Bringing Voters into the Equation: An Individual-Level Analysis of the Vice Presidential Home State Advantage

Christopher J. Devine, University of Dayton
Kyle C. Kopko, Elizabethtown College


This article critiques two leading analyses of the vice presidential home state advantage (VP HSA) and uses their fundamental methodological insights to develop a comprehensive, individual-level analysis aimed at resolving a major conflict in the political science literature. Our analyses of the 1952–2016 American National Election Studies and the 2008–16 Cooperative Congressional Election Studies provide no evidence of a statistically significant VP HSA. These results are consistent with Devine and Kopko's findings, and inconsistent with Heersink and Peterson's, regarding the VP HSA, in general. However, they are also inconsistent with Devine and Kopko's previous findings regarding a conditional advantage based upon home state population and candidate experience. These results underscore the importance of using individual- rather than aggregate-level data to analyze voting behavior, whenever possible.