Vice President Mike Pence and California Sen. Kamala Harris faced off Wednesday night in their only debate of the 2020 election campaign in Utah. The debate covered more topics than last week's Trump-Biden showdown, but overall, the debate ultimately was about Trump.
We asked our viewers around the country for their reaction to the debate. Here's what they said:
"Mike Pence won hands down. Kamala Harris's smirks and scowling and shaking her head when Pence was stating facts she knew were true was unbecoming at best. She ducked too many questions including packing the court and Biden's health or lack thereof."
Robin Edwards, Logan County, Kentucky
"VP Pence acted as if he was the superior person on the stage. He seemed to look down on the two women involved. Then, when it was over, his wife stripped off her mask. As head of the Covid task force, you'd think he would act with some sense. VP Pence acted like his boss, only with more polished words that were not true. He needs to stop the lying."
Nathaniel Cain, Cincinnati, Ohio
"While both candidates were equal in debate style, Harris (in my opinion) won on the one attribute that decided the 1960 TV debate between Kennedy and Nixon: physical appearance. Harris was calm, smiling and acted very professional while speaking directly to the American people as well as to Pence and Page. Pence on the other hand looked a bit uncomfortable, had a bloodshot eye and (in a viral moment) had a fly land on his hair for two minutes. So, while the issues were important to discuss, their appearance could not be any more different."
Dharmesh, Naperville, Illinois
"It's simple. We had a (mostly) civil discussion on issues that matter. But that's nothing to celebrate. I think Harris did slightly better but left out a few punches, namely how the White House outbreak is a microcosm of Trump's failure to handle the Covid-19 crisis. Pence was largely on the defense all night and did little to give credence to his own administration Covid-19 response -- that's the most important issue for me heading into this election."
Aletha D., Dowagiac, Michigan
"The debate was an exercise of two very strong opponents. Kamala Harris held her ground yet wasn't overbearing. She met her goals. Introduced herself as a strong leader. Mike Pence also met his goals and showed a more rational conservative view. I would not be surprised if Trump/Pence gain in the polls a little by his performance. Overall, a strong debate."
"I believe that it is totally shameful that the debate commission allows the Trump administration to rudely ignore the person in charge of the debate and shamelessly interrupt the other person trying to make their point. They allow them to blatantly lie without fact checking. Here's what should happen. At the two minute mark, their microphones should be deactivated and reactivated when they are asked a question. If they don't answer the next question and go off on something previous, they lose their turn and the microphone silenced!"
"I was proud to be a Biden/Harris supporter tonight. I do believe that Mike Pence is a decent man, but I also believe that he sold his soul to a devil named Trump. Pence and countless others who were complicit will be judged. There is simply no doubt."
Katelyn Kirkland, Texas
"Honestly, I feel like Sen. Harris would have been well within her right to go back harder at VP Pence. I understand her hesitation, as a woman in this country regardless of skin color, but especially for Black women, an aggressive stance or thought process is always heavily criticized -- ironically by the very men who show aggression and 'passion' themselves. Ultimately, the biggest takeaway from this debate for me (which is similar to the takeaway from the presidential debate) is that Trump/Pence refuse to answer the tough questions. The redirecting from each of them and their campaign in general shows that they are unwilling to be truthful and transparent with the American people. They dodge any point-blank questions that should honestly be easily answered by those who either are or seek to lead our country (i.e., Trump on denouncing White supremacy, Pence on climate change.)"
Natalie Thornton, Indiana
"I don't believe that either candidate provided informative support to their running mates nor the American public. We are still left with unanswered questions that affect our current quality of life in this country and going forward."
Cathy, Brookline, Massachusetts
"Pence seemed to lie A LOT. Kamala's answers were measured and favorable. I would say she won the debate."
"No doubt Pence is the more polished debater. Pence made very good points in the contrast between the two tickets. Harris did OK but I can see why she didn't gain any traction in the primaries."
Sydney Carter, Clarkston, Georgia
"I think overall Kamala Harris performed the best; I must admit I wasn't expecting Mike Pence to do as well as he did. While both made good points, I think overall, Kamala Harris's points on Covid-19 and health care were her strongest and really pushed her forward. She was gestural and commanding when she spoke and looked directly into the camera and as a voter, that did a lot for me. I also like how agreeable her responses were, the Biden/Harris Campaign is specifically targeted to younger voters and I think her responses reflected that well. She was approachable and personable and as a young voter myself, that made her extremely relatable which in turn will receive votes."
Matt, New Jersey
"I voted for Obama in '08 and Gary Johnson the last two cycles and have been a fan of some of Trump's accomplishments but hesitant to support. Tonight did it for me, a clear coherent vision for America's future and a rational appreciation that this virus could have been much worse. I personally believe by clinging to the radical wing of the party, and strangely resurrecting failed Obama era foreign policy, that she may have pushed voters towards Trump. Because I'm one."
Julie Arcand, Washington State
"I thought Kamala Harris was the gentle woman here! She was honest and forthcoming! We must have honesty! How can the vice president claim character and Christianity and lie to us? I am a 53-year-old, well-educated woman diagnosed with a brain tumor and have a severe spine condition. I need insurance that covers pre-existing conditions. And, I need affordable housing! I now have to live on just less than 800 dollars a month in King County, Washington. The same county in which Bill Gates lives. I cannot continue my brain tumor treatment because of Covid-19 and the inability to pay! I will get what Medicare and Medicaid will approve. Pence doesn't know what it means to suffer and worry about health and finances! Kamala and Biden at least have empathy."
Meneshea, Alexandria, Virginia
"I'm not too thrilled that they both dodged two of the questions that I was most interested in hearing responses for: (1) if Roe v. Wade is overturned, how would they want their home states to handle abortion law, (2) have they had discussions with their running mates about succession. Those are important topics for me as a voter, because it has to do with my rights as a woman and there's a chance that succession could occur if Trump succumbs to the coronavirus and because Trump and Biden are nearing their 80s."