Vice presidential debate to cover foreign and domestic issues will likely have no effect on election outcome

David Loewenberg

Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan, Republican vice presidential candidate, will square off in the first and only vice presidential debate of the 2012 election season Thursday night.

The 90-minute debate, moderated by ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz, will cover both foreign and domestic topics. This debate comes a week after the first presidential debate in which Romney and Obama sparred on domestic policy. According to a CNN/ORC International survey, 67 percent of people who watched the debate said Romney won compared to the 25 percent that said Obama won.

In terms of election implications, UT government professor David Prindle said that in his opinion, the vice presidential debate will likely have no effect on the outcome of the election.

“Barring some unforeseen mega-gaffe, it’s just entertainment and won’t change a single vote,” Prindle said. “I can imagine a situation where somebody’s vote might be changed if Paul Ryan says, ‘I only agreed to be Mitt Romney’s running mate so I could sleep with his wife.’ That might bring in a few votes from the Kardashians.”

Following the first debate, Romney saw a positive bump in both national and battleground polls. In Gallup’s daily tracking poll three days before the first debate, Obama maintained a five-point lead over Romney. After the debate the two candidates were tied.

The vice presidential debate will begin at 8 p.m. at Centre College in Danville, Ky. The second presidential debate will be held Oct. 16.