Has a presidential candidate ever dropped their VP running mate mid stream?

The title says it all. I’m curious if there has ever been a party nominee that realized at some point before November that they badly miscalculated their running mate and dropped them for someone else. Though I prefer McCain to Obama I will not vote for him based solely on his runningmate and I’m sure there are more people like me out there.

Also, somewhat related, has a major party nominee ever dropped out of the race after the convention but before the election for whatever reason? What happened? If that has never happened what would happen if it did?

In 1972, Thomas Eagleton resigned from George McGovern’s ticket after the press discovered that Eagleton had a history of mental health problems, including being treated with drugs and receiving electroconvulsive therapy, which he’d originally concealed from McGovern. He was replaced by Sargent Shriver. It was a major fiasco.

Yes, in 1972 Democrat George McGovern dropped his VP nominee Tom Eagleton of MO when it was columnist Jack Anderson [IIRC] broke the story that Eagleton had had shock treatments for depression. McGovern had trouble coming up with a good replacement, and ended up nominating Sargent Shriver.

Interestingly, Eagleton was also the initial source of the “amnesty, abortion and acid” attack (he made the quote but didn’t actually say acid) Republicans used against McGovern that year. Since he gave the quote anonymously, nobody knew until after Eagleton’s death that the quote came from the man who ended up briefly being McGovern’s running mate.

William Jennings Bryan had two running mates in the 1896 election. But he didn’t drop one for the other - they were both running simultaneously. (Bryan had been nominated by both the Democrat and Populist Parties as their Presidential candidate. But the parties differed on their VP choice - the Democrats nominated Arthur Sewall for VP and the Populists nominated Thomas Watson.)

How would that work? If Bryan had won, who would have been his VP?

Sewall got 149 electoral votes for VP, Watson only 27, out of the 224 needed to win the Vice Presidency in the Electoral College. If no candidate of any party had gotten 224 electoral votes, the Vice Presidency would have been decided by the US Senate. (This has actually happened only once, in 1836). In 1896, the 90-member Senate was divided between 44 Republicans, 40 Democrats, 4 Populists, and 2 of the Silver Party (who also nominated Bryan and Sewall). This probably would have resulted in win for Sewell, presuming the Progressives could have been persuaded to vote for him. The division being so close, a deadlock couldn’t be ruled out. Normally, the sitting Vice President breaks a tie in the Senate, but I’m not sure if that would apply in choosing the VP. In 1896, the sitting VP was a Democrat not running for re-election, Adlai Stevenson (Grandfather of the later presidential candidate).

The electoral college electors vote on both offices. If there was an electoral college majority for both, it would be clear. Had Bryan won the electoral college, but because of votes split between his running mates for VP, there was no majority for VP, the twelfth amendment contingency procedure would kick in for VP - the Senate (not the house, as for President) would choose the VP.

In practice, if Bryan had won the election, Democrat Sewall would have been VP.

It would depend on how much he won by. More of his electors were Democratic than Populist, so if he won by a big enough margin his running mate Sewall would have carried a majority despite the Populist defections.

If not, no candidate would have had a majority, and the election would have gone to the Republican-majority Senate, which would probably have elected the Republican candidate, Garret Hobart.

The actual electoral count was Hobart 271, Sewall 149, Watson 27.

Possibly neither. If neither had a majority, Congress would vote in a VP.

A typo in my Guide to U.S. Elections :eek: . . . which gives the results of the 1894 election as 44 D, 30 R, and 5 others . . . which isn’t enough Senators.

By counting up the individual Senators as of 1897, I get a party split of 45 Republicans, 40 Democrats, 4 Populists, and one Silverite (Teller). However at least four of the Republicans (Cannon, Dubois, Pettigrew, and Stewart) were free silverites who had bolted the party at the 1896 convention, and did not support the McKinley-Hobart ticket.

In light of which I retract my statement that Hobart probably would have won . . . it would have been very uncertain. The Populists didn’t like Sewall, who was a wealthy eastern banker although pro-silver, but they had no love for Hobart either. The incumbent VP can’t break a tie (you need a majority of Senators), but perhaps Sewall could have gotten the 40 Democrats and five Silverites and cadged a 46th vote from somewhere.