Vice presidential debate watched at political parties

Reactions fell along party lines

debate watch party

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – Watch parties for the Vice Presidential Debate were held by both Democrats and Republicans in Brown County Tuesday night, but not nearly as many people showed up as came to watch the presidential debate last week.

The debate between Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine and Republican Gov. Mike Pence didn’t have nearly the hype surrounding it as the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

In fact, an ABC News poll conducted in late September revealed more than 40 percent of Americans can’t name the vice presidential candidate for either party.

Still, 64 percent in that poll said they would tune in for the debate.

Republicans gathered at an office in Allouez.

Gov. Scott Walker helped Pence prepare for the debate by playing the role of Kaine in practices. That type of preparation was noticed.

“Pence really has a great personality just in how he’s handling himself, handling the debate, just easy to communicate with, easy to understand, and just hitting home on the points, the key points,” Kelly Ruh, vice chair of the Republican Party of Brown County, said.

Democrats held their watch party in Green Bay. Supporters there thought Kaine stood out over Pence.

But Glen Ward says the two candidates talked over each other way too much without necessarily answering the questions given them.

“The thing I have a problem with,” Ward said, “with Mike Pence, is that he can’t defend Trump at all. I mean, I cannot believe that this man is even on the ticket.”

The highest-rated vice presidential debate was in 2008 between then-Senator Joe Biden and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. It attracted almost 70 million viewers.

Ratings for Tuesday night’s debate should be available within a few days.