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Valley pollster: VP debate carries weight this time

PHOENIX — Valley political analyst Mike O’Neil said President Obama’s Denver debate performance was so abysmal that Vice President Joe Biden could come to the rescue with a good performance Thursday when he faces off against Mitt Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan.

“Had Obama won the debate I think it would have been ho hum, he’ll coast to a re-election victory in November,” O’Neil said. “I think it makes this debate interesting.”

The vice-presidential debate will be held at Centre College in Danville, Ky. O’Neil said Ryan will likely have to address the openings that Romney left during the Denver debate that the president never seized upon.

O’Neil does not believe the VP debate will shift overall poll numbers but it will carry a high level of interest.

“People generally don’t vote on the VPs and the last vice president that most people feel actually made a difference on an election was [Lyndon Johnson] in 1960.”