Think Pence really won the debate. Think again. Here's why.
Given that nary a hint of how folks "scored" the debate on each topic raised (what scale: x of 5, "A"or"B" etc., "+","even,or"-", etc.), nor specifically how each speaker fared on each topic (score given each speaker), nor that any of the attributes of debate were rated for each speaker on each topic (organization, presentation, competence on topic, strength of argument/rebuttal and staying on point), it appears the polls were nothing more than an indicia of affableness, i.e., "I liked him better than him."
So, without more, no current "poll" can resolve who won, only who was more popular.
So, Let's Look at Proper Scoring of a Debate
Incidentally, eleven topics (plus four sub-topics) were raised:
1 - Presidential Leadership + Candidate Trustworthiness
2 - Economy/US Debt + Trump's Taxes
3 - Preservation of Social Security
4 - Police + "Stop & Frisk"
5 - Immigration/11 million non-criminals
6 - Terrorism/Safer World? + Homegrown Threats
7 - Syria
8 - Russia
9 - North Korea
10 - Faith Struggles
11 - Unifying the Country after November 8.
No points are given for "campaign rhetoric" and its rebuttal. Up to 1 point is deducted for lack of decorum during "on topic" presentation (shown as a "-", but none is given during campaign rhetoric/rebuttal, all of which was "off topic"). Between 0 and 1 point is awarded for each of the five attributes noted above in each topic.
Topic 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Kaine pts: (9 -1), (7 -0.5), (4 -1), (6.5 -2), (5 -0.5), (10 -1.5), (4.5 -0), (2 -1), (3 -0), (5 -0), (4.5 -0)
Pence pts: (4 -0), (2 -0.5), (1 -1), (3 -0), (2 -0.5), (4.5 -1), (3.5 -0), (2 -1), (1.5 -0), (3.5 -0), (2.5 -0)
Kaine Total**: (60.5 -7.5) = 53 + (0 - 0 + 0.5 + 17) GRAND TOTAL = 70.5 pts.
Pence Total**: (29.5 -4) = 25.5 + (-4.1 - 0 + 1 + 3) GRAND TOTAL = 25.4 pts.
Additionally, up to 1 point each was awarded for unrebutted attacks on (which includes negative attributions to) major candidates, ineffective rebuttal to attacks (identified), "fact check" loser(identified), unforced "slips" (identified) ... and down to -1 penalized for gaffes (identified).
Gaffes: Totals - Kaine 0, Pence -4.1
PENCE (-1 pt.): "the United States of America--the greatest nation on Earth" - refutes "Make America great again"
PENCE (-1 pt.): "PENCE: Senator, when African-American police officers involved in a police action shooting involving an African-American, why would Hillary Clinton accuse that African-American police officer of implicit bias?" NOTE: Demonstrates a basic misunderstanding of what "implicit bias" means--it is borne unconsciously in everyone, just in varying degrees.
PENCE Significant omission (0 pt.): Although discussing Arizona speech immigration plan of Trump, the Wall was never mentioned by Pence. Later, it was only mentioned, not raised as an issue by Kaine
PENCE Significant "Observation" (-1 pt.) KAINE: "I'll run through the list of things where you won't defend..." PENCE: This isn't the old days where you can just say stuff and people believe it." [In fact, Trump has been doing just that on virtually every issue, at every rally, throughout his campaign.
PENCE Failing to Pay Attention (-0.1 pt.) KAINE: "the Trump organization is not a non-profit. It's putting money into Donald Trump's pockets and into the pockets of his children, whereas the Clinton Foundation is a non- profit and no Clinton family member draws any salary." PENCE: "The Trump Foundation is non-profit."
PENCE Downgrading the Significance of Trump's "Mexicans" comments (-1 pt.) KAINE: When Donald Trump says ... or Mexicans are rapists and criminals..." PENCE: "I'm telling you..." KAINE: "... or John McCain is not a hero, he is showing you who he is." PENCE: "Senator, you've whipped out that Mexican thing again."
Stand Alone Fact Checks: Totals - Kaine 0, Pence -1
PENCE: "When we get back to 3.5 percent to 4 percent growth [which] Donald Trump's plan will do, then we're going to have the resources to meet our nation's needs at home and abroad, and we're going to have the ability to bring down the national debt" [Fact: there is no support nor logical basis to show if or when that growth target will occur. Trump has given no time frame. The longer it takes to occur, if it can occur at all, the more Trump's plan will add to the national debt.] Result = 0 pts.
PENCE: "He also said and many of them are good people. You keep leaving that out of your quote." [Fact: Trump said "And some, I assume, are good people"] Result = -1 pt.
Back-handed jabs (0 points, but show lack of class):
PENCE: "I appreciated the "you're hired," "you're fired" thing, Senator. You use that a whole lot. And I think your running mate used a lot of pre-done lines.
PENCE: "And, I mean, Hillary Clinton and Senator Kaine -- God bless you for it, career public servants, that's great -- Donald Trump is a businessman, not a career politician. He actually built a business.
PENCE: "Did you work on that one a long time? Because that had a lot of really creative lines in it."
PENCE: "[A]nd yet Senator Kaine still sits here, loyal soldier -- I get all that."
PENCE: "Senator, that was even beneath you and Hillary Clinton. And that -- that's pretty low."
Assertive Claims for a Candidate: Totals - Kaine 0.5, Pence 1
PENCE: "[Trump's] tax returns showed he went through a very difficult time, but he used the tax code just the way it's supposed to be used. And he did it brilliantly." KAINE: "How do you know that? You haven't seen his tax returns." PLUS PENCE: "... he's created a business that's worth billions of dollars today." KAINE: "How do you know that?" [Pence's claim is bare bones; Kaine's response was unchallenged, so... ] Result = Kaine, 0.5 pt.
PENCE: "[A] society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable, the aged, the infirm, the disabled, and the unborn. I believe it with all my heart. And I couldn't be more proud to be standing with a pro-life candidate in Donald Trump. Result = 1 pt.
Kaine attacks on Trump (any points awarded go to Kaine): 17 pts.
1 - "Trump called Mexicans 'rapists and criminals'" (four times raised by Kaine). [after 4th time: "These guys say all Mexicans are bad"] PENCE: "That's absolutely false." Note: although the last attack was, correctly, rebutted, the first three never were Result = 0.5 pt.
2 - Trump "pursued the discredited and really outrageous lie that President Obama wasn't born in the United States." (twice raised by Kaine) Note: never rebutted Result = 1 pt.
3 - "You both have said Vladimir Putin is a "better" leader than the president." Note: quoted word is only once correct. Result = 0.5 pt.
4 - "Donald Trump and Mike Pence think we ought to eliminate the federal minimum wage." Note: not rebutted. Result = 1 pt.
5 - "Independent analysts say the Clinton plan would grow the economy by 10.5 million jobs. The Trump plan would cost 3.5 million jobs. And Donald Trump -- why would he do this? Because his tax plan basically helps him." Note: not rebutted. Result = 1 pt.
6 - "I am interested to hear whether he'll defend his running mate's not releasing taxes and not paying taxes." PENCE: "Absolutely I will." [later] "Senator, he's going to release his tax returns when the audit is over..." Result = 0 pts.
7 - "Donald Trump wrote a book and said Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and privatization would be good for all of us. [Governor Pence was and is] "the chief cheerleader for the privatization of Social Security." PENCE: "all Donald Trump and I have said about Social Security is we're going to meet our obligations to our seniors. That's it." Result = 0 pts.
8 - "[Trump]'s called women slobs, pigs, dogs, disgusting. ... He attacked an Indiana-born federal judge and said he was unqualified to hear a federal lawsuit because his parents were Mexican [twice raised]. He went after John McCain, a POW, and said he wasn't hero because he'd been captured. He said African-Americans are living in Hell." Note: not rebutted. Result = 1 pt.
9 - "Did Donald Trump apologize for taking after somebody in a Twitter war and making fun of her weight? Did he apologize for saying African-Americans are living in Hell? Did he apologize for saying President Obama was not even a citizen of the United States? You will look in vain to see Donald Trump ever taking responsibility for anybody and apologizing." Note: no rebuttal. Result = 1 pt.
10 - "Donald Trump proposes to deport 16 million people, 11 million who are here without documents. And both Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to get rid of birthright citizenship. So if you're born here, but your parents don't have documents, they want to eliminate that. That's another 4.5 million people." PENCE: "Senator, that's -- that's nonsense." KAINE: "When Donald Trump spoke in Phoenix, he looked the audience in the eye and he said, no, we're building a wall, and we're deporting everybody. He said, quote, 'They will all be gone.' 'They will all be gone.'" PENCE: "He's talking about criminal aliens." [NOTE: Kaine was incorrect about the quote, but Pence was correct about the reference to which a variation of Kaine's "quote" was aimed. Still,... ] Trump stressed that non-criminal immigrants living in the United States illegally would also eventually have to return to their home countries and apply for re-entry. Result = 0.5 pt.
11 - "Donald Trump can't start a Twitter war with Miss Universe without shooting himself in the foot. Donald Trump doesn't have a plan. He said, 'I have a secret plan,' and then he said, 'Um, I know more than all the generals about ISIS*.' And then he said, 'I'm going to call the generals to help me figure out a plan.' And finally he said, 'I'm going to fire all the generals.' He doesn't have a plan." Note: no rebuttal. Result = 1 pt.
12 - "But he does have dangerous ideas. Here's four. He trash talks the military. The military is a disaster, John McCain's no hero, the generals need all to be fired, and I know more than them. He wants to tear up alliances. NATO is obsolete (twice), and we'll only work together with Israel if they pay 'big league.'" Note: not rebutted. Result = 1 pt.
13 - "[H]e loves dictators. He's got kind of a personal Mount Rushmore, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, Moammar Gadhafi... and Saddam Hussein." PENCE: "Oh, please. Come on." Note: ineffective response and no rebuttal. Result = 1 pt.
14 - "[M]ost dangerously, Donald Trump believes that the world will be safer if more nations have nuclear weapons. He's said Saudi Arabia should get them, Japan should get them, Korea should get them. And when he was confronted with this, and told, wait a minute, terrorists could get those, proliferation could lead to nuclear war, here's what Donald Trump said, and I quote: 'Go ahead, folks, enjoy yourselves.'" PENCE: "Did you work on that one a long time? Because that had a lot of really creative lines in it." Note: ineffective response and no rebuttal. Result = 1 pt.
15 - "[You and Trump intend on] violating the Constitution by blocking people based on their national origin rather than whether they're dangerous." PENCE: "That's not -- that's absolutely false." KAINE: That's what the Seventh Circuit decided." "Mike Pence... put a program in place to keep them out if they're from Syria. And yesterday an appellate court with three Republican judges struck down the Pence plan..." PENCE: "[T]hose judges said it was because there wasn't any evidence yet that ISIS had infiltrated the United States. Well, Germany just arrested three Syrian refugees that were connected to ISIS." KAINE: "But they told you there's a right way and a wrong way to do it." PENCE: But, look, I will tell you, after two Syrian refugees were involved in the attack in Paris... I suspended that [Syrian refugee] program... And I stand by that decision." KAINE: "We won't do it based on discriminating against you from the country you come from or the religion that you practice." Note: Although Pence gave a rebuttal, since it is only partial and defies a court decision, and because of substituting his own judgment for that of a three-judge panel. Result = 0.5
16 - "Donald Trump said keep them out if they're Muslim." PENCE: "Right. Right." [meaning like, "keep up the party line"] Note: no rebuttal. Result = 1 pt.
17A - "Donald Trump, again and again, has praised Vladimir Putin. And it's clear that he has business dealings with Russian oligarchs who are very connected to Putin. The Trump campaign management team had to be fired a month or so ago because of those shadowy connections with pro-Putin forces. Governor Pence made the odd claim, he said inarguably Vladimir Putin is a better leader than President Obama." "If you don't know the difference between dictatorship and leadership, then you got to go back to a fifth-grade civics class. I'll tell you what offends me..." PENCE: "Well, that offended me." Note: "hurt feelings" are not rebuttals. Result = 1/3 of 1 pt.
17B - "You've got to be tough on Russia. So let's start with not praising Vladimir Putin as a great leader. Donald Trump and Mike Pence have said he's a great leader." PENCE: "No, we haven't." Fact Check: Trump said Putin was "doing a great job", but not that Putin was a "great leader", neither did pence. Result = 1/3 of 0 pt.
17C - "Well, this is one where we can just kind of go to the tape on it. But Governor Pence said, inarguably, Vladimir Putin is a better leader than President Obama." PENCE: "That is absolutely inaccurate." [Pence used "stronger", not "better"; Trump, however, used "better"] KAINE: And I just think a guy who praises..." PENCE:"He said he's stronger -- he's been stronger on the world stage." [Pence misquotes Trump's word for his own word] KAINE: "No, he said leader. And if -- and I'll just say this, Governor." PENCE: "You just said better." KAINE: "If you mistake leadership for dictatorship, and you can't tell the difference, a country that's running its economy into the ground..." PENCE: "Yeah, here we go. This is the grade school thing again?" KAINE: "... persecuting journalists..." PENCE: "Right, this is grade school." KAINE: "... if you can't tell the difference, you shouldn't be commander-in-chief." PENCE: "Yeah." [as a "shrug-off"] KAINE: And with Donald Trump -- Donald Trump's sons say that they have all these business dealings with Russia. Those could be disclosed with tax returns, but they refuse to do them. Americans need to worry about whether Donald Trump will be watching out for America's bottom line or his own bottom line." Note: only the last line was not rebutted, but is a weak attack. Result = 1/3 of 0.5 pt.
18A - "But let me tell you what will really make the Middle East dangerous. Donald Trump's idea that more nations should get nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea. Ronald Reagan said something really interesting about nuclear proliferation back in the 1980s. He said the problem with nuclear proliferation is that some fool or maniac could trigger a catastrophic event. And I think that's who Governor Pence's running mate is, exactly who Governor Reagan warned us about." PENCE: "And come on. Senator. Senator, that was even beneath you and Hillary Clinton. And that -- that's pretty low." KAINE: "That's what Donald Trump thinks." ... "But can you defend Donald Trump's claim that more nations should get nuclear weapons?" Note no rebuttal given. Result = 1/2 of 1 pt.
18B - "More nations should get nuclear weapons. Try to defend that." PENCE: "Don't put words in my mouth. Well, he never said that, Senator." KAINE: He absolutely said it. Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Japan." PENCE: "Most of the stuff you've said, he's never said." Fact Check: Trump said "If Japan had that nuclear threat, I’m not sure that would be a bad thing for us." [later] "Nor would it be so bad if South Korea and Saudi Arabia had nuclear weapons, too." Result = 1/2 of 1 pt.
19A - "Six times tonight, I have said to Governor Pence I can't imagine how you can defend your running mate's position on one issue after the next. And in all six cases, he's refused to defend his running mate." PENCE: "Well, let's -- no, no, don't put words in my mouth."... KAINE: "And yet he is asking everybody to vote for somebody that he cannot defend. And I just think that should be underlined." PENCE: No, I'm -- look... " [Pence stops, then, after apparently some thinking...] PENCE: "I'm very, very happy to defend Donald Trump. If he wants to take these one at a time, I'll take them one at a time." [But he didn't before, losing the opportunity...] Result = 1/2 of 1 pt.
19B - PENCE: "I'm just trying to keep up with the insult-driven campaign on the other side of the table." KAINE: "You know, I'm just saying facts about your running mate." PENCE: "Yeah." [said as a "shrug-off"] KAINE: "And I know you can't defend." PENCE: "I'm happy to defend him, Senator. Don't put words in my mouth that I'm not defending him." KAINE: "You're not." PENCE: "I'm happy to defend him. Most of what you said is completely false, and the American people know that." KAINE: "I'll run through the list of things where you won't defend..." PENCE: This isn't the old days where you can just say stuff and people believe it." Note: mere denial, even with unsupported/unprovable testimonial claim, is ineffective rebuttal. Result = 1/2 of 1 pt.
20 - "Donald Trump, on the other hand, didn't know that Russia had invaded the Crimea." PENCE: "Oh, that's nonsense." KAINE: "He was on a TV show a couple months back, and he said, 'I'll guarantee you this, Russia's not going into the Ukraine.' And he had to be reminded that they had gone into the Crimea two years before." PENCE: "He knew that." [Fact Check: not until he tweeted about it hours later. After a while... ] PENCE: "Donald Trump knew that happened. He basically was saying it's not going to happen again." [Since the debate issue is one of rebuttal, not alleged truth,,,] Result = 0 pt.
21 - "[I]n Donald Trump, you have somebody who praises Vladimir Putin all the time. America should really wonder about a President Trump, who had a campaign manager with ties to Putin, pro-Putin elements in the Ukraine, who had to be fired for that reason. They should wonder -- when Donald Trump is sitting down with Vladimir Putin, is it going to be America's bottom line or is it going to be Donald Trump's bottom line that he's going to be worried about with all of his business dealings?" Note: not rebutted. Result = 1 pt.
22 - "Donald Trump has a foundation. The foundation was just fined for illegally contributing foundation dollars to a political campaign of a Florida attorney general. They made an illegal contribution, and then they tried to hide it by disguising it to somebody else. And the person they donated to was somebody whose office was charged with investigating Trump University. This is the difference between a foundation that does good work and a secretary of state who acted in accordance with American interest and somebody who is conflicted and doing work around the world and won't share with the American public what he's doing and what those conflicts are." PENCE: "The Trump Foundation is a private family foundation. They give virtually every cent in the Trump Foundation to charitable causes." [Note: charity watchdog groups cannot access Trump's records, so can only grade Trump Foundation as "non-transparent". What little is known is that known contributions are much greater than known gifts, with the difference being "dormant."] KAINE: "Political contributions?" ... "A $20,000 portrait of Donald Trump?" Note: a irrelevant-to-the-argument statement as given by Pence no rebuttal. Result = 1 pt.
23 - "The thing I would worry a little bit about is that Donald Trump owes about $650 million to banks, including the Bank of China. I'm not sure he could stand up so tough to the people who have loaned him money." [Note: Pence gave nor offered any rebuttal, but the point relative to an "attack" is weak] Result = 0.5 pt.
24 - "[T]hat is the fundamental difference between a Clinton-Kaine ticket and a Trump- Pence ticket that wants to punish women who make that choice." PENCE: "No, it's really not. Donald Trump and I would never support legislation that punished women who made the heartbreaking choice to end a pregnancy." KAINE: "Then why did Donald Trump say that?" PENCE: "We just never would." KAINE: "Why did he say that?" PENCE: Well, look, it's -- look, he's not a polished politician like you and Hillary Clinton. And so... You know, things don't always come out exactly the way he means them. ... But I'm telling you what the policy of our administration would be." KAINE: "Great line from the gospel of Matthew. 'From the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks'." PENCE: "Yeah". [as a "shrug-off"] KAINE: "When Donald Trump says women should be punished" Note: Although Trump's statement was not rebutted, Pence did give an reasonable alternative/changing attitude, although never earlier announced by his "ticket". Result = 0.5 pt.
Pence attacks on Clinton (any points awarded go to Pence): 3 pts.
1A - "She had a Clinton Foundation accepting contributions from foreign governments." Result = (see 1B(rebuttal)
1B - "But I have to tell you that -- that all this talk about tax returns -- and I get it, you know, you want to keep bringing that up. It must have -- must have... done well in some focus group. But here -- Hillary Clinton and her husband set up a private foundation called the Clinton Foundation. While she was secretary of state, the Clinton Foundation accepted tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments and foreign donors. Now, you all need to know out there, this is basic stuff. Foreign donors, and certainly foreign governments, cannot participate in the American political process. They cannot make financial contributions. But the Clintons figured out a way to create a foundation where foreign governments and foreign donors could donate millions of dollars. [NOTE: a back-of the-hand-slap at Trump, certainly unintended, who used existing tax law to avoid income tax just as the Clintons apparently used existing law for their Foundation] And then we found, thanks to the good work of the Associated Press, that more than half her private meetings [Note: meaning with those outside the government or foreign officials] when she was secretary of state were given to major donors of the Clinton Foundation. ... the reason the American people don't trust Hillary Clinton is because they are looking at the pay to play politics that she operated with the Clinton Foundation through a private server... while she's secretary of state. ... And they're saying enough is enough." [Fact Check: 85 of 154 "scheduled private meetings", in person or by phone, (unknown how many occurred) were with donors. "Pay for play" is wholly without evidence, but the frequency of the overlaps of access and donations fuels the perception] (see below)
1B(rebuttal) - KAINE: "I am glad to talk about the foundation. The Clinton Foundation is one of the highest- rated charities in the world. It provides AIDS drugs to about 11.5 million people. It helps Americans deal with opioid overdoses. It gets higher rankings for its charity than the American Red Cross does. The Clinton foundation does an awful lot of good work. Hillary Clinton as secretary of state took no action to benefit the foundation. The State Department did an investigation, and they concluded that everything Hillary Clinton did as secretary of state was completely in the interest of the United States. So the foundation does good work. And Hillary Clinton as secretary of state acted in the interests of the United States." Result = 0 pt.
2 - "She had a private server..." (twice raised, then) "We could put cybersecurity first if we just make sure the next secretary of state doesn't have a private server." KAINE: "And all investigation concluded that not one reasonable prosecutor would take any additional step. You don't get to decide the rights and wrongs of this. We have a justice system that does that. And a Republican FBI director did [the] investigation" Result = 0 pt.
3 - "[to keep that] pay to play process out of the reach of the public." Note: though speculative, there was no rebuttal. Result = 1 pt.
4 - "Hillary Clinton actually referred to that moment (Charlotte officer-involved shooting] as an example of implicit bias in the police force" KAINE: "And if you're afraid to have the discussion, you'll never solve it." Result = 0 pt.
5 - "Hillary Clinton said that half of [Trump's] supporters were a basket of deplorables. [S]he said they were irredeemable, they were not American. ["American" is mis-attributed. Actually, in context, she said they did not represent America] KAINE: "Hillary Clinton said something on the campaign trail, and the very next day, she said, you know what, I shouldn't have said that." [Actually, she said "I regret saying 'half' -- that was wrong"] Result = 0.5 pt.
6 - "[ISIS* overran Iraq because] Hillary Clinton failed to renegotiate a status of forces agreement" KAINE: "Iraq didn't want our troops to stay, and they wouldn't give us the protection for our troops" result = 0 pt.
7A - "[T]he Iranian deal that Hillary Clinton initiated, $150 billion to the radical mullahs in Iran." KAINE: "Stopping a nuclear weapons program without firing a shot" PENCE: "You didn't stop the nuclear weapons program." KAINE: "Yes, we did." "Even the Israeli military says it stopped." PENCE: You essentially... guaranteed that Iran will someday become a nuclear power, because there's no limitations once the period of time of the treaty comes off." Note: settlement was $1.5 billion. Comeback was "apples to oranges". (see 7B)
7B - "[H]e keeps saying that Hillary Clinton started the deal with the Iranians prevented Iran from getting a nuclear weapon." KAINE: That's what the Israeli joint chiefs of staff is saying right now." PENCE: "Well, that's not what -- that's not what Israel thinks." [Fact Check: some think it is, some do not, and both is posted online] KAINE: Gadi Eizenkot, you can go check it." [Fact Check: he did] PENCE: "You wouldn't necessarily know that." KAINE: "Go to the tape." PENCE: I know you boycotted Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech when he came before the Congress." KAINE: No, I visited him in his office." [Fact Check: there was a democrat boycott, including Kaine.] PENCE: You boycotted the speech. The point is, what this Iran -- so-called Iran deal did was essentially guarantee -- I mean, when I was in Congress, I fought hard on a bipartisan basis with Republican and Democrat members to move forward the toughest sanctions, it -- literally in the history of the United States, against Iran." KAINE: "And then Hillary used them to get a deal." PENCE: "We were bringing them to heel, but the goal was always that we would only lift the sanctions if Iran permanently renounced their nuclear ambitions."PENCE: They have not -- Elaine, let me finish a sentence. They have not renounced their nuclear ambitions. And when the deal's period runs out, there's no limitation on them obtaining weapons." Note: each attack was rebutted. Result = 0 pt.
8 - "We ought to deploy a missile defense shield to the Czech Republic and Poland which Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama pulled back on out of not wanting to offend the Russians back in 2009." Note: though a weak attack, it was not rebutted. Result = 1 pt.
9A - "[A]nd the fact that they got $1.7 billion in a ransom payment... is astonishing to the American people." (see 9B)
9B - "[O]n the day that Iran released four American hostages... we delivered $400 million in cash as a ransom payment for Americans held by the radical mullahs in Tehran." [Technically, not an attack on Clinton because she had been out of the cabinet for over three years, but, since she aligns much of her foreign policy with that of Obama, this is fair game.] KAINE: "And we stopped a nuclear weapons program without a shot." Note: rebuttal failed to raise the Obama position for the timing of payment. Result = 0.5 pt.
10 - "Less than ten cents on the dollar in the Clinton Foundation has gone to charitable causes." [repeated] "Less than 10 cents on the dollar of the Clinton Foundation has gone to charitable causes." KAINE: "Ninety percent." [Fact Check: First, the Clinton Foundation is a charity, itself, doing in-house work around the world, so outside contributions are small. Second, a charity watchdog investigated and found that about 89% of the funds received were used for charity or sent to outside charitable groups.] Note: misrepresenting the facts negates the argument, but it was rebutted, also. Result = 0 pt.
Kaine showed passion, both for all the topics raised and the positions of his party, and he showed his greatest passion for Clinton. He interrupted often, which may have contributed to Pence's loss of train of thought on certain issues and a few of his incomplete responses. Tactically, this cost Kaine many debate points and, we are told by the media, resulted in the poll claim of "loss". However, he wholly accomplished that which was his purposes: 1-promote the candidate and party policies and, when necessary, aggressively defend them; 2-drive home the lack of qualification and fitness of Trump, force Pence to choose between Trump's defense and Pence's personal beliefs and demonstrate to the audience that it truly is "Trump, alone", and that America can only progress forward if it is "We", not "I". (as in "We, the People... ). As Clinton put it, Kaine, right now, could stand as the candidate.
Pence showed calmness, reserve and a steady voice for strength. It was not clear what his pre-debate goal was, but he supported his candidate on many core issues: economic tax plan, need for military strength, support for police and promoting religious values. He also defended some, but less than half, of Trump's statements. He departed from Trump often, voicing more traditional Republican values, including a softer approach to non-criminal undocumented aliens, a strong opposition to Putin and Russia, the need to intervene in Syria and protect innocents, maintenance of NATO as an aid against Russia, perhaps re-deploying troops to the middle east and, certainly, to protect vulnerable areas of eastern Europe. Overall, his support of Trump was unconvincing, his party loyalty shining through. Unfortunately, he gave very little substance on most issues, appeared mal-informed of many facts (perhaps because of the need to follow the "party line"). Frankly, he seemed unable to stave off the aggressive behavior of Kaine, and may have been viewed as a "victim" of sorts. Clearly, Pence's poll "win" was largely an emotional response rather than based on any belief that he really was either more qualified or more fit to "stand in" than Kaine.
**Individual scoring for each attribute of each topic and sub-topic for both speakers is available upon request.
*Pertinent Note: Trump asks why Obama refers to "ISIS" as "ISIL". The names both are applied to a group, founded in 1999, but whose terrorist roots are in the Sunni terror group, "al Qaeda in Iraq" ("AQI"), started in 2004. New leadership, in 2006, took over and announced the creation of the "Islamic State in Iraq" ("ISI"). ISI was, essentially, defeated in 2010 by the US, and fled to Syria. During the Syrian civil war, ISI's forces gained strength. It re-entered Iraq in 2013, and, along with members of the defeated Hussain Iraqi army, merged with another group, seizing much of Anbar a year later. After the merger, the combined group took the name "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (hence, "ISIL"), the name of the region recently vacated (the Levant or Greater Syria). That year, Baghdadi announced the group would also be known as the "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria" ("ISIS"). Likely Obama's use of "ISIL" is a defiant gesture because, of course, the group has no control, and no right to claim dominion, over all of Syria.