That’s definitely the case for Trump, according to ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd.
Dowd specifically pointed to improvements that need to be made to Trump’s “style and tone,” particularly after Pence’s measured and relatively calm performance on Tuesday night.
“He has to win this debate or it’s very difficult for him to win this election,” Dowd added.
James Campbell, a professor of political science at the University at Buffalo and the author of "Polarized," said that it is clear that the VP debate “means a great deal more” to the Trump ticket than the Clinton camp because of the general perception that Pence won.
“This should make it clearer than ever to the campaign and, perhaps, to the candidate that Trump needs to calmly but firmly stick to his campaign’s message,” Campbell told ABC News.
“Trump should not allow himself to be distracted from making this main message either by Clinton or by the moderator's questions. He should hammer on these central points and deflect any other topics by saying that these are the matters that all Americans are most concerned about,” he said.
“This clearly paid off and produced a superior debate performance to Trump, who should now clearly recognize the benefit of structured practice and plan accordingly for St. Louis,” Kall told ABC News.
More than anything, Pence’s impact may be felt on an emotional support level for Trump and the campaign after critics viewed Trump’s first debate performance to be a flop.
“The Trump campaign hopes history will repeat itself and he'll deliver a better performance on Sunday night, but it all starts with additional practice. Time is running out and there are only a few opportunities left to meaningfully alter the state of the race,” he added.