Indiana political experts preview VP debate

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INDIANAPOLIS — Wednesday’s Vice Presidential debate is expected to bring more attention than the event has in the past.

There are new rules and safety measures in place for the candidates.

Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris will sit 12 feet apart and have plexiglass between them.

Former White House Spokesperson and current Vice President of Bose Public Affairs Pete Seat said the Mike Pence Hoosiers see in this debate won’t have the same directive he had four years ago when he debated Senator Tim Kaine.

“In 2016, Mike Pence was speaking to conservatives who were uneasy about a real estate developer from liberal New York City being their presidential candidate,” said Seat. “In 2020, Mike Pence’s job is speaking to moderate suburban voters who are uneasy with Donald Trump’s Twitter feed.”

Seat said Pence has the debate skills to reach that target demographic, but he’ll need to defend and define to do so.

“He may not be a prosecutor like Kamala Harris by trade, but he does have a law degree and tonight he is going to be both defense attorney and prosecutor,” said Seat.

Politico Contributor Adam Wren said the VP debate will look and sound much different from the first presidential debate.

And it may include topics Trump and Biden didn’t discuss, like the LGBTQ community.

“Questions about his past comments about homosexuals in the military or about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act he passed and then fixed in his time in Indiana,” explained Wren.

Seat said it would be wise for the Vice President to tout the Trump Administration’s economic accomplishments pre-pandemic.

“This administration has proven that they have the blueprint,” said Seat. “And some of that is modeled on the Indiana blueprint and what we have been able to do in this state.”

Wren isn’t convinced this debate will change anyone’s mind on this election but could impact decisions if these candidates are chosen to run for president in 2024.

“So, I think people will look at the debate a little bit from that lens tonight,” said Wren.

We took a poll on Twitter asking if a Vice Presidential or Presidential debate would change their minds about who to vote for at this point, most voters said it would not.

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(This story was originally published October 7, 2020)

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