Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris will face off in their first and only debate vice presidential debate Oct. 7.
Pence and Harris will take the stage at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City just eight days after President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden met in Cleveland in their first of three scheduled debates and just six days after Trump announced on Twitter that he tested positive for COVID-19. The president’s ill health and hospitalization, as well as his and Biden’s advanced ages, are bringing increased attention to their running mates.
The first presidential debate last week in which Trump repeatedly interrupted Biden as he answered moderator Chris Wallace’s questions left a bad taste in many voters’ mouths, and caused the independent Commission on Presidential Debates to put out a statement the following day saying that “additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.” The CPD hasn’t yet announced what that structure will be, but responding to requests from Biden and Harris’ team after Trump and many people close to him tested positive for COVID-19, they will move the candidates farther apart on stage, and add a plexiglass barrier.
To take the pulse of what matters most to Americans in this moment, PBS NewsHour’s Amna Nawaz will moderate a live panel with six voters — three who support Trump, and three who back Biden — following tonight’s vice presidential debate.
Watch Amna Nawaz’s discussion with voters from across the country starting at 11 p.m. EDT in the player above.
Meet the voters:
Jarod Madinger is a 32-year-old sales consultant from Nashville, Tennessee. He was a registered Libertarian but became a registered Republican ahead of the 2016 election so “his vote actually counted.” He plans to support Trump, though in light of Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, he thinks the president could have been more careful with COVID-19 precautions.
Bruce Penuel is a 68-year-old retired police officer from Collegeville, Pennsylvania. He says he thinks Biden is too old to be considered a good candidate and thinks Trump has the ability to do good things if “he just keeps his mouth shut.”
Scarlett Hronek is a 25-year-old teacher living in Summerville, South Carolina. She plans to vote for Trump in November because she believes the Republican Party is more aligned with her socially conservative values and support of the military.
Austin Lucous is a 21-year-old college senior at Wright University in Dayton, Ohio. Though he said his parents are solidly Republican and he voted for Trump in 2016, he is supporting Biden in this election.
Lorraine Zapata is a 58-year-old elementary school principal from Lancaster, California. She said she is voting for Biden because of his record on health care and diversity issues.
Lexton Smith is a 66-year-old retired executive chef and former restaurant owner from Camden, New Jersey. He counts issues of race among the top reasons he plans to vote for Biden this November.
More debate coverage:
- WATCH: What voters think of Trump and Biden’s first debate
- Amid historic race, voters of color wrestle with Harris’ personal and political identities
- ‘They forget about us.’ In Minnesota, moderate Democrats feel left behind by their party
- Where President Trump stands on the issues in 2020
- Where Biden stands on the issues in 2020