Kaine? Pence? America wonders who they are

Both vice presidential candidates are expected to campaign in the region following the debate.

Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence, two politicians in their late 50s, each with gubernatorial and congressional experience, are set to face off for 90 minutes at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, with the presidential race showing signs of having shifted toward Hillary Clinton since she and Donald Trump faced off last week.

"As always, the moderators alone will select the questions to be asked, which are not known to the CPD or to the candidates", the Commission on Presidential Debates says on its website.

But breaking with your opponent in a studio interview is one thing, doing it on stage next to an opponent who wants to pummel your running mate is something else entirely. But voters always have a reason to size up the people who would be next in line for the presidency. Trump has come off one of the worst weeks in presidential campaigns and Pence will have to defend - or explain - much of it. He's preparing for it. Tim Kaine, which is scheduled to be held at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., on October 4, 2016. "We're going to do our level best to be ready", Pence told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt this past week. According to the poll, 47 percent of voters said they were likely to watch Tuesday's debate.

Kaine, meanwhile, could help bolster Clinton's lead in his own state of Virginia and appeal to African-American and Hispanic communities that could be crucial in some battleground states.

The debate takes place in a rural town in southern Virginia where the globalization of the economy has been unkind.

Pence and Kaine have to decide whether to focus more on one another or on Trump and Clinton.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The last time Mike Pence was on a debate stage, four years ago in IN, he was carrying the Republican brand as a clear front-runner touting the record of highly popular Gov. Mitch Daniels. Look for Kaine to possibly exploit the fact that Pence has been transparent in releasing his taxes, compared to Trump who hasn't released them and is the nominee.

But both have played dramatically different roles since they were picked to be the No. 2s.

Pence, Donald Trump's running mate, has so many things that he must accomplish - some of which contradict each other - that there is nearly no way he can do it all. It's made for some awkward moments, with Pence defending Trump's praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump's apparent support for a policy of stop-and-frisk by police, and Trump's feud with a Muslim-American family whose son, a U.S. Army captain, was killed while serving in Iraq in 2004.

Kall, who watched Pence's 2012 gubernatorial debates and Kaine's 2012 Senate debates, said both are solid debaters, unlikely to commit any gaffes.

Former Virginia governor and senator Tim Kaine certainly has plenty of ammunition, but the Spanish-speaking, self-proclaimed "boring" VP pick has also acknowledged that he will be spending most of the debate talking about Hillary Clinton. He questioned Saturday night whether Clinton was loyal to her husband - without offering any evidence that she isn't - and mimicked her stumbling to a vehicle when she was ill with pneumonia.

Tuesday, he'll be playing clean up for Donald Trump, the most unpredictable and unruly candidate to ever top the Republican ticket.

By the start of last month, a local poll by WTHR and Howey Politics found Hoosiers were evenly split between seeing Pence in a favorable and unfavorable light since joining Trump.

For the earnest and easygoing Kaine, that means defending Clinton's character and reputation, her Achilles' heel throughout the campaign.

"That puts pressure on me", he joked.

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