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When The Tickets Might Become Complete

The pundits are on the edge of their seats, and their short wait may be rewarded shortly.

With the Democratic convention just over a month and a half away and the Republican one to follow shortly after, anticipation is building for the next step the candidates will take in their journey to November 4 — the selection of vice presidential nominees. Taking a look at the last 40 years, how much longer should political pundits expect to be kept waiting?

Data for the number of days before or after the first day of the convention that vice-presidential nominees were selected indicates it could be awhile — but not necessarily.

While the majority of nominees have only been announced about a half a week before or after conventions officially began, the earliest nominee to be selected was John Edwards in 2004 — 14 days earlier than any VP candidates before him, and a full 20 days before the July 26 convention. For both the Democrats and the Republicans, the trend has shifted to earlier announcements, with Republican Dan Quayle in 1988 being the last to be declared after a convention's start.

So although this year's national conventions are taking place late in the summer, the suspense could be over sooner than later —and if the gap between convention and selection continues to expand, vice-presidential candidates for both parties could easily be revealed within the month.

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This post is the first of a series on intriguing, amusing, and memorable moments of the American presidency inspired by the American Presidency Project ( and running until the November election.