While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continues to generate national attention as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney, history doesn’t favor the selection of a governor to run with another governer.
The last time two candidates who served as governors were on a winning presidential ticket was 100 years ago, points out John Weingart, associate director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.
“The last time it happened successfully it did include someone from New Jersey but he was at the top of the ticket,” Weingart said. “When Woodrow Wilson ran for president in 1912, his running mate was then governor of Indiana Thomas Marshall and they were victorious.”
It’s more likely, says Weingart, that the former governor of Massachusetts will look to the Senate for “somebody with more international experience or a different kind of experience to help balance out the ticket and potentially with different skills that should be helpful should they be elected.”
Although six of the last eight presidents had experience as the chief executive of a state, no governor has been elected vice president since Spiro Agnew in 1972.
Weingart does not expect Romney will pick Christie because Christie might get more publicity and distract from the Romney campaign’s message.