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When Are Vice Presidential Candidates Chosen?

Timing of Running Mate Selection in Modern Political History

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When do presidential nominees choose their running mates?

In modern political history, vice presidential running mates have been chosen in the months leading up to the national party conventions. The party’s presidential nominee has typically chosen his running mate in July of August of a presidential election years.

Here are some examples:

Romney Picks Ryan

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan
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The 2012 Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, announced he had chosen his vice presidential running mate on Aug. 11, 2012. He was U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

McCain Picks Palin

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
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The 2008 Republican presidential nominee, U.S. Sen. John McCain, announced he had chosen his vice presidential running mate on Aug. 29, 2008. She was Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Obama Picks Biden

Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) campaigns for the presidential nomination in 2007.
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The 2008 Democratic presidential nominee, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, announced he had chosen his vice presidential running mate on Aug. 23, 2008. He was U.S. Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware.

Bush Picks Cheney

Vice President Dick Cheney
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The 2000 Republican presidential nominee, George W. Bush, announced he had chosen his vice presidential running mate on July 25, 2000. He was Dick Cheney, who had served as White House chief of staff to President Gerald Ford, congressman and Secretary of Defense.

Kerry Picks Edwards

John Edwards
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The 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, announced he had chosen his vice presidential running mate on July 6, 2004. He was U.S. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

Gore Picks Lieberman

Joe Lieberman
Win McNamee/Getty Images News

The 2000 Democratic presidential nominee, Vice President Al Gore, announced he had chosen his vice presidential running mate on Aug. 8, 2000. He was U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

Dole Picks Kemp

Jack Kemp
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News

The 1996 Republican presidential nominee, U.S. Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas, announced he had chosen his vice presidential running mate on Aug. 10, 1996. He was Jack Kemp, a former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and congressman.

Clinton Picks Gore

Al Gore
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The 1992 Democratic presidential nominee, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, announced he had chosen his vice presidential nominee on July 9, 1992. He was U.S. Sen. Al Gore of Tennessee.

Bush Picks Quayle

Former Vice President Dan Quayle
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The 1988 Republican presidential nominee, Vice President George H.W. Bush, announced he had selected his vice presidential running mate on Aug. 16, 1988. He was U.S. Sen. Dan Quayle of Indiana.

Dukakis Picks Bentsen

Former U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen of Texas
United States Congress

The 1988 Democratic presidential nominee, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, announced he had chosen his vice presidential running mate on July 12, 1988. He was U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen of Texas.

Mondale Picks Ferraro

Former Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images News

The 1984 Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President and U.S. Sen. Walter Mondale of Minnesota, announced he had chosen his vice presidential running mate on July 12, 1984. She was U.S. Rep. Geraldine Ferraro of New York.

Reagan Picks Bush

Former Vice President and President George H.W. Bush.
Jason Hirschfeld/Getty Images News

The 1980 Republican presidential nominee, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan, announced he had chosen his vice presidential running mate on July 16, 1980. He was George H.W. Bush.

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