Tonight will be the one and only face-off between vice presidential candidates Mike Pence and Tim Kaine. This evening’s debate is taking place at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. The moderator will be Elaine Quijano, a correspondent of CBS News.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Vice Presidential Debate from Longwood University

Aired On: ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, MSNBC, C-SPAN, PBS
Air Time: 9pm ET (8pm CT, 7pm MT, 6pm PT, basically live in whatever 9pm ET is equivalent to in your time zone)

VP Candidates: Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine
Moderator: Elaine Quijano, a correspondent of CBS News.

Live Stream:

Alternate Live Stream Links: Fox Business, C-SPAN, Twitter, CNN, NewsMax, CBS News

Format: The Vice Presidential debate will be divided into nine time segments of approximately 10 minutes each. The moderator will ask an opening question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a deeper discussion of the topic.

CNN offers a VP debate preview:

How will Pence respond to Trump’s troubles?

On releasing tax returns, birtherism, debate prep and name-calling, Pence has chosen to go his own way during the campaign. He has also talked about his record in Indiana as a conservative governor. That daylight has left Trump in a somewhat awkward position and it’s allowed Pence to maintain a future in politics.

But breaking with your opponent in a studio interview is one thing, doing it on stage next to an opponent who wants to pummel your running mate is something else entirely.

Pence has to defend Trump, who is boasting about “brilliantly” using tax laws for his benefit, after a New York Times story outlining a more than $900 million loss and suggesting he may not have paid federal income taxes for 18 years beginning in 1995. Look for Kaine to possibly exploit the fact that Pence has been transparent in releasing his taxes, compared to Trump who hasn’t released them and is the nominee. And the Virginia senator will no doubt talk about Trump’s temperament as commander-in-chief.

Can they help close the likeability gap?

Clinton and Trump both have record high unfavorability ratings: the latest CNN/ORC poll puts Clinton’s at 54% and Trump’s at 59%. Both VP candidates may try to sand off some of the rough edges and make people more open to backing their ticket.

Pence has argued that Trump is a decent and good man worthy of comparisons to Ronald Reagan. He has talked about quiet moments of prayer and reflection with Trump. And Kaine has vouched for Clinton’s honesty and said that he can brag about Clinton in a way that Clinton can’t brag about herself.

But it is one thing to say good things about their running mates, and it’s another to show it. And this is where stories and anecdotes — something this campaign has been short on — can be helpful. Some of that was featured at the conventions this summer, with family members vouching for the candidates. For swing voters, who are sitting on the fence out of disgust with both candidates, humanizing and memorable portraits could be helpful.

I’m expecting a lot more substantive policy discussion during this debate than we witnessed during the debate last week between Trump and Clinton. Both Tim Kaine and Mike Pence are sort of boring guys with lengthy careers in politics. They’re also both quiet and rather non-confrontational. The audience size will be a fraction of what it was for the big show last week but the amount of reasoned discussion on the issues will be exponentially bigger.

If you want to learn about the issues surrounding this campaign on everything from Syria to health care, I’d encourage you to watch the VP debate in entirety. Since these candidates will meet just once, they will cover a vast range of topics including foreign policy and domestic policy.

As always, we’ll have the full debate video available after it airs.