If recent history is taken into account, the likelihood that presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will tap a current or former governor as his running mate is slim to none, according to a new Rutgers report.
A survey of the history of governors as vice presidential candidates found the vice presidency is “currently in a 40-year gubernatorial drought,” according to a report by a unit of the Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics.
The U.S. has had 47 vice presidents going back to its first, John Adams, but only 32 percent – 15 – were former governors.
“While a past or current governor has been one of the presidential nominees in all but one of the nine national elections since 1976, only one – Sarah Palin from Alaska in 2008 – has been a party’s choice for vice president during the same period,” John Weingart, associate director of the Eagleton Institute and one of the co-authors of the report, said in a statement.
Yet, the report found, “the pool of governors for potential vice presidents seems largely to have gone out of style” in modern times.
Only two of the previous 18 vice presidents who served since Calvin Coolidge were former state chief executives, according to the report.
The study also found that two governors running on the same ticket is even less common. Only six teams of governors or former governors have been victorious, and none since 1912, when the Democratic governors of New Jersey and Indiana, Woodrow Wilson and Thomas R. Marshall, respectively, were elected, according to the report.
No former governor has been elected to the vice presidency since 1968 and 1972, when Spiro Agnew ran as Richard Nixon’s running mate. None have served since New York’s Nelson Rockefeller was named to the post by President Gerald Ford in 1974, according to the report.