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Hers if She Wants It?

Scott Rasmussen’s commentary today* on the Democratic Vice Presidential nomination brings up an interesting subplot. Specifically, since the Vice President is nominated separately from the President at the Convention, Hillary Clinton could conceivably try and force the issue on the floor in Denver, hoping that virtually all of her delegates would support her, and that she’d pick off enough crossover votes from superdelegates or even Obama pledged delegates to garner a majority of VP votes. It would be, in essence, a hostile takeover of the VP position.

Is Clinton likely to do this? Of course not. One cannot begin to count the ways in which it might backfire on both her and her party. Nor do I have any idea about the probability that such a maneuver would succeed. But it does theoretically give her some leverage; the threat of being able to do something like this might be more potent than the reality. And it’s one reason why going into the convention with say 48 percent of the delegates — in which case she’d only need a trivial number of delegates to “split their ticket” in order to get the VP nod — might make a tangible difference for her versus going into the convention with 42 percent of the delegates.

Rasmussen also polled voters in different parties about whether they thought having Clinton in the VP position would help or hurt Obama, and those results are as follows:

Party       Help    Hurt    No Effect
Democrat 52 21 27
Independent 32 39 29
Republican 18 57 25

Overall 36 37 19

* To see him make the point himself, click on the video link entitled ‘the VP Spot Belongs to Hillary Clinton if she wants it’ in his daily tracking poll write-up.

Nate Silver founded and was the editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.