If Romney Wins, Ryan Has 1-in-3 Chance of Becoming President, Too

Monday, 13 Aug 2012 12:57 PM

By Patrick Hobin

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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney may have accidentally introduced vice presidential pick Rep. Paul Ryan as the “next president of the United States” but the odds are 20-1 against that unusual scenario coming true; however, Ryan does have about a 1-in-3 chance of someday becoming president if he and Romney win in November, according to analysis by The New York Times.

The Times calculated a number of scenarios that would put Ryan in a position for the presidency, including how a narrow vs. landslide loss in this election would factor in a 2016 run for the White House.

“If Mr. Ryan and Mr. Romney lose the election by a single point, the equation estimates that Mr. Ryan still has better-than-even odds -- 63 percent -- of someday running for president,” the Times wrote. “His chances of winning the nomination are 28 percent under this analysis, and he has a 14 percent chance of winning a general election as the presidential candidate.”

The analysis by the Times found that the clear majority of winning vice presidential nominees, 21 of 27, ran for president themselves at some point. Of the winning vice presidents who did run for the presidency, 13 eventually won their party’s nomination, according to the Times. There were eight cases in which the winning vice-presidential nominee was later a winning presidential candidate, about 30 percent of the total. The eight cases include counting Richard Nixon and the elder George Bush twice each.

The news isn’t so good though for vice-presidential candidates who lost. Only nine out of 28 losing candidates later ran for president and only Franklin Delano Roosevelt later won the presidency, according to the Times.

If Ryan loses this year, a future bid for the White House will depend on how badly he lost. If the Republicans lose the election by about 3 points, the Times found, Ryan can claim he didn’t hurt the ticket. A decisive loss, however, could hurt Ryan’s reputation because it will represent a downward slide from Romney’s current place in the polls.

Another scenario analyzed by the Times was if President Barack Obama wins in 2012, serves out all four years, and that Ryan runs and wins in 2016. The chances of that scenario were found to be only about 4 percent.

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