatively popular within their party, even more popular than the candidates at the top of the ticket. Secondly both [Presidential] candidates are older in age,” Miller explains. “Folks want to know who the Vice President is and maybe in this election more so than decades past.”
Both Miller and DLF Senate District 26 Chair Deb Staley explain what their party’s candidate for vice president needs to show voters.
“Kaine has a very broad background, he has a long history in civil rights and equality,” Staley says. “There’s been some conjecture that maybe all of the sudden he’s going to be speaking in Spanish because Spanish is a very good second language to him, so that’s showing that he is diverse that he can reach diverse groups.”
“Mike Pence needs to continue to let America know who Mike Pence is; he’s got a good record, he’s been a solid party individual, he’s spend time in Washington D.C. He’s also been a successful Governor of Indiana,” Miller adds. “I think if he continues to stick with his core message of who he is and supporting the party issues that are important to voters, he’s going to have a successful evening.”
Both the Olmsted County GOP and Rochester Area DFL are planning viewing parties at their respective headquarters for the next presidential debate on Sunday evening.