Who Will Win The Vice Presidential Debate?

On Wednesday evening, Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris will meet in the only scheduled vice presidential debate. Normally, vice presidential debates are lower-stakes affairs than presidential debates, but with President Trump contracting the coronavirus, the VP debate has grabbed headlines as the two remaining presidential debates hang in limbo. We’re once again partnering with Ipsos to see how the debate shapes people’s views of the vice presidential contenders — and the presidential tickets as a whole — using Ipsos’s KnowledgePanel to interview the same people before and after the debate.

Most people lean towards a Biden-Harris ticket, but many still think Trump-Pence have a good chance of winning

How likely respondents are to vote for each candidate and how likely they think each candidate is to win, on a scale from 0 (no chance) to 10 (absolutely certain)

How likely are you to vote for each?

How likely do you think each is to win?

Respondents were also given the option of third-party candidates or ‘someone else.’ Additionally, they could indicate that they will not vote.

Similar to our poll for the first presidential debate, most respondents had strong feelings about the two presidential tickets, saying they were absolutely certain to vote for one or the other. And in line with our polling average, more people said they were likely to vote for Biden than Trump. Overall, 43 percent said they were “absolutely certain” to vote for Biden, while only 31 percent said the same for Trump.

But as was true in the first debate, Biden’s lead among respondents wasn’t reflected in their views of his chances. Many respondents, regardless of who they planned to back, thought the race was more of a toss-up: When asked to rate the candidates’ chances of winning on a scale of 0 to 10, they gave Trump a score of 4.6 and Biden a score of 4.7, on average.

Supporters are more certain to vote than they are excited to do so

How likely and how excited respondents are to vote in the 2020 presidential election, by preferred candidate


How likely are you to vote?

How excited are you to vote?


How likely are you to vote?

How excited are you to vote?

Respondents were asked to rate how likely they were to vote for each ticket on a scale of 0-10, and their preferred ticket is the one who received the higher score. Respondents who gave both candidates the same score are not included. Respondents who already voted are included in the “absolutely certain” bucket and respondents who gave themselves a 50-50 shot of voting are included in the “not too likely” bucket.

Overall, the vast majority of respondents say they are highly motivated to vote. And those who know which candidate they’re backing are especially motivated: 86 percent of Biden voters and 82 percent of Trump voters say they are “absolutely certain” to vote. That includes 10 percent of Biden’s supporters who say they have already voted; for Trump’s supporters, that number is 5 percent. Excitement about voting is also high — almost half of each candidate’s supporters said they were “very excited” to vote and another fifth said they were “somewhat excited.”

The popularity contest

How favorably respondents rated each candidate

We’re also tracking how favorably respondents view Pence and Harris. Pence is not quite as unpopular as Trump — his net favorability (favorable rating minus unfavorable rating) is -14, while Trump’s is -24 in our poll. Harris, meanwhile, is almost as popular as Biden; her net favorability is +4, while Biden’s is +6. But for both vice presidential candidates, there’s a substantial group — around 11 percent in Pence’s case and 15 percent in Harris’s — who say they have never heard of the candidate or don’t have an opinion about him or her. That’s, of course, a larger share than for either of the presidential candidates, so there is a real opportunity for those favorability numbers to shift after the debate.




Connie Chu

Connie is the visionary leader behind the news team here at Genesis Brand. She's devoted her life to perfecting her craft and delivering the news that people want and need to hear with no holds barred. She resides in Southern California with her husband Poh, daughter Seana and their two rescue rottweilers, Gus and Harvey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *