Choosing a Running Mate When a candidate decides to run, he or she must choose a running mate, the person who will be the party’s nominee for vice president. Many factors go into the choice of running mates: age, geographical location, ideological platforms, and personality. Abraham Lincoln, for example, chose slaveholding senator Andrew Johnson from Tennessee to be his running mate during his reelection campaign, hoping to convince the slave-holding states that had not seceded to remain in the Union. Ronald Reagan, in contrast, asked his former rival, George H. W. Bush, to be his running mate because Reagan knew that Bush would appeal to moderates and fiscal conservatives. The general election pits each party’s nominees against each other. Candidates can usually rely on the support of voters from their own party, so the campaign is frequently a competition for independent voters. The candidates travel to battleground states to
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