Today Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis are both appearing at dueling rallies in Iowa. Even though DeSantis has yet to announce formally, the race is shaping up to be nasty. This week Trump released a video saying DeSantis needs a personality transplant.
But what if, eventually, they were to put their differences aside and join forces?
Here’s why I ask: Polling this week from the Washington Post/ABC News showed the president’s approval rating sank to a new low of 36%. And that both Trump and DeSantis defeat President Biden in a 1:1 matchup. Trump wins 44-38, DeSantis wins 42-37.
Although Rasmussen’s polling does not meet CNN’s standards, nevertheless, one of their surveys last week raised an interesting question about 2024. Its findings suggest that Trump and DeSantis are stronger as a ticket running against Biden and Harris than Trump would be with another running mate. Which made me wonder:
Is that allowed where they are residents of the same state? “Yes” is the legal answer – but not the practical one. It’s why preceding the 2000 election, Dick Cheney moved his residency from Texas to Wyoming, not unusual where he’d represented the latter in Congress.
Bush/Cheney wanted to avoid the practical limitation of running mates from the same state. The misconception is that the constitution bars individuals who are residents of the same state from running as a ticket— it doesn’t.
Doctor Kevin Wagner from Florida Atlantic University has looked at the issue, and he confirms… The Constitution limits what *electors* can do, not what *candidates* can do. Therefore, article 2, section 3, as modified by the 12th Amendment, is what governs. Here’s the language:
“The electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for president and vice president, one of whom at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves.”
The electoral college has a separate vote for president and vice president. This means that if Trump and DeSantis ran as a ticket, Florida’s 29 electors couldn’t cast both their ballots for a person from their own state; they could only vote for one – presumably, the top of the ticket.
In a close election between Trump/DeSantis and Biden/Harris, if Trump and DeSantis both came from Florida, it is possible that Trump could be elected president with Kamala Harris as his vice president or Joe Biden could be elected with Ron DeSantis as his VP.
Put that on a bumper sticker!
Using the perfect blend of analysis and humor, Michael Smerconish delivers engaging, thought-provoking, and balanced dialogue on today’s political arena and the long-term implications of the polarization in politics. In addition to his acclaimed work as nationally syndicated Sirius XM Radio talk show host, newspaper columnist, and New York Times best-selling author, Michael Smerconish hosts CNN’s Smerconish, which airs live on Saturday at 9:00 am ET.