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Presidential Versus Vice Presidential Home State Advantage: A Comparative Analysis of Electoral Significance, Causes, and Processes, 1884-2008


  • AUTHORS' NOTE: We extend our sincerest thanks to Dr. Jeffrey L. Budziak for his helpful comments and suggestions on a previous version of this article.


This article compares the electoral significance, causes, and processes associated with presidential versus vice presidential home state advantages. Our analysis of presidential election returns from 1884 through 2008 demonstrates that presidential candidates generally receive a large, statistically significant home state advantage. However, vice presidential home state advantages are statistically negligible and conditioned on the interactive effect of political experience and state population. Furthermore, the results indicate that the mobilization of new voters primarily accounts for presidential home state advantage, while vice presidential home state advantage is mainly due to the conversion of existing voters. Although home state advantages do occur in presidential elections, according to our analysis, a presidential or vice presidential home state advantage has not changed the outcome of any presidential election since 1884.