By Heather Brown


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday night that he will announce his pick for vice president Friday morning.

Hillary Clinton is expected to announce hers before the Democratic National Convention later this month.

It is a position known as one heartbeat away from the presidency — so how much does the VP pick matter?

“It doesn’t usually matter a lot,” said Andy Aoki, professor and department chair of political science at Augsburg College. “The vice presidents tend to get a lot less attention, so it’s not that easy for people to make their pick based on them because you don’t know much about them.”

According to a Politico article by the authors of the new book, “VP Advantage,” “home-state” advantage for vice presidential candidates has never decided an election.

The authors, political science professors, looked at the presidential elections going back to John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

“In order for a running mate to help a candidate on a national scale, he or she must be exceedingly popular; in order to hurt, the VP must be tremendously unpopular. By and large, neither happens,” said the professors in the article.

A recent poll from Monmouth University tested twelve possible vice presidential picks, six from each party. It found only two would make any notable difference.

Pollsters say Bernie Sanders would help Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin would pull away voters from Trump.

What presidential candidates are looking for in a number-two pick has also changed over time.

“It used to be more who’s balancing the ticket who’s the advantage in election time,” Aoki said.

Candidates are now choosing their running mates for their strength as an advisor, says Aoki. He cites Vice President Cheney and Vice President Biden as recent examples.

“Typically, nominees look for a comfort level,” he said. “Nominees want someone they can work with over the next four years.”

Heather Brown