Focus group's reaction to one Mike Pence moment had pollster calling it the 'knockout punch' of the debate

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

An Ohio focus group watching Tuesday's vice presidential debate rated Republican nominee Mike Pence's defense of supposedly "deplorable" Americans as one of the Indiana governor's best moments of the night.

SEE ALSO: Flash poll reveals winner of the debate

GOP pollster Frank Luntz, who was overseeing the focus group, said it was perhaps the "KO punch" of the debate. Pence's comment referred to a comment last month from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who put half of Trump supporters into a "basket of deplorables" before walking back the remark.

Watch the moment:

Trump supporters rated the moment at a score of 88 out of 100, undecided voters scored it at 83, and Hillary Clinton supporters offered it a generous 55.

RELATED: See photos from the debate

29 PHOTOS
Vice presidential debate
See Gallery
Vice presidential debate
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence shake hands as they arrive for their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) shakes hands with Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence at the start of their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Debate moderator Elaine Quijano arrives on the debate stage at the start of the debate between Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Debate moderator Elaine Quijano (L) looks on as Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine shakes hands with Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (R) at the start of their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Debate moderator Elaine Quijano (R) looks on as Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) shakes hands with Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence at the start of their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence discuss an issue during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (L) listens as Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine speaks and moderator Elaine Quijano (C) looks on during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Raedle/Pool
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine discusses an issue with Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (off camera) during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Rev. Jesse Jackson listens during the debate between Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine speaks during his debate against Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (not shown) at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine debate Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (R) during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Gombert/Pool
The audience watch the U.S. vice presidential debate between Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine speaks as Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (C) and debate moderator Elaine Quijano (R) look on during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence discuss an issue during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (L) speaks as Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine and debate as moderator Elaine Quijano (C) look on during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Raedle/Pool
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (C) speaks during his debate aginst Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence moderated by Elaine Quijano (L) at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Gombert/Pool
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) listens as Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence speaks during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Gombert/Pool
Democratic candidate for Vice President Tim Kaine gestures during the vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia on October 4, 2016. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence discuss an issue during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Gombert/Pool
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) shakes hands with Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence at the start of their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine speaks during his debate against Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence, moderated by Elaine Quijano at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane
Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence speaks as Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine and moderator Elaine Quijano (C) look on during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Raedle/Pool
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine discusses an issue with Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (off camera) during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (C) debate during their vice presidential debate moderated by Elaine Quijano (R) at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence greets his wife Karen Pence after the conclusion of the debate with Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Raedle/Pool
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine (C) and his wife Anne Holton (R) greet a guest in the audience at the conclusion of the debate with Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Anne Holton (R), the wife of Democratic candidate for Vice President Tim Kaine greets her husband after the vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia on October 4, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Anne Holton (L), wife of Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine shakes hands with Karen Pence (R), wife of Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Mike Pence at the start of the vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

While Pence was a hit with the focus group, Kaine struggled to connect during several key moments.

A CNN/ORC instant poll found Pence to be the winner over Kaine. Forty-eight percent of the 472 registered voters surveyed said Pence emerged as the winner in the face-off against Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine. Forty-two percent thought the Democratic vice presidential nominee won the political showdown.

Tuesday night's political duel in Virginia was the only scheduled vice presidential debate of 2016.

See Also:

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners