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Axios|SurveyMonkey poll: vice presidential debate 2020

Axios|SurveyMonkey poll: vice presidential debate 2020

When it comes to evaluation of their performance, Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris met similar expectations, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll. Over half thought they both performed about as expected (58% for Harris, 56% for Pence). Greater shares of independents thought that Harris did better than expected (22%) and Pence did worse than expected (26%).

The debate left majorities of viewers with mostly positive feelings with over a third (36%) relieved and 21% even excited by the debate. For 26%, the 90 minutes left them feeling disappointed and just 12% walked away feeling angry.

In their own words, debate watchers describe the debate overall as “civil” and “informative”—perhaps in contrast with last week’s melee between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. 

Democrats describe Harris as “strong,” “professional,” and “confident,” while some of Republicans’ top words to describe her are “liar,” “lies,” “untruthful,” “rude,” and “evasive.”

Republicans consider Pence to be “professional,” “strong,” “excellent,” and “presidential.” Democrats, in turn, use words like “liar,” “rude,” “evasive,” “disrespectful,” and “condescending” to describe his performance. 

When it comes to topic of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, a majority of Americans (54%) say they would trust VP candidate Kamala Harris over current head of the coronavirus taskforce, Mike Pence (44%). Particularly among people who live in areas highly impacted by COVID, people living in urban areas, are more likely to trust Harris over Pence (70% vs. 28%). 

View the full results below.
Read more about our polling methodology here