As usual, the major cable news networks tasked political operatives to evaluate Mike Pence and Tim Kaine’s debate performances. Their views were predictable and unenlightening.

For example, on CNN, longtime Democratic strategist and former Bill Clinton advisor Paul Begala and Jeffrey Lord, a pro-Trump surrogate and Reagan alumni, anchored a panel arguing over which candidate got in the best zingers and had the coolest demeanor.

But imagine if the networks instead turned to the Americans who are most affected by the policies the next president pursues — students, labor unionists, veterans, retired people, environmentalists, feminists, business leaders and others. Then we might get to evaluate the candidates on the substance of the ideas, not the style of their burns.