Hostname: page-component-cd4964975-g4d8c Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-03-29T13:51:40.595Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

The “Veepstakes”: Strategic Choice in Presidential Running Mate Selection

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 August 2014

Lee Sigelman
The George Washington University
Paul J. Wahlbeck
The George Washington University


We examine the presidential nominees' choice of running mate in each election since 1940, when Franklin Roosevelt established a precedent by naming his own. To analyze the 22 choices made from the pool of 127 serious possibilities, we employ a discrete choice model. We find that the presidential nominee's choice is explained primarily by the size of the prospective vice president's state, by whether the running mate finalist was a rival for the nomination, and by the balance in age for the ticket.

Copyright © American Political Science Association 1997

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



America Votes. 1956 et seq. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly.Google Scholar
Aitken, Jonathan. 1993. Nixon: A Life. New York: Regnery.Google Scholar
Balz, Dan. 1996. “Dole's Hunt for Running Mate Finds a Short Supply of ‘10s.’Washington Post, 07 30, sec. A.Google Scholar
Barone, Michael, and Ujifusa, Grant. 1972 et seq. The Almanac of American Politics. New York: Dutton; Washington: Barone & Company.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boyd, Gerald M. 1988. “Question of Selection; Bush Took Secrecy Over Consensus in Choosing Quayle as Running Mate.” New York Times, 08 29, sec. A.Google Scholar
Bricker's Half a Loaf.” 1944. Newsweek, 07 3, p. 43.Google Scholar
Brookhiser, Richard. 1986. The Outside Story: How Democrats and Republicans Re-elected Reagan. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.Google Scholar
Busch, Andrew E. 1997. Outsiders and Openness in the Presidential Nominating System. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
Carter, Jimmy. 1982. Keeping Faith. New York: Bantam.Google Scholar
Church, George J. 1984. “A Break with Tradition.” Time, 07 23, pp. 12–6.Google ScholarPubMed
Crowley, Monica. 1996. Nixon Off the Record: His Candid Commentary on People and Politics. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
Dudley, Robert L., and Rapoport, Ronald B.. 1989. “Vice-presidential Candidates and the Home State Advantage: Playing Second Banana at Home and on the Road.” American Journal of Political Science 33(05):537–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fineman, Howard. 1996. “Just the Ticket?Newsweek, 08 19, pp. 22–7.Google Scholar
Goldman, Peter, DeFrank, Thomas M., Miller, Mark, Murr, Andrew, and Matthews, Tom. 1994. Quest for the Presidency 1992. College Station: Texas A&M University Press.Google Scholar
Goldstein, Joel K. 1982. The Modern American Vice Presidency: The Transformation of a Political Institution. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Holbrook, Thomas M. 1994. “The Behavioral Consequences of Vice-presidential Debates: Does the Undercard Have Any Punch?American Politics Quarterly 22(10):469–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kaus, Mickey. 1988. “The Ayes of Texas.” Newsweek, 07 25, pp. 20–1.Google Scholar
Lacayo, Richard, and Duffy, Michael. 1996. “Punching Up the Ticket.” Time, 08 19, pp. 20–5.Google Scholar
Light, Paul C. 1984. Vice-presidential Power: Advice and Influence in the White House. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
Maddala, G.S. 1983. Limited-Dependent and Qualitative Variables in Econometrics. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Martin, John Bartlow. 1977. Adlai Stevenson of Illinois. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.Google Scholar
Martz, Larry. 1988. “A Shaky Start.” Newsweek, 08 29, pp. 1620.Google Scholar
Natoli, Marie D. 1985. American Prince, American Pauper: The Contemporary Vice Presidency in Perspective. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
Nelson, Michael. 1988a. “Background Paper.” In Twentieth Century Fund Task Force on the Vice Presidency, A Heartbeat Away. New York: Priority Press.Google Scholar
Nelson, Michael. 1988b. “Choosing the Vice President.” PS 21(Fall):858–68.Google Scholar
Nixon, Richard M. 1979. RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon. New York: Warner Books.Google Scholar
Political Profiles: The Truman Years to The Nixon Ford Years. 19761979. 5 vols. New York: Facts on File.Google Scholar
Polsby, Nelson W., and Wildavsky, Aaron. 1991. Presidential Elections: Contemporary Strategies of American Electoral Politics, 8th ed. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
Pomper, Gerald. 1963. Nominating the President. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
Reiter, Howard L. 1985. Selecting the President: The Nominating Process in Transition. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
Rosenstone, Steven J. 1983. Forecasting Presidential Elections. New Haven: Yale University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Selected with Care.” 1948. Newsweek, 07 5, pp. 23–4.Google Scholar
Shapiro, Walter. 1988. “The Quayle Quagmire.” Time, 08 29, pp. 1622.Google Scholar
Shapiro, Walter. 1992. “Gore: A Hard-Won Sense of Ease.” Time, 07 20, pp. 28–9.Google ScholarPubMed
Sirgiovanni, George S. 1994. “Dumping the Vice President: An Historical Overview and Analysis.” Presidential Studies Quarterly 24(Fall):765–82.Google Scholar
Smith, Richard Norton. 1982. Thomas Dewey and His Times. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
Southwick, Leslie H. 1984. Presidential Also-Rans and Running-Mates, 1788–1980. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.Google Scholar
Stengel, Richard. 1988. “An Indelicate Balance.” Time, 07 25, pp. 20–1.Google Scholar
Strober, Gerald S., and Strober, Deborah Hart. 1994. Nixon: An Oral History of His Presidency. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
Wattenberg, Martin P. 1995. “The Role of Vice Presidential Candidate Ratings in Presidential Voting Behavior.” American Politics Quarterly 23(10):504–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Who's Who in America. 1940 et seq. Chicago: A.N. Marquis.Google Scholar
Williams, Irving G. 1956. The Rise of the Vice Presidency. Washington, DC: Public Affairs Press.Google Scholar
Witcover, Jules. 1992. Crapshoot: Rolling the Dice on the Vice Presidency: From Adams and Jefferson to Truman and Quayle. New York: Crown.Google Scholar
Woodward, Bob. 1996. The Choice. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
Young, Donald. 1974. American Roulette: The History and Dilemma of the Vice Presidency. New York: Viking.Google Scholar