Local Colleges Track VP Debate Style and Substance
Friday, October 12, 2012
About 80 political science students filled a classroom at Sacramento State and a majority came away thinking more about Vice President Joe Biden than about Congressman Paul Ryan. For 19-year-old Sophomore, Brooke Ray, that wasn't a vote for Biden. She thought he was immature, "There are still moments when he was like, 'He got 40 seconds. Do I get that much time?' And, I'm like, "Are you serious? Like, how old are you?'"
Justin Hernandez is a 22-year-old sophomore. He says he's leaning towards the Romney/Ryan ticket. He wasn't put off by Biden's abrasiveness or pronounced grin, "Even if he's laughing, smiling, snickering, doing whatever, I think he gets a free pass kind of. People are like that's just Joe being Joe."
Katherine Sheldon is a Sacramento State senior and an Obama supporter. She loved Biden's performance, "I find Joe Biden endearing, I think because I have a lot of the same mannerisms he does. I get very passionate, involved and kind of intense."
Amber Boydstun is an assistant professor at UC Davis. She helped track the debate reaction of 1600 students nationwide with the React Labs phone app she helped design. She says Biden had more positive responses. Ryan's responses were more polarizing, "When he talked about Obamacare as an assault on freedom of religion and at the end when he talked about the shortcomings of the Obama administration, a lot of participants signaled their agreement, but a lot of participants signaled their disagreement at the same time."
CSUS Associate Professor of Government Kim Nalder helped assemble the viewing party. She found it interesting that no one questioned whether either vice presidential candidate would be qualified to be chief executive, "I don't think there was a doubt in the way there was four years ago."
In 2008, Sarah Palin debated Joe Biden as the Republican vice presidential candidate.