When a presidential candidate is choosing a VP, why not choose one from a big electoral college state in which he has problems winning?

Kennedy did this with LBJ. He chose him so he could win Texas and the southern vote. He needed that vote. It worked. He beat Nixon by just a little bit. Why would Biden choose a candidate from a state that he already has in the bag? He'll easily win California. Why not choose a VP from a southern state such as Texas? Texas is almost a dead heat right now. Could go wither way. It's tight. Florida is another state that has a huge amount of electoral college votes. Why not pick a VP from Florida?

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  • 1 month ago

    Harris has a similar nasty demeanor that Hillary and Warren have..It makes me cringe to hear her voice.. People don't like her is why she was at the bottom in the primaries. I don't think Harris helps Biden though none of the other choices were anything to get excited about..

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  • Tmess2
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    The current thought -- based on past experience -- is that a VP candidate may bring in 1-2% more votes in their home state with some very minimal impact in their home region.  And with one or two exceptions -- Florida being the big one -- it is unlikely that any one particular state will make the difference in the election.  (Texas is still a bit of a stretch.  If Texas is a swing state in November, Biden has won in a landslide.)  And the goal would be to pick a state that would be a toss-up in a close election.  

    On the other hand, a presidential candidate has to consider the national impact of the VP candidate.  While it is hard to measure that impact too, the pick reflects on the presidential candidate.  A bad pick -- Sarah Palin -- can sap support from the ticket.  A good pick -- think Al Gore in 1992 -- can confirm the image that the candidate wants to portray.   For this reason, there are other concerns that go into the process.  You want a candidate with decent credentials -- typically a governor or a senator -- with no skeletons in the closet.  You also are thinking about the message sent by the pick.  

    Finally, you are also thinking about governing.  While you have to win to govern, you don't want a dead weight at VP when you could have someone who plays an active role in your administration.  

    I would note that, for both Texas and Florida, there isn't any Democrat who holds the type of position that says VP candidate.  You have some representatives, but representatives aren't well-known outside of their districts.  So they are going to have less of an impact on the state-wide numbers.  As for senators, the problem is that some swing states have Republican governors.  While you need to win the presidential election, you don't want to -- at the same time -- make it harder to win the Senate.  And picking a senator as VP from a state with a Republican governor is giving that seat away (if you win).  

  • Jeff D
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    A VP candidate from a swing state would, in fact, be an excellent idea.  However, there typically aren't all that many good VP candidates (maybe 10-20, tops) and when you restrict yourself to, say, women and/or black candidates, the pool gets pretty small.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I’m not impressed with your history lesson. Save it for your nursing home.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    There's debate on whether a VP pick actually helps win their state or not.  And the trend recently has been to ignore geographic considerations.  Trump picked Mike Pence from Indiana and he had little risk of losing that state.  John McCain picked Sarah Palin of Alaska, another state he was sure to win.  Obama picked Biden, of course, and they were always going to win Delaware.  Gore picked Lieberman from deep blue Connecticut and Bush picked Cheney from Wyoming. 

    Instead the trend has generally been to pick someone based on perceived qualities.  George W Bush, Obama, and Trump were all relatively inexperienced so they all picked long time Washington insiders to be their VP.  Biden said that in addition to wanting someone who was qualified for the job he wanted someone with whom he could have a similarly close relationship to the one he and Obama had.  Harris had become friends with his son Beau while both of them were serving as Attorneys General of their states during the Great Recession.  Despite the fact that Harris had attacked Biden in a fairly personal way during the primary he still apparently likes her a lot.  In terms of electoral politics she does a couple things for Biden.  First off she's young, and so offsets any age issue.  Second, she's more to his left and so perhaps does something to appease the left wing which was a little disillusioned by the failure of the Bernie campaign. Third, she brings some racial diversity to the ticket.  A lot of black figures said that Biden should pick a black woman for his VP.  Black women are the most loyal Democratic voting bloc and black voters were instrumental in Biden getting the nomination.  They gave him a big win in South Carolina which convinced the other centrist candidates that he was the only viable non-Bernie candidate.  Their dropping out and endorsing him in rapid succession allowed him to quickly consolidate support behind his candidacy.  Biden needed to do something to reward them. 

  • Kenny
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    After this summer California may be a battleground state .

  • 1 month ago

    I agree, a vp candidate from a battleground state makes more sense, but the fact that Harris is a black female will hold appeal for women and minorities regardless.  I think the potentially larger issue is that despite Trump's claims, she is not liberal at all and the far left of the party won't be happy with the pick.

  • Dan
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    There are other statistics that show the running mate often did not deliver his own state. 

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