Paul Ryan goes into the debate more popular than Joe Biden, according to Pew. Thirty-nine percent of those polled viewed Biden favorably, while 44 percent view Ryan favorably. Over half of the respondents, 51 percent, viewed Biden unfavorably. Ryan fared better: 40 percent said they found him unfavorable.
Who cares about a VP debate? After last week’s tepid performance by President Barack Obama and a comeback in the polls for Republican Mitt Romney, this one matters says Politico.
The pressure’s on Biden to deliver the aggressive performance President Barack Obama failed to have at last week’s debate. And the pressure’s on Ryan to keep up the momentum his running mate Mitt Romney created just a week ago in Denver.
Katy Steinmetz in Time argues that it won’t make a difference.
Vice presidential debates haven’t proven to be deciding factors when the whole race is taken into account. In his 1996 book Do Campaigns Matter?, Thomas Holbrook analyzed the impact of debates from 1984 to 1992 and found that “there is very little evidence that vice presidential debates do much at all to alter the political landscape.” None of the three he examined–George H.W. Bush v. Geraldine Ferraro; Quayle v. Bentsen; and Al Gore v. Quayle v. Stockdale–“produced a substantial aggregate effect.”
She adds that the Sarah Palin-Biden match-up in 2008 didn’t have any effect in the polls and that “sometimes debates are just good television.”
Tomorrow night, go to the News Cut blog. Bob Collins will be liveblogging. And then on Friday, our roundtable will analyze the debate.