Tonight, Kamala Harris and Mike Pence face off in Utah for a Vice Presidential debate that seems to be garnering a lot of attention. Not only has there been a fight over plexiglass barriers and greater distance separating the candidates, but also, with both Presidential candidates in their 70s, chances are surprisingly high that one of these participants might be called upon to assume the duties of the President. I pulled just the emails signed by the Vice Presidential candidates to see what their main differences were.
Despite the Trump campaign sending over twice the amount of emails as the Biden campaign, the two Vice Presidential candidates have sent similar numbers of emails. Considering that Harris wasn’t Biden’s VP pick until August and these numbers start counting in July, it’s not surprising that Pence is just a few ahead.
While the Vice Presidential candidate is meant to fill in some of the gaps in the Presidential candidate’s profile (Harris is young(er), female, and identifies as a Black woman, while Pence is religious), they are mainly used in emails to raise money for the campaigns. Pence has shilled some merch for Trump, while Harris has asked me to stand with Biden and raise money for the Senate Democrats.
While both Vice Presidential candidates have a distinctive style to their emails (Pence is less likely to use nicknames and ALL CAPS, Harris is less likely to use folkisms), they stick to their campaign messaging pretty well. Harris is hopeful and grateful and excited to take the fight to the Republicans, while Pence both thinks I’m super special and the Democrats are going to destroy society and the country with their Abortions and other socialist measures.
While Pence frequently tells me that his name means a message is important (You know I wouldn’t email you unless it was really important), that usually comes with a plea for money. Sometimes it’s to let me know that I could qualify for one of Trump’s special groups, if only I donated a little more. Despite being the head of the coronavirus task force, Pence has only emailed about COVID-19 in relation to Trump being back in the White House after beating it. He is far more excited about the Supreme Court nominee than he is about anything pertaining to his role in government.
Harris, on the other hand, talks about things that are going on, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing or her pick as Vice President. She is doing a much better job at representing Biden’s plans and proposals than Pence is doing of Trump’s, as she actually mentions them on occasion and directs me to links about them and asks me to endorse them.
Finally, when it comes to talking about people who aren’t them, Harris is critical of Trump but capable of mentioning him without saying he’s bad. Pence is much less likely to mention Biden without criticizing him in some way. However, Pence is far more likely to criticize the Democratic party as a whole, while the only person who warrants any praise is Trump. Harris, on the other hand, has given praise to her fellow Democrats while being critical of Republicans, and she is much less likely to fawn over Biden.
All in all, the two Vice Presidential candidates are great at staying on-message and on-brand. Their running mates should be very happy with their choices.