The VP Advantage

How running mates influence home state voting in presidential elections

By Christopher Devine and Kyle C. Kopko

The VP Advantage


  • Hardcover
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0922-4
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: January 2016
  • BIC Category: Political science & theory, POLITICAL SCIENCE / General, Society & social sciences / Politics & government, Society & social sciences / Elections & referenda, Politics, Politics & government


A widespread perception exists among political commentators, campaign operatives and presidential candidates that vice presidential (VP) running mates can deliver their home state's electoral votes in a presidential election. In recent elections, presidential campaigns have even changed their strategy in response to the perceived VP home state advantage. But is the advantage real? And could it decide a presidential election? In the most comprehensive analysis to date, Devine and Kopko demonstrate that the VP home state advantage is actually highly conditional and rarely decisive in the Electoral College. However, it could change the outcome of a presidential election under narrow but plausible conditions. Sophisticated in its methodology and rich in historical as well as contemporary insight, The VP Advantage is essential and accessible reading for anyone interested in understanding how running mates influence presidential elections.


'Those looking for a comprehensive assessment of the impact of VP candidates in presidential elections will welcome this book.'
Richard Berry, LSE July 2016

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