According to poll results tweeted by CNBC last night, 56 percent of viewers herald Paul Ryan as the winner of the first and only vice-presidential debate, and only 36 percent determined Biden the champ. Yet, due to Vice President Biden’s rousing display of eccentric claims, this morning, mainstream media outlets are calling the debate a draw.
In truth, the winner of this debate depends on who you ask.
Women took note that in this debate a wide-range of issues important to us were brought to the table. After last week’s presidential debate failed to focus on abortion or religious liberty, it was heartening to hear both Biden and Ryan respect the sanctity of life. But it was Ryan who came across as steadfast on faith and the need to protect life, “Our faith informs us in everything we do. My faith informs me about how to take care of the vulnerable, of how to make sure that people have a chance in life. Now, you want to ask basically why I’m pro-life? It’s not
simply because of my Catholic faith. That’s a factor, of course. But it’s also because of reason and science. … I believe life begins at conception.”
But the major sticking point for women in this debate had more to do with style than actual substance. Vice President Biden’s unprecedented strategy called for 82 interruptions, eye-rolling, and laughing during serious discussion of the War Against Terror. Not the type of behavior voters found flattering to America’s second in command.
Women were unconvinced by Biden’s over-the-top antics. All of the women on a CNN post-debate panel criticized Biden’s rude behavior and condescending tone. Though Ryan remained composed, he was not short of quips and snarky remarks, going so far as to say, “I know you are under duress to make up for lost ground, but I think people would be better served if we don’t interrupt each other.”
Undecided voters, too, found Biden’s tone unprofessional. Every undecided women participating in a CNN focus-group panel criticized Biden for his distasteful manner. One undecided woman commented, “I thought Paul Ryan … was trying to educate us, teach us, until Joe Biden would bumble in and tried to distort things by overriding him, talking, and being a buffoon in general.” Another undecided North Carolina voter, Nella Stevens, commented, “I’m not totally decided, but the vice presidential debate has swayed me toward Romney/Ryan.” When Stevens was asked how she graded the candidates, she answered, “C– for Biden , if for no other reason than rudeness and aggression; B+ for Ryan for poise, articulate answers, calmness and overall good sportsmanship.”
Overall, many believe Ryan could have aggressively tackled Biden’s points with potency, but his restrained attitude showed a humility and respect not normally seen in politicians. Ryan’s strategy was simple. Knowing his off-the-cuff attitude, Ryan let the truth shine through facts and statistics and sit back and allowed Biden to self-destruct. American women and undecided voters needed to see steady, consistent leadership.
Apparently, those who saw the debate via split screen opined that Ryan won, while those who watched the debate without a split screen labeled the debate a draw.