The Vice Presidential Face-Off

Ana Abraham

With the 2012 presidential election literally just weeks away, the American public faces a very important choice between two very different men. The first presidential debate between President Barack Obama and his GOP challenger Mitt Romney, occurred on Oct. 3 in Denver.

The second debate of the election season was between Vice President Joe Biden and Mitt Romney’s running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan. It was on Thursday, Oct. 11, in Danville, K.Y., and the two gentlemen discussed many of the foreign and domestic issues that will come up in the next four years.

The first and only Vice Presidential Debate lasted for an hour and a half and was moderated by the Chief Foreign Correspondent of ABC News, Martha Raddatz. Raddatz asked questions of the candidates that spanned topics such as the economy and national security, as well as personal character and issues such as abortion. The candidates naturally differed on nearly every topic; an example being when the war in Afghanistan should end, Biden said 2014 and Ryan did not offer a definitive answer.

Preliminary CNN polls released shortly after the debate suggested that Ryan won the debate by a very slim margin, 48 percent to Biden’s 44 percent. Preliminary CBS polling, however, suggests that Biden won by a large margin of 19 percent. Although it may not become clear who the winner of the debate is, many are agreeing that Vice President Biden did better than President Obama’s first debate performance, about which he said, “I had a bad night.”

Both candidates had strong presences in the Vice Presidential debate, with Biden laughing and Ryan maintaining a more serious composure. According to preliminary figures released by the Huffington Post, the debate drew approximately 43 million viewers. In 2008, when Biden debated John McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin, nearly 70 million people tuned in.