How are Students Responding to the VP Debate?

  • October 13, 2020
Vice Presidential Debate – Salt Lake City, UT – October 7, 2020

Photo by Lawrence Jackson / Biden for President

On October 7th, 2020, the first and only Vice Presidential debate of 2020 took place in Salt Lake City. California Senator Kamala Harris faced Vice President Mike Pence in a ninety-minute debate, touching on topics such as Coronavirus, Climate Change, Race, and the Supreme Court. 

Several LCHS students stated their opinion on the matter, and there was some disagreement on who the winner was. However, everyone believed the debate was a refreshing alternative to the previous week’s presidential debate. 

President of the LCHS Model United Nations Club Noah Chun (12) echoed this point, “I thought it was an impressive departure from the absolute mockery of American Democracy that had happened a week before courtesy of Donald Trump, and I think that both candidates were well-spoken and made good points.”

Some students believed Senator Harris won the debate. Adam Driscoll (12) said, “Kamala Harris won because she was more direct in laying out what Biden planned. She also asserted what she believes in and made her point come across to the American people.”

Some contrasted Pence and Harris’ debate performances. “I think Harris was a better speaker and spoke to most of the issues that were asked about,” said an anonymous senior, “Pence, I felt, didn’t have any of his own ideas.”

Kylie Sears (11) said, “I thought Kamala was much more mature. Pence told 18 lies while Harris only had one misleading statement. The thing is you can’t win with lies.”   

Others thought Pence won the debate. Edwin Tieu (12) stated, “Like Harris, I think he (Pence) strengthened the support from his voter base, but Pence made the president look better which in my opinion, is better than strengthening the support of your voter base. 

An anonymous tenth grader said, “Pence seemed strong in his beliefs and confident in the success of the Trump presidency. He basically is Trump without Twitter and with a better vocabulary.”

Mason Pirkey (12) stated, “I believe Pence won because he was a stronger and more convincing debater. He argued that the Trump administration will breed economic success within the next year, citing the first three economically successful years of his presidency.” 

In a local website poll surveying 112 LCHS students, 31% believed Pence won the debate, while 69% believed Harris won the debate. The results of this poll somewhat align politically with a poll surveying 105 students from the same website asking who won the first presidential debate: 46% for Trump and 54% for Biden. On October 22, the last presidential debate of the 2020 election will occur.

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