Will Tim Kaine Deliver Virginia (and Catholics)? Don’t Count on It

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Publication Source

The Washington Post


We finally know who the major-party vice-presidential nominees are – Sen. Timothy M. Kaine of Virginia and Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana. Not surprisingly, much “veepstakes” speculation leading up to these announcements centered on the usual factors considered to be electorally advantageous: geography and demography.

But much of what you’ve been told about the importance of those usual factors is wrong. Based upon the available empirical evidence, it’s not at all clear that these candidate characteristics will have a significant effect on voters.

It’s true that voters may like a running mate more because he or she 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 — such as when a running mate is extremely unpopular — people vote based on the presidential candidate, not the running mate.


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

Permission documentation is on file.


The Washington Post

Place of Publication

Washington, D.C.

This document is currently not available here.