Can Paul Ryan seal the deal for Mitt Romney by defeating Joe Biden in Kentucky debate?
Expectations are high that Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan will win the debate against Vice President Joe Biden
Biden, a senator for 36 years, is a far more experienced debater than Ryan, who is 27 years younger than Biden
Republican nominee Mitt Romney is tamping down expectations that Ryan will win the debate to avoid negative fallout if his running mate fails to impress
By Toby Harnden
PUBLISHED: 10:25 EST, 10 October 2012 | UPDATED: 12:40 EST, 10 October 2012
Paul Ryan, who was just two years old when Vice President Joe Biden entered the U.S. Senate, could deliver a major blow to President Barack Obama's hopes of re-election if he prevails in tomorrow's debate in Kentucky.
Although the Romney campaign has been publicly playing down the chances of Representative Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, scoring a major victory in the vice-presidential debate, privately hopes are high that he could do very well.
Biden, who was a Senator for 36 years, is legendarily verbose and prone to verbal slips which have been a boon to the Romney campaign - most particularly when he said Republicans wanted to 'put y'all back in chains' and when he said the middle class had been 'buried' under Obama.
Ryan, just 42, is widely seen as one of the most intellectually impressive of a new Republican generation, a policy expert steeped in the minutiae of the economy and who entered Congress in 1999 when he was just 28 - two years younger then Biden was when he became a Senator in 1972.
A new Pew Research Centre poll has found that voters view Biden less favourably than Ryan and much worse than they did when he debated the 2008 Republican vice- presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
By a 40 per cent to a 34 per cent margin, voters expect Ryan to beat Biden at their Thursday debate in Danville, Kentucky. Among independents, 42 to 25 per cent believe Ryan will win.