Friday, August 29, 2008

Veepstakes Demographics: How Did I Do?

In May, I made a few predictions regarding the "demographic affiliation" of the Republican and Democratic vice presidential nominees. Now that we know who the running mates are, I can see how I did. My predictions are in Italics, followed by the results:

First of all, no more than one of the running mates will be a white male Christian. It is quite possible neither one of them will be a WASP, but definitely not both of them.

I got this one right. Joe Biden is a white male Christian. Sarah Palin is a white female Christian. I was wrong about the possibility that both won't be WASPs, but I was right that at least one won't be. Joe Biden is a Roman Catholic (the P in WASP stands for Protestant).

Since I doubt that all four people on the two major tickets will be senators, no more than one current senator will be a VP nominee.

Indeed, one of the four people on the major party tickets is not, nor ever was, a senator: Sarah Palin.

Both will come from either red (conservative) or purple (swing) states. Neither one will come from a blue (liberal) state, unless Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton run together.

I was wrong here. Only one of the running mates fits this description. Gov. Palin comes from Conservative Alaska. Sen. Biden comes from the safe Democratic state of Delaware. The swing states are not on either ticket.

If Barack Obama wins the Democratic presidential nomination, his running mate will not be black. John McCain's running mate will probably not be black, either.

Sure enough, both VP candidates are white.

Both running mates will be between the ages of 50 and 65.

I was half right, sort of. Sarah Palin has not reached this age range - she is 44. Joe Biden is exactly 65, but will be 66 by Inauguration Day.

One or both of the running mates will be a member of at least one of the following groups: women, Latinos and Jews.

No Latinos or Jews, but Sarah Palin is definitely a woman. I predicted correctly.

Neither RM will be openly gay or bisexual, nor will be even suspected as such.

In this still homophobic age, this one was a no-brainer.

At least one, but probably both, will have previous executive experience as a governor, major city mayor, United States Cabinet member, diplomat, high ranking military officer or a prosecutor.

Well, technically I was correct. One running mate, Sarah Palin, indeed has executive experience, but not much. She has been governor of the small state of Alaska for less than half a term (two years), and before that was mayor of a tiny city. I'd say that even Joe Biden, as the chairman of two powerful committees - the judiciary and especially the foreign relations committee, has more executive, and certainly diplomatic, experience than Gov. Palin, although he has never held an outright executive office.

My score: Six right, 2 half right, none completely wrong. You could say that's 7 out of 8. Not bad.

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