Who Should Trump and Clinton Pick as Running Mates? This Research Says It Doesn’t Really Matter.

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News Article

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The Washington Post


Even with the Democratic and Republican Party presidential nominations yet to be decided, already we are hearing much speculation about the 2016 “veepstakes.” Not surprisingly, most of this speculation focuses on the usual factors considered to be electorally advantageous: geography (think home state) and demography (think gender and ethnicity).

But much of what you’ve been told about the importance of those usual factors is wrong.

It’s true that voters may like a running mate more because s/he comes from the same state or belongs to the same demographic group as those voters. But rarely does this affect their votes. Except in extraordinary circumstances, citizens vote based on the presidential candidate, not the running mate. Vice presidential candidates are significantly more popular among home state voters (measured via 0-100 “feeling thermometers”). Yet this does not translate into votes.


This article appeared on the Washington Post blog Monkey Cage. View it online.

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The Washington Post

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Washington, D.C.

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