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Viewers React to Gore-Kemp Debate

October 10, 1996

A sampling of viewer reaction to Wednesday’s debate between Vice President Al Gore and Jack Kemp:

``It was rather tedious. I don’t think that either of them are particularly enthralling speakers or particularly bright men. ... What I saw was people giving commercials.″

_ David Mitchell, 43, a teacher from Ardmore in suburban Philadelphia, who said he will vote for Clinton-Gore.

``It would be difficult to call a winner in this particular debate. There weren’t any knockdown blows scored.″

_ Mark Willoughby, 45, marketing director for Data Assurance Corp., who lives in Parker, Colo., with his wife and two children. He describes himself as Republican-leaning.

``There wasn’t a lot of fire. ... They don’t respond to the questions asked. They just respond to what’s prepared.″

_ Marcia Baird, a retired attorney in her 50s who lives with her husband, also an attorney, in Denver. She’s a Democrat.

``I thought it was a good debate, but I’m still not sure which way to go here. ... I felt Jack Kemp was a little bit uncomfortable ... I thought Al was well-versed, he did his homework. He was real cool, real smooth. To a large degree, he was very convincing.″

_ Charles Johnson, 60, a retired Navy warrant officer who now runs a private investigation service in San Diego. He’s been married for 35 years and describes himself as an independent.

``I think Gore did an excellent job. He mapped out the main points of the platform. I think Kemp beat around the bush and didn’t make his points clear. I didn’t think what he said was important to what was going on.″

_ Brandi Dickman, 20, a University of Maryland student from Columbia, Md., and registered Democrat who will vote for Clinton.

``The debate did not make any difference one way or the other. Most things, I had heard before. There was nothing shocking or that stood out that would make me change my mind.″

_ Jeff Jardell, 37, a database and administrator at a computer manufacturer in Houston.

``I’m still going with Clinton _ I just didn’t have a clue what Kemp was talking about. He was talking in riddles, like he was talking around the issues.″

_ Barbara Johnson, a payroll technician and longtime Democrat from Philadelphia.

``If I had a sense that the Republican ticket was really concerned about those who are the most socially and economically deprived, that might get my attention. ... Jack Kemp has given some indication that he is somewhat open to those issues, but since he has committed himself to be Dole’s running mate, I just don’t have confidence in his ability to be a force.″

_ Beverly Mitchell, 41, a graduate student in theology at Boston College who lives in Newton, Mass., and is leaning toward the Democratic ticket.

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