Smith (and Jones) go to Washington: Democracy and vice-presidential selection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The American vice president's most notable constitutional function is that of succession: if the president unexpectedly leaves office, the vice president becomes president. The process of selecting vice-presidential running mates has fallen into fewer hands over time, moving from the electorate, to party bosses and delegates, to a single person: the presidential candidate. The selection process presents challenges for democratic governance: electoral considerations may provide presidential candidates with incentive to choose vice-presidential running mates who differ from themselves politically. In cases of succession, this can lead to undemocratic outcomes and unstable policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-66
Number of pages9
JournalPS - Political Science and Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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