Why Mike Pence will almost certainly give Trump a bump in the polls tonight
Mike Pence: The medicine Trump needs at just the right time
Trump will almost certainly head into his second debate with Hillary Clinton either in a tie with Hillary, or at least moving up in the polls. The reason for this is simple, Mike Pence is front and center tonight and he's the guy who most all Republicans like and can relate to, and they are the ones Trump needs.
It was Republicans who caused Trump to drop a bit in the polls after the first debate. I listed five polls to the right where Trump lost the most support, and in those polls most of his slippage came because Republicans backed off of their support for Trump after the first debate. Pence is a die hard conservative, not only in policy but in temperament. Republicans longing for someone to rally around who is like them will find that man in Mike Pence.
While one might ask, but should this already have happened by now? Only partially. Vice Presidential nominees matter most on three occasions, the selection, the convention speech and the debate. These events are not equal, however, in significance. As we move close to the election, more people pay attention. Now virtually everyone who is going to pay attention is paying attention. That makes the debate key.
Pence can score major points for Trump just by acting like a Republican tonight. Under normal circumstances, Pence would bring some Republicans home. But after Trump's bad week, the Pence effect will be doubly impactful. Especially if Pence hits the subject of the Supreme Court hard, the impact will likely be substantial.
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Most of Trump's losses since the debate have come from Republican defections or loss of Republican enthusiasm. Below are five polls where Trump's losses were most significant after the debate. In each poll, the losses were highest among Republicans, Pence's natural audience.