Focus group's reaction to one Mike Pence moment had pollster calling it the 'knockout punch' of the debate

An Ohio focus group watching Tuesday’s vice presidential debate rated Republican nominee Mike Pence’s defence of supposedly “deplorable” Americans as one of the Indiana governor’s best moments of the night.

GOP pollster Frank Luntz, who was overseeing the focus group, said it was perhaps the “KO punch” of the debate. Pence’s comment referred to a comment last month from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who put half of Trump supporters into a “basket of deplorables” before walking back the remark.

Watch the moment:

Mike Pence’s defence of “deplorable” Americans may be the KO punch of tonight’s #VPDebate.
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) October 5, 2016

Trump supporters rated the moment at a score of 88 out of 100, undecided voters scored it at 83, and Hillary Clinton supporters offered it a generous 55.

While Pence was a hit with the focus group, Kaine struggled to connect during several key moments.

A CNN/ORC instant poll found Pence to be the winner over Kaine. Forty-eight per cent of the 472 registered voters surveyed said Pence emerged as the winner in the face-off against Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine. Forty-two per cent thought the Democratic vice presidential nominee won the political showdown.

Tuesday night’s political duel in Virginia was the only scheduled vice presidential debate of 2016.

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