Salon veep rankings

It really was only a three-way contest: Sebelius, Kaine, Biden ... long pause ... Bayh.

Published July 29, 2008 9:29PM (EDT)

OK, so it took me about 20 minutes to tabulate your ballots in Excel. As of 4:30 EDT/1:30 PDT, that meant a total of 61 ballots fully cast. (I excluded anyone who either did not rank all four choices or inserted somebody not on the list as reported by the Washington Post.) Again, I scored it 4 points for a first-place vote, and so on down to 1 point for a fourth-place vote. Obviously, this is a scientific, statistically significant, poll-tested, focus-grouped result confirmed by sophisticated econometric analyses I conducted on my abacus.

The results?

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius won, but narrowly, with 174 total points, followed by Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (170.5), with Sen. Joe Biden slightly farther back in third (159.5). Finally, Sen. Evan Bayh finished a distant and widely reviled fourth (106). His ideology was the deal breaker for many of you. Meanwhile, Sebelius' freshness, gender and gubernatorial background -- thereby preventing a double-senator ticket -- were the aspects that seemed to put her over the top.

Oh, and a special shout-out to Arnold Dorman, a commenter on this thread whose son Aaron graduated from my high school, Bethlehem Central, in the suburbs of Albany, N.Y., and is working this summer for Barack Obama's field office in Albany before heading back to Goucher this fall. Good for you, Aaron. (And, please, though I appreciate the courtesy, readers need not refer to me as either "Mr. Schaller" or "Dr. Schaller"; my students just call me "Schaller," while friends, family members and former DNC chairman Don Fowler, as you know, call me by a lot worse.)

By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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