The two vice presidential candidates, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Vice President Joe Biden, met last night at Center College in Danville, Kentucky. There was a lot at stake. The Grand Old Party received a boost after Governor Mitt Romney’s decisive victory over President Barack Obama in the first presidential debate, and Republican campaign strategists hoped another win would keep their momentum going. The Democrats hoped a big victory would reverse their losses.
The end result was a narrow victory for Biden. Biden gave a passionate performance, countering every point that Ryan made—often when it was Ryan’s turn to speak—and this approach was what many Democrats were looking for. A CBS-Knowledge Networks Poll of 431 uncommitted voters who watched the debate gave Biden a 50% victory to Ryan’s 31%. These voters were: 58% independent, 17% Republican and 25% Democrat.
A CNN/ORC International nationwide poll of 381 registered voters who watched the debate gave Rep. Ryan a narrow 48% victory over Vice President Biden’s 44%. However, this result was within the 5% margin of error for the poll and CNN’s Polling Director Keating Holland suggested that the poll was, “more Republican than an average of recent CNN polls of all Americans.”
The pundits agree that Biden gave a spirited performance, which could help get Democrats to the polls on Election Day. Ryan’s loss was not a total rout, however. He helped prove he was capable of the Vice Presidency. The race continues with the presidential candidates polling almost dead even. The next presidential debate will be held on October 16th.