Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s campaign posters, bumper stickers and ads will have another name on them by the end of the month and the speculation has been running high. However, all the talk begs the question of whether or not these choices will matter much to the final result.
When discussing the “veepstakes” analysts, pundits and campaign staffers often talk about how to “balance the ticket.” They’ll examine the candidate at the top of ticket and trying to find someone who will compliment the presidential nominee’s strengths and guard against his or her weaknesses.
The conversation surrounding Clinton and Trump’s choices follows a similar pattern. Talk surrounding Clinton’s choice seems to be centered on someone who will simply not add any risk to her campaign. When pundits talk about Trump, it is often to call for someone who can add more political experience to the ticket.
This idea of ticket balance is far from new. Paul Ryan was said to add some youth and energy to Mitt Romney’s ticket in 2012. Sarah Palin in 2008 was partially intended to shore up John McCain’s credibility with more conservative voters. Al Gore’s choice of Joe Lieberman in 2000 was supposed to make Gore more competitive in swing states like Florida.
And while the formula is very often discussed, a closer examination of recent history reveals that a balanced ticket may not be a winning one. The three tickets mentioned above were balanced but they have another thing in common: second place.
Watch the video above for more.