Polling News

The VP Effect

August 04, 2016

How have the Republican and Democratic vice presidential nominees affected the 2016 election so far?  According to Gallup, Hillary Clinton’s choice of Tim Kaine as her running mate and Donald Trump’s pick of Mike Pence have had little-to-no net effect on voters.  Only 12% said they are more likely to vote for Clinton with Kaine on the ticket, while 9% said they are less likely, and 77% said he has had no effect.  That is similar to the response to Pence.  Fourteen percent of voters said they are more likely to vote for Trump with Pence on the ticket, while 10% said they are less likely, and 74% said the pick has had no effect.

Most other vice presidential picks in the last few decades had a comparable impact.  Looking at non-incumbent vice presidential candidates, only five out of the last 12 have given their presidential nominee a bump of eight points or more: Sen. John Edwards in 2004; Sen. Joe Lieberman in 2000; Jack Kemp in 1996; Sen. Al Gore in 1992; and Sen. Lloyd Bentsen in 1988.  Considering only one (Gore) was on a winning ticket, even vice presidential picks that help the top of the ticket are not guaranteed to be game-changers.   The other VP picks since 1992 only positively affected their races by 0 to 7 net points. 

Does having [NAME] as a running mate make you more likely to vote for [PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE] in November, less likely or will it not have much
effect on your vote?

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