Mitt Romney, the Republican Party presidential candidate in the forthcoming November 2012 presidential elections, has chosen Paul Ryan as his running mate. There are several criteria that presidential candidates use in selecting their running mates, as analyzed by Baumgarter (765-772). This essay will analyze the factors considered in the selection of a running mate by a presidential candidate, as examined in the article, and will try to make a case for why Paul Ryan was chosen as Mitt Romney’s running mate.
We will write a custom Essay on Running Mates in Presidential Elections specifically for you
301 certified writers online
According to Baumgarter (765), the vice presidential selection has been historically influenced by electoral concerns. The main criterion for evaluating vice presidential contenders is whether they bring additional votes to the presidential ticket of the party or not. The size of the home state of a vice presidential candidate is one of the factors considered. Selecting a running mate from a region that is different from the presidential candidate has also been the norm. The idea behind this is that the vice presidential selection provides some consolidation, support, and recognition for those factions and interests within a party that had not been present during the presidential balloting. Paul Ryan hails from a hotly-contested district in Wisconsin. To date, he has managed to defeat every candidate he has contested against since he first contested in 1998. As Mitt Romney is currently trailing in popularity in Wisconsin, it makes the state almost equally up for grabs. In June 2012, a poll of Wisconsin voters showed incumbent president Obama defeating Romney by 50 per cent to 44 per cent. However, when Paul Ryan got the vice presidential ticket, Obama’s lead dropped by one percentage point.
Baumgarter (766) is of the opinion that another factor that is largely ignored by literature is the exposure that the vice presidential nominee gets from the national media. This is vital in the first instance since the more a candidate gets media exposure, more recognition for him. Putting scandals aside, this could add to the ticket some electoral appeal, although this does not apply in all cases. Additionally, since the potential vice presidential candidates’ vetting process has become intensive of late, the media plays a vital and informal role in this process. Ryan has faced numerous attacks in the past from his opponents but emerged from them unhurt. A few months ago, Ryan debated entitlement reform with a Republican named Barney Frank, who appeared ill-informed and rude. Ryan won the hearts of the audience by remaining calm all through the debate. Ryan manages to keep his composure when everyone else is on fire. He is non-threatening and reasonable, something that voters admire. Democrats are engaged in faultfinding and attacking the so called “Romney-Ryan” budget plan. With his reputation, Paul Ryan is the best person to defend it up front.
In conclusion, presidential candidates consider several factors when choosing their running mates. Some of the factors most commonly looked at are the nominees’ home region, and their exposure to the national media. Paul Ryan hails from Wisconsin, where he is popular despite his party not doing so well there. He will certainly secure the region’s votes for Romney. Additionally, Paul Ryan is popular with the national media, owing to his uncontroversial manner of dealing with issues. These attributes justify his selection as Mitt Romney’s running mate in his race to White House.
Baumgarter, Jody C. The Veepstakes: Forecasting Vice Presidential Selection in 2008. Political Sciences and Politics. 41 (4) (2008), 765-772.