post #61 of 64
10/2/08 at 7:34am
I was wondering the same thing. If you find an answer, please share?
|Quite a few Explainer readers have asked what would happen if one of the presidential candidates were to die or become otherwise incapacitated before Election Day: Would Palin or Biden assume the nomination?Not necessarily. Each party has its own protocol for this scenario, but in neither case does the running mate automatically take over the ticket. If John McCain were to die before the election, the rules of the Republican Party authorize the Republican National Committee to fill the vacancy, either by reconvening a national convention or by having RNC state representatives vote. The new nominee must receive a majority vote to officially become the party candidate. If Barack Obama were to die before the election, the Democratic Party's charter and bylaws state that responsibility for filling that vacancy would fall to the Democratic National Committee, but the rules do not specify how exactly the DNC would go about doing that. (Congress could also pass a special statute and push back Election Day, giving the dead candidate's party time to regroup.)|
|Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who chairs the House Subcommittee on Terrorism and has researched the issue since 2004, offered the following answer to the question. [Editor's note: Remember that, in a presidential election, voters actually are voting for electors who will convene later to cast their votes for the president and vice president.] If a presidential candidate dies after the convention, the assumption is that the vice president would take his or her place. However, nothing obligates those electors to follow that assumption.
Technically, the electors are pledged to vote for their party's vice presidential candidate for vice president, not president. If a few electors honored their technical pledge, rather than take the expected action, the party that prevailed in the election would lose in the electoral college and might lose the presidency.
|Obama now leads McCain 50%-43% overall, up from 46%-41% before the parties' conventions a month ago. Obama's support is not just broader but sturdier; 23% of McCain supporters said they might change their mind, while only 15% of Obama's said they could be persuaded to switch.
Among the poll's most dramatic findings: McCain is losing female voters faster than Sarah Palin attracted them after the Republican National Convention. Obama leads McCain by 17 points with women, 55%-38%. Before the conventions, women preferred Obama by a margin of 10 points, 49%-39%. After McCain picked Palin as his running mate, the gap narrowed to a virtual tie, with Obama holding a 1-point margin, 48%-47%.