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What Utahns will be looking for during the Vice Presidential Debate

SALT LAKE CITY – As all eyes turn to Utah ahead of the one and only Vice Presidential debate, what will Utahns themselves be looking for during Wednesday night’s debate? 

Hinckley Institute of Politics Director Jason Perry says The Supreme Court, an issue in the 2016 election, is important once again to the state’s voters. 

“They wanted–not everyone–but a majority of Utahns wanted conservative candidates. They’ve got a couple of them already, but that issue is high on the list again,” Perry says. 

COVID-19 is expected to be a big topic at the debate and also tops Utahns’ lists of important issues. 

“Utahns are really going to be looking for the plan or the strategy [on] how to jumpstart the economy,” Perry says. “But also how they’re going to approach issues dealing with the vaccine and the ability to get our population well and safe again.” 

Perry feels the campaigns themselves are going to use the Vice Presidential debate as a way to sell the top of the ticket to voters who are on the fence. 

In 2016, many voters in Utah were unsure about then-candidate Donald Trump’s temperament. 

Vice President Mike Pence is seen as having a different leadership style. 

“Vice President Pence is being sent out, particularly here in the West, definitely in the state of Utah, to be that person that is kind of the calmer waters. ‘You may have some concerns about issues of temperament and style, but I’m the Vice President, and you can have confidence in me,'” Perry says. 

Senator Kamala Harris will also be seen as reaching out to voters who have concerns about former Vice President Joe Biden. 

“She’s going to be seen as a competent person that is in that number two role. A steady hand, but also a keen mind,” Perry says. 

Recent polls show President Trump beating former Vice President Biden by 10 points in Utah.


Student volunteers helping at the Vice Presidential debate