The debate must go on: Most voters plan to watch the VP debate and say it should not be canceled

Hoang NguyenData Journalist
October 05, 2020, 4:26 PM UTC

Despite most voters describing the first presidential debate between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden last Tuesday as “chaotic,” people can’t seem to get enough of the events this election.

That appears to be the consensus, at least on the vice-presidential debate set to occur on Wednesday between Vice President Mike Pence and Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris. Most voters say they do not want the debate to be canceled (67%) and more than half say they plan on watching the debate (54%), according to a pair of Yahoo/YouGov surveys conducted October 1-3, 2020.

Neither Trump’s nor Biden’s supporters want to cancel the scheduled VP debate, with the staunchest support to keep the debate coming from President Trump’s base (79%).

This is perhaps slightly ironic, seeing as Trump’s supporters are less likely to say they will actually watch the debate than Biden’s supporters (52% vs 60%).
Which issues should Pence and Harris focus on?

The debates at this stage offer nominees a chance to express their opinions on the issues that voters care most about. Data from the YouGov polls reveals that most voters did not learn much about the most pressing issues affecting America at the first debates. On topics like COVID-19, the Supreme Court nomination, healthcare policy, economic policy, and law and order between 56%-58% of voters say they did not learn much or anything about the issues).
Wednesday’s VP debate affords both Pence and Harris the opportunity to expand further on how each of their respective nominees will approach the issues.

See results from the Yahoo News/YouGov polls here

Methodology: The Yahoo News surveys were conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,202 US registered voters interviewed online from October 1-2, 2020 and October 2-3, 2020. The sample for each survey were weighted according to gender, age, race and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 presidential vote, registration status, geographic region and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US registered voters. The margin of error for both surveys is 4.6%.

Image: Getty