The Note: Deconstructing the Debate


--TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER CALLS CLINTON 'DESPERATE TO CLEAN UP' KAINE'S PERFORMANCE: Hillary Clinton and her team are "desperate to clean up Tim Kaine's performance" in Tuesday night's vice presidential debate, Donald Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said today on ABC News’ "Good Morning America.” Conway’s comments come after Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, admitted to a crowd of supporters Wednesday that he got “dinged a little bit” for interrupting too much during the “feisty” debate, ABC’s MORGAN WINSOR notes. Kaine described his Republican rival, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, as a “pretty good debater.” But the Virginia senator said Pence missed an opportunity to defend his running mate. “He’s pretty smooth but there is one thing he can’t do, and that is defend Donald Trump on anything,” Kaine said at a rally in Philadelphia yesterday.

--KAINE ACKNOWLEDGES HE ‘GOT DINGED’ FOR INTERRUPTING: Tim Kaine reflected on his debate performance, admitting to a crowd of supporters that he got "dinged a little bit" for interrupting too much. During Tuesday night's presidential debate, Kaine interrupted GOP rival Mike Pence 70 times, according to an ABC News analysis. Pence interrupted Kaine 40 times. While Kaine seemed pleased with his defense of Clinton, he admitted that he's faced some criticism for his interruptions of Pence, ABC’s JESSICA HOPPER reports. "I got dinged a little bit even by my wife for interrupting too much. Okay. But the key part of that debate was at some points I felt like both me and Mike Pence were debating Donald Trump.”

--ALL THE TRUMP MOMENTS PENCE SAID DIDN’T HAPPEN: During Tuesday night's debate Mike Pence was tasked with defending or clarifying statements made by his running mate, Donald Trump. Throughout the debate, Kaine often used Trump's words against Pence. And Pence's strategy -- at times -- was to deny Trump ever said certain statements. ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI and JASON KURTIS have more. WATCH:

--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: Does size matter? No, this is not the question posed back in the Republican primary. It’s the question being raised daily by the Trump campaign, which continues to pack in huge audiences to brag about what they cast as Donald Trump’s “massive crowds” vs. Hillary Clinton’s events with “Washington insiders.” It suggests an enthusiasm gap, and surely plays to Trump’s personal preferences. It’s also helping Trump with campaign organization and voter contacts; the Clinton campaign can and does argue that it’s doing its voter-registration and early-voting outreach independent of the candidate’s personal appearances. That’s a critical point: The campaigns are getting different things out of their public events, because they are running much different campaigns. The Trump campaign is acknowledging that, without saying it, by having a town-hall meeting for the candidate Thursday in New Hampshire, mimicking the format of the next presidential debate. Clinton, meanwhile, is going into Sunday’s debate with a lighter schedule, to leave more time for debate prep. That makes for stronger Trump press releases now. But the Clinton camp would trade that in for better reviews next week and beyond – not to mention more votes next month.

DEBATE PREP -- HOW THE VP DEBATE RAISES THE STAKES FOR SUNDAY'S FACEOFF BETWEEN CLINTON AND TRUMP. Though the top-ticket candidates were obviously not on stage for the vice-presidential debate Tuesday night, they will definitely be impacted by what happened in Virginia. After the dust settled following Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine’s faceoff against his Republican rival, Gov. Mike Pence, all eyes have turned to the next presidential debate, which will be held this Sunday, notes ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will again take center stage at the town hall-style debate in St. Louis, and this time, they may be taking cues from their running mates.


HOW UNDECIDED VOTERS FELT ABOUT THE VP DEBATE. For undecided voters across the country, the debate offered a chance to learn more about the policies and plans of the candidates at the top of each ticket, through their lesser-known running mates, ABC’s AMNA NAWAZ and ADAM RIVERA write. As Election Day nears, ABC News has been tracking the decision-making process of three undecided voters - Lacey Dickinson, a 28-year-old non-profit staffer in Philadelphia, Penn, Carolyn Garavente, a 24-year-old project manager in Greensboro, NC, and Peter Macone, a 32-year-old restaurant manager in Manchester, NH. All three watched and heard what Kaine and Pence had to say last night. Did it help them reach a decision? WATCH:

DEMOCRATS SLAM PENCE FOR 'THAT MEXICAN THING' COMMENTS. Hispanic Democrats are seizing on Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s description of Donald Trump’s immigration comments as “that Mexican thing” in Tuesday’s vice-presidential debate to bash the Republican ticket. “When Donald Trump says women should be punished or Mexicans are rapists and criminals … he is showing you who he is,” Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, said in the debate. “Senator, you’ve whipped out that Mexican thing again,” Pence quickly replied. Kaine honed in on Trump’s remarks throughout the vice-presidential debate, calling on Pence to defend his running mate’s comments, writes ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL.


THE TIME THAT TRUMP VISITED A CLASS OF FIRST GRADERS. He went from the boardroom to the classroom. It was business as usual for first graders at the International Christian Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada. That is, until Donald Trump arrived -- sparking a flurry of questions and comments, including about the color of his hair, ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI notes. “Look who’s here, Mr. Trump!” the teacher said to the class of young students on Wednesday. Reaction from the children was mixed as the Republican presidential nominee greeted the class.


@kenvogel: Trump, without irony: "I want to win this election on my policies for the future, not on Bill Clinton's past."

@SopanDeb: Wa Po editorial: "A President Trump could destroy the world economy" 

@tamarakeithNPR: 35ish days until the election and the Clinton campaign seems to be leaning into its positive messaging. New ad out.

@mattyglesias: This is not a promising trend for Trump

@mmurraypolitics: The Top 10 advertising markets in the 2016 presidential race (to date) …