People Will Be Watching Tonight Because of Kamala

The rundown on Wednesday's vice presidential debate
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2020 4:58 AM CDT
Updated Oct 7, 2020 7:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – As Quartz notes, vice presidential debates are not typically a huge draw for audiences—but that could very well change this year, thanks to the participation of Kamala Harris. While VP debates typically bring in significantly lower ratings than presidential debates, the debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden got higher ratings than any of the debates that year between the presidential nominees (not to mention the highest ratings for any VP debate, ever). The second-highest ratings for a VP debate? The 1984 debate between George HW Bush and Geraldine Ferraro, the only other one to feature a female candidate. Add to that the fact that Harris is known as an accomplished debater and has already been at the center of several viral debate moments from this year's Democratic primary, and the Wednesday night ratings could be pretty darn good. More on the debate:

  • Who is the moderator? USA Today's longtime bureau chief Susan Page. The Los Angeles Times has an extensive piece on the "veteran White House reporter, who has covered six administrations and 11 national campaigns." She's also the author of a Barbara Bush biography and has a book on Nancy Pelosi coming out next year, and is a frequent panelist on political roundtable shows. The article notes she's the first print journalist to moderate a televised debate since 1976.

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