Balancing the Ticket: How Selecting A Vice President Has Changed in the Modern Era

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Virginia Tech

Over the past century, the role of the vice presidency has increased drastically, to the point that some view the president and the vice president as a co-presidency. When this started and who perpetuated the change is up to debate, but the fact that the vice presidency and the vice-presidential selection process have increased in visibility and importance is not. This project analyzes the changes that occurred in the selection of the vice-presidential running mates in the last four decades by comparing the news coverage of the vice-presidential selection process in the years 1968 and 2000. What characteristics (such as ideology, compatibility, moral character, experience, etc.) do the media value most when reporting on the vice-presidential selection? The study observes the presidential election-year months of March through December in order to acquire data from the time the veepstakes speculation starts—after a presidential candidate secures enough delegates to win the nomination—to after the general election—where the electoral impact of the vice-presidential choice can be interpreted.

running mate, veepstakes, balance the ticket, balancing the ticket