The Journal of Politics

Research Article

The Vice Presidency: Its Institutional Evolution and Contemporary Status

Paul T. Davida1

a1 University of Virginia

This essay seeks to trace the recent evolution and changing status of the Vice Presidency as an office in the American scheme of government. Special attention will be given to the experience since 1952. Taken as a whole, the experience suggests that the following propositions are a reasonable summary of the situation for the time being:

1. The Vice Presidency is in transition to a new institutional status in which it will be recognized as an office established predominantly in the Executive Branch, while retaining its constitutional prerogatives in the Legislative Branch.

Paul T. David is Professor of political science at the University of Virginia. He is author and editor of many books and articles on American government and politics, including Presidential Nominating Politics of 1952, The Politics of National Party Conventions, and The Presidential Election and Transition, 1960–61.