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Inside Politics

Database predicts July 21 for Kerry VP announcement


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CNN's Kelly Wallace on Kerry's possible delay in accepting the nomination.
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John F. Kerry
America Votes 2004

(CNN) -- Whom and when presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry will announce as his running mate for the 2004 presidential race is still anyone's guess, but one leading database has dug deep into its memory and arrived at a "historical" prediction.

LexisNexis, a provider of legal, news and business information services, conducted a comprehensive search of more than 32,000 historical sources.

It concluded that if Kerry chooses to announce his running mate before the Democratic National Convention in Boston, he will most likely announce his decision July 21 -- five days before the convention begins.

The LexisNexis search discovered that in the last 48 years, only four Democratic candidates for president named their running mates before the national convention -- Al Gore in 2000, seven days before; Bill Clinton in 1992, four days before; Michael Dukakis in 1988, six days before; and Walter Mondale in 1984, four days before. Clinton was the only person of that group elected.

To calculate the date, LexisNexis added the total days that each of the four candidates announced ahead, then divided that number by four.

The result: 5.25, according to LexisNexis's Manager of Public Relations Randy Dunham.

With the convention slated for July 26, they subtracted 5 and came up with July 21.

Edwards a front-runner

According to LexisNexis data, media attention on Sen. John Edwards (with 1,420 hits from March 1, 2004, to May 20, 2004) makes him the front-runner on Kerry's ticket.

Trailing far behind are Wesley Clark and Sen. Hillary Clinton with 338 and 291 hits, respectively.

However, it's possible a sleeper candidate could make the ticket, throwing off the date.

LexisNexis notes Al Gore's eventual choice in Joe Lieberman in the 2000 presidential election.

Furthermore, Kerry may postpone accepting his party's presidential nomination at the July Democratic convention, a tactic aimed at reserving his campaign war chest for the fight against President Bush. (Kerry considers postponing nomination acceptance)

This move could delay any announcement, leaving the date wide open. (Who did you pick for VP? -- results of CNN.com's Veepstakes Game)


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