Now that both the Republican and Democratic parties have selected their nominees, attention is turning to possible vice presidential candidates for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. A number of names have been tossed about as possible running mates for both candidates, but as of yet there have been no hints from either campaign of who the choices may be.
A Monmouth University poll released on June 23 reveals who the public thinks would be the candidates’ best — and worst — VP picks, with one candidate providing a big boost to Hillary, and one who would be the person who could guarantee a loss for The Donald.
The telephone poll of 803 registered voters was conducted between June 15 and 19, and has a margin of error of ±3.5 percent. Respondents were asked for their opinions of 12 possible VP picks, six on each side.
Pollsters found that if Clinton picks her rival Bernie Sanders as her running mate, in a sort of “unity” ticket, 39 percent of voters would be more likely to support the Democratic ticket, compared to 20 percent who said they would be less likely to support it. When only those voters who are currently undecided or leaning towards a third party candidate are considered, the numbers are even higher, with a full 50 percent of voters saying that Sanders’ inclusion on the ticket would make them more likely to support it.
Senator Elizabeth Warren also produces a small positive impact on the Democratic ticket. The other names that were mentioned — Senators Tim Kaine, Corey Booker and Al Franken, and Julian Castro — had little to no effect on voters’ likelihood of voting for Clinton.
When it comes to the GOP ticket, there was only one stand-out name as well. But not in a good way. The poll found that should Trump pick former half-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, only 13 percent of voters said they would be more likely to support Trump. A whopping 42 percent said they would be less likely. But it gets even worse. Those independent voters who would love a Clinton-Sanders ticket are absolutely repulsed by the thought of Palin being one heartbeat away from the presidency. Among independents, and those leaning towards a third party, only seven percent would be more likely to vote for Trump if Palin is his running mate. Over half — 54 percent — would want nothing to do with it.
Only one possible Trump VP pick, Senator Marco Rubio, could help the GOP ticket according to this poll. But Rubio has taken himself out of the running by deciding to try to get himself re-elected to the Senate. Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich and Senators Jeff Sessions and Joni Ernst all move Trump’s numbers in a slightly negative direction, but none have the negative impact of Sarah Palin.
Director of Monmouth University’s polling institute offered this observation:
These findings are based in large part on name recognition, but the results do underscore one key truth about vice presidential nominees. They usually do not have a significant impact on the national electorate. At best, they can help with a specific constituency or in a key state. At worst, they can demonstrate poor decision-making on the part of a person who aspires to be leader of the free world.
“Poor decision making” indeed. These poll results seem to make it clear that should Trump choose Palin, he will suffer the same fate that John McCain did in 2008. In that election voters were turned off when they hardly knew her. Now we have eight years of her idiocy as prologue. Palin guaranteed that we never had to say “President McCain.” Now it appears that, should she be selected, she’ll do the same thing for the words “President Trump.”
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