The Vice Presidential debate was a proxy battle for the top of ticket. Senator Tim Kaine appeared over-prepared and nervous at first. Kaine came out hot and interrupted way to much over the course of the debate. He should have waited until Pence finished speaking then lay down his response.
Governor Mike Pence shelled typical Republican policy with a stern smile. Every time Kaine read back Donald Trump's own words Mike Pence refused to answer and changed the subject. The times Pence did defend Trump he was able to put on a calm face on the chaos of Trump.
Over the course of the debate Kaine served as a better surrogate for his candidate, Hilary Clinton. Most answers he brought back to building up Clinton. He vouched for her on national security and her character. The answer he gave on abortion was strong and will probably move the needle for women and millennials. The whole discussion around abortion felt real and the closet thing to an actually debate we have heard this campaign.
Most people will probably say Pence won the debate, but it is mostly on points. He was calm and didn't interrupt Kaine that much. The content of what he said was either incorrect or misleading. The most striking thing of the night was Pence's position on Russia. He took a stance that directly contradicted what Trump has said previously. It may be the first time a Vice President has his own foreign policy. This debate may be more about Pence 2020 then Trump 2016.