Donald Trump’s weeklong slide in the presidential race started when he showed up to the first debate unprepared and spoiling for a fight. On Tuesday evening, Mike Pence helped slow it by doing the opposite.
Calm and measured, Pence showed off his preparation for his vice-presidential showdown with Democrat Tim Kaine, fending off a slashing, interrupting opponent. The Indiana governor prepared for the debate “since the night he received the call from Mr. Trump,” a campaign aide told ABC News, enlisting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as Kaine’s stand-in during practice sessions last week.
While a marked contrast with Trump’s shaky first debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton, Pence’s steady performance, which came after a dismal week of self-inflicted wounds and flagging poll numbers for the Trump campaign, may not have led the Republican ticket any closer to the White House.