The Obama campaign is hoping that Thursday night's vice presidential debate helped to make up some lost ground in the polls. Washington bureau reporter Erin Billups filed the following report for NY1.
Almost everyone agrees that Thursday's vice presidential debate was more lively than the presidential face-off between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. On Thursday night, Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan hit each other hard on topics ranging from the embassy attack on Libya to whose Medicare plan is better. But ultimately, it seems the vice presidential debate doesn't really make a difference.
"Effect of a vice presidential debate is slim to none, particularly on the outcome of an election, particularly on the permanent movement of voters," said John Hudak, a governance fellow at the Brookings Institute.
According to an analysis of Gallup polling trends, there has been no meaningful impact to voter preference in any of the last eight vice presidential debates. Preliminary accounts show there was a double-digit drop in viewership from the presidential debates. Still, Hudak said there may very well be at least a short-term payoff for both campaigns.
"In the next few days, maybe the minds of voters don't change, though I think there is an opportunity they will, at least the enthusiasm will," noted Hudak.
And for the Obama-Biden campaign, there is another benefit, with the conversation shifting away from the president's poor performance from the week before.
"Everyone either thinks [Biden] won last night's debate or he was rude or lacked the right kind of temper in last night's debate. But, everyone is talking about Joe Biden. That's not what the Romney ticket needed," said Hudak.