The Vice Presidential Debate Is Tonight And Yes, You Need to Watch

By Victoria Robertson on October 4, 2016

We all know way too much about both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Way more than we want to know. Way more than we probably need to know.

But does anyone really know anything about their VPs? Can you even name them off the top of your head?

This election year, perhaps more than ever, the VP choices actually matter, especially since the two candidates in the running for president are pretty universally disliked.

So college students, this is your year to pay attention, and it starts tonight. So get your homework done, grab yourself a bottle of wine (or several, honestly) and take a seat on the couch, because tonight could just determine your future. (At least, it’ll help determine your future vote).

Here is everything you need to know about tonight’s Vice Presidential Debate.

1. Where can you watch?

The debate will take place tonight, October 4, at 9 p.m. EST and will air across all major television networks. It will be a 90-minute debate with zero commercial interruptions (because apparently even politicians hate commercials).

The debate will be coming to you live from Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. And much like the first debate, this one will be split up into nine, 10-minute segments, during which each candidate has two minutes to respond to a question posed by the moderator and conversation (or, likely, argument) continues from there.

2. Who’s going to be there?

Your moderator (the person that attempts to maintain control of the debate) is CBS’s Elaine Quijano, a correspondent for the news and the first Asian American moderator for such a debate.

There will of course be the two VP candidates as well: Mike Pence and Tim Kaine (the VP to candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, respectively).

Mike Pence: Team Trump and the Governor of Indiana, Pence was previously of no relation to Trump. He has also spent six terms in the House of Representatives in Congress, so he’s definitely Republican eye candy, especially considering the nature of this election.

Tim Kaine: Team Hillary and a senator from Virginia, Kaine and Hillary have a friendship that predated their current partnership. Virginia happens to be a swing state, and given Kaine’s popularity, this choice was not made solely based on a friendship.

3. What are the issues?

For one, the candidates themselves. Don’t be surprised when much of tonight’s debate consists of the nominees either defending their partner or attacking the other’s. Hillary and Trump and their histories are going to come up a lot, possibly even more than either of Kaine or Pence’s.

The real issues? You can expect to hear about something that was not discussed during the presidential debate: abortion, gay rights and religious liberty. Both men stand on very opposite sides of this issue, so this one is going to be a big ticket conversation tonight. And don’t be surprised when the topic of religion becomes a major factor (especially since Pence previously passed anti-gay legislation in the name of religious freedom). Definitely going to be something to watch for tonight.

You can also expect to hear quite a bit about immigration, the economy, ISIS and Russia, Gun Control (or a lack thereof), racism, education and potentially even the environmental issues plaguing the world.

But again, you’re probably going to hear about Trump and Hillary more than anything else — including the email scandal and body shaming. Also probably up for debate, taxes.

4. What’s next?

This is going to be the second in a string of debates (the first presidential debate took place on September 26), and we aren’t quite at the end yet (unfortunately). While this is going to be the first and only vice presidential debate, there will be two more presidential debates, one this coming Sunday and another in about two weeks.

For more detail on the upcoming debates, take a look below:

Presidential Debate #2: Sunday, October 9 at 9 p.m. EST at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri — this will be moderated by Anderson Cooper (anchor at CNN).

Presidential Debate #3: Wednesday, October 19 at 9 p.m. EST at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Nevada — this will be moderated by Chris Wallace (anchor at FOX news)

Basically, this is going to be a very boring night of argument, but at the very least, it’s going to give us a break from hearing the same arguments coming from Clinton and Trump.

It’s hard to think of it that way, but tonight’s an important one, especially for millennial voters that are perhaps voting for the first time. So watch, learn about the issues, learn about the candidates and make a judgment call. Because the truth is, the VP candidates matter just as much, and so it’s important that we take their candidacy seriously.

(Did you miss the debate? See what you missed here!)

Victoria is a dedicated writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently writes freelance pieces for various sites and works in Marketing for Myndbee Inc., promoting their current mobile app, Picpal.

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