The stage is set Tuesday for the first and only vice presidential debate of 2016 between Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia and Republican Governor Mike Pence of Indiana.
“I think it's going to be a little boring, and in a good way,” said UW Bothell debate coach Denise Vaughan.
Both VP candidates were considered the "safe," but not flashy choices by their respective campaigns, and both come with a lot of political experience both in congress and the governor's mansion.
So, viewers at home can likely expect less show and more substance and policy talk, according to analysts.
“Tomorrow night you'll see much more reserved candidates than you did in the presidential debate. The VP candidates just need to look presidential. They need to remain calm,” explains Vaughan. Their hand gestures will not be very elaborate. In a presidential debate, we see people trying to grab more power, so they'll be more aggressive in the body language, facial expressions.
Vaughan describes last week’s first presidential debate as “showmanship.”
“A lot of the lines were clearly designed, so we’d come away with that line, under 160 characters,” she described.
While voters complained it was short on substance, the first presidential debate was the most watched debate to date. Record ratings are not expected Tuesday for the runningmates, even as the pressure and stakes remain sky high.
“They cannot mess up,” said Vaughan. “They need to do well, and that’s the only bar. So, if they do exceptionally well, whatever…but if they do poorly, it could be awful.”
However, Gallup polls from years past indicate the vice presidential debates don’t have a huge impact on presidential races, overall.
“If I were to look at my lifetime, I'm not sure the VP candidate makes that much of a difference,” said voter Catherine Feehan.
“I’m just hoping that they raise the bar a little bit,” said another voter.
While engaged voters will be tuning in, others told KING 5 Monday that they’ve had enough.
“I'm kinda over it,” said Kyle Martin. “I’m thinking we’re in trouble either way we vote.”
Faith Jaeger, a Gary Johnson supporter, said she would like to see third party candidates on stage.
“The debates got really personal last time. I watched about 20 minutes of it, and I’d rather have it be about the policy and not their own personal issues,” said Jaeger.
“It’s just a lot of arguing, and I think politically, they just say what they want us to hear,” said voter Jennifer Warmke. “To me, I don't want to hear false hopes and false promises. I want to see proof, I want to see the real thing.”
You can watch the debate on KING 5, starting at 6 p.m. PST, or on KING5.com.