Donald Trump joined the chorus of conservatives singing the praises of Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s debate performance Tuesday night, adding a coda of self-congratulation.
“Mike Pence did an incredible job, and I’m getting a lot of credit because that’s really my first so-called choice, my ‘first hire’ as we would say in Las Vegas,” Trump said a rally in a Vegas suburb. “And I’ll tell you he’s a good one.”
Republicans spent Wednesday largely praising Pence’s 90 minutes in the campaign spotlight. None praised Pence in as lavish terms as his running mate.
“I’d argue that Mike had the single most decisive victory in the history of vice presidential debates,” Trump said.
The post-debate polling was less conclusive. A CNN/ORC poll found voters believed Pence won the debate 48 percent to 42 percent nationally.
Most public focus groups also gave Pence the edge but almost none of those surveyed said the VP debate would change their votes.
Hillary Clinton has no public events until the debate. Trump holds a town-hall style event – a debate tune-up – in New Hampshire on Thursday.
The campaign focus now shifts to Sunday’s next presidential debate, to be held in St. Louis.