The VP Advantage: How Running Mates Influence Home State Voting in Presidential Elections, Christopher Devine and Kyle C. Kopko

Reviewed by Jordan M. Ragusa



In this book, Christopher Devine and Kyle C. Kopko examine a timely ques- tion: do vice presidents help deliver their home state and tip the scales in presidential elections? At the time of the book’s publication in early 2016, countless political reporters and pundits were discussing this very issue. It is a testament to the importance of Devine and Kopko’s work that dozens of media outlets—Politico, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal—have featured The VP Advantage.

What is most impressive about The VP Advantage is its breadth. Methodologically, Devine and Kopko’s research blends historical analysis, case studies, media content analysis, and advanced statistical modeling. Substantively, the book leads the reader through a natural progression of questions and puzzles about vice presidential selection and home state effects. In the end, the book is a smooth and enjoyable (yet sophisticated) portrait of a vice president’s political role. It is no doubt the definitive work on this issue.

In the first part, Devine and Kopko trace the historical origins and evolution of the vice president home state advantage (HSA), identifying constitutional design and sectional divisions in the nineteenth century as key sources of thi

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