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Veep Hunt 2016: Trump and Clinton Pick Vice President Running Mates

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12th Jul 2016

Update: Both of the the candidates selected Veep running mates from our short list - for Hillary Clinton, Tim Caine, and for Donald Trump, Mike Pence.

With the Republican and Democratic summer conventions looming large, the big question on everyone's mind is who the candidates will select as running mates.

Given the polarized nature of American politics and the need to cross demographic and gender lines, the decision could truly influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

Who are some interesting picks?

Republican: Donald Trump

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1. Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Rodgers is a quiet leader in the Republican Congress with a strong legislative background. She could boost Trump's appeal with women and the party leadership.

Her closeness to Paul Ryan and the party leadership make her a top contender because she is also Chairwomen of the House Republican Conference - giving her the ability to head off party dissent and rally the troops across the board.

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2. Mike Pence

As Governor of Indiana, Pence comes with executive branch leadership experience and a middle of the road reputation that could bring Trump mainstream support and would potentially help him in swing states across the rust belt.

Pence is an odds on favorite among pundits and represents mainstream Republican interests that would appreciate him on the ticket, but little has been said from Trump himself on the viability of a Trump/Pence ticket.

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3. Jeff Sessions

Conservative stalwart Jeff Sessions reinforces Trump's conservative agenda, and his strong legal background provides a stable contrast to the more bombastic sides of the campaign.

On the downside, Sessions does little to attract minorities or youth voters, both needed to get Trump over the finish line.

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4. Susana Martinez

The New Mexico Governor famously feuded with Trump, but her selection would send waves of reconciliation toward two important voting groups that feel highly marginalized by the Republican nomination battle: women and latinos.

In an effort to appeal to her own voters, Martinez has not shown a strong desire for the ticket or Trump, but the chance to elevate her role to a national level may be enough to convince her onto the ticket.

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5. Newt Gingrich

Reports suggest that Gingrich has lobbied hard for the slot, and he does offer party gravitas and Republican leadership credentials, but his appeal with younger voters is limited at best.

Gringich is another mainstream Republican who remains popular for his efforts in Congress, despite the scandals that helped take him out of power in the 00s.

Democrat: Hillary Clinton

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1. Tom Perez

U.S. Labor Secretary Perez is a close Clinton confidante, and ticks a number of boxes for voting groups, but lacks some of the charisma needed to energize the Clinton ticket.

His strong civil rights record and appearance on Hillary's 2008 short list bode well for his chances.

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2. Timothy Caine

The Senator from Virginia offers the prospect of a swing state win and a steady, conservative image for Hillary, which could assure indepenent minded voters that a steady team strategy is the winning ticket. His track record is pretty uncontroversial, providing a nice backdrop of reliability against the many accusations swirling around Hillary herself.

Caine's presence as a running mate offers a potentially safe choice for Hillary but lacks inspiration and vision - the excitement - that will be needed to win the White House.

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3. Dan Malloy

As Governor of Connecticut, Malloy offers executive leadership experience and a bit of Bernie glow - his slightly more liberal policy approaches could help to unify the Democratic party, fractured after a contentious race against the Senator from Vermont.

Malloy is not without controversy, standing up early on gay rights and labor related issues in Connecticut, but his supporters point to these convictions as a talent for sniffing out winning strategies on the right side of history.

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4. Gavin Newsom

The Lietuenant Governor of California offers some spark and a strong youth appeal to the Clinton ticket. Newsom is not considered a favorite and has endured some petty scandals including an affair with a staff member, but offers a fresh and exciting face to the ticket, with strong appeal to the youth vote that she is missing.

Newsom did a great job as San Francisco mayor and is popular with the tech crowd, and could provide the youthful momentum Hillary badly needs.

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5. Deval Patrick

As a civil rights lawyer, Deval Patrick is well positioned to lead on the growing race and inequality issues dominating the populism flavor of the campaign.

As Massachusetts governor, he has a leadership record under his belt, and has obvious appeal to minorities across the board.