Who will win the Thursday vice presidential debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan? According to independent voters, more believe Ryan, the Republican, will be the victor.
By a 42% to 25% margin, more independents expect Ryan to do better than Biden in the debate single VP debate between both candidates.
When’s its broken down along party lines, most Republicans and Democrats predict victory for their party’s candidate, but Republicans are more confident than Democrats. Nearly eight-in-ten (78%) Republican voters say Ryan will do the better job in the debate. Fewer Democrats (62%) expect Biden to do better.
This debate will be a little different than their presidential counter-parts. Expect a lot more rhetoricand one-liners, and a lot less real policy. Gaffe-prone, Joe “this-is-a-big-f*cking-deal” Biden will be expected to avenge President Barack Obama’s poor debate performance from last week, and will likely assail the Republican ticket on everything from the Romney-Ryan tax plan, to Big Bird. Conservative wunder boy Paul “P90x” Ryan will be expected to say the things Romney isn’t allowed to say in a presidential debate … un-relentlessly trashing the Obama presidency (i.e. Obamacare, Libya, the economy, etc. etc.)
It’s being billed the “Thrill in the’Ville” (it’s being held in the small town of Danville, Kentucky), and it’s sure to be a slug fest.
Still, this one won’t be as big in media saturation as the first presidential debate in Denver: only 54% of voters say they are very likely to watch the debate (conversely, 62% said they were very likely to watch the first presidential debate, and another 21% say they are somewhat likely). Interest in the upcoming debate is far lower than it was for the Biden-Palin debate four years ago (69% very likely to watch), though higher than for the debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards in 2004 (41% very likely).
More so, Biden is entering the debate as the bad guy: the survey from Pew Research Center found that 51% of registered voters see Biden unfavorably, compared with 39% who gave him positive reviews. Independent voters largely agreed, with 52% seeing Biden negatively.
Voters were more evenly divided about Mr. Ryan, who is viewed favorably by 44% and unfavorably by 44%.
Biden, though, is very much being forced in the villain role. As Politico's Jonathan Martin writes, "If Gentleman Joe took the stage four years ago, determined not to come off as patronizing or bullying Sarah Palin, it seems almost certain that Thursday will bring the appearance of Scranton Joe, the scrappy pol who’s never been afraid to throw a punch … The circumstances around the face-off this week at Centre College actually most resemble not 2008 but 2004: the incumbent president flops in his first debate, forcing his older and more seasoned vice-president to take it to a younger foe."
Here we are again, at another make-or-break debate.
All I can say is this: Get your popcorn ready.
The debate is scheduled to take place in the small town of Danville, Kentucky on October 11, Thursday evening. The debate will begin at 9:00 p.m. EST. For live coverage and real-time analysis, check back on PolicyMic for everything you need to know.