By James Oliphant and Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Wednesday’s vice presidential debate has taken on an outsized and perhaps unprecedented significance, with questions about President Donald Trump’s health now looming over the U.S. election less than a month away.
Vice President Mike Pence’s face-off against Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat Joe Biden’s running mate, on Wednesday in Salt Lake City comes as the Trump campaign continues to reel from a COVID-19 outbreak that has infected the Republican president and a growing number of people in his inner circle.
The pressure on Pence, who often toils in Trump’s deep shadow, is great. Trump trails Biden by 10 percentage points nationally, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, with voters faulting what they viewed as the president’s carelessness about the dangers of the new coronavirus.
Pence needs to show the public he is ready to step in as president if the situation requires,