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In a test of the ticket-strengthening effects of a number of possible vice presidential candidates for both parties, Gallup's analysis suggests that the Democrats would improve their chances nationally by selecting a moderate rather than someone more strongly identified with an ideological point of view. The Republicans might help their chances most by selecting a woman for the No. 2 spot on the ticket.

The results of this questioning and calculation show that, for the Democrats, politically moderate candidates score best on the TSI. Sens. Bill Bradley of New Jersey (plus 18 ) and John Glenn of Ohio (plus 18) achieve the highest marks, closely followed by Rep. Tom Foley of Washington (plus 16) and Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia (plus 12). Former Dukakis opponents Richard Gephardt and Albert Gore also have respectable TSI ratings (plus 9).At the other end of the spectrum, Jessie Jackson had a negative rating (minus 5), meaning that his unfavorable ratings among those who only moderately support Dukakis would more than offset his favorable ratings among those who moderately support Bush.

On the Republican side, there may be a greater potential for the v.p. choice to make a difference because of the relative softness of Dukakis' lead. Here the survey showed that the two top scorers are women: Sen. Nancy Kassebaum of Kansas (plus 29) and Associate Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (plus 28). Former Bush opponents Robert Dole and Jack Kemp follow closely (plus 24 and plus 21). Interestingly, former Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Dole scored less well than the other GOP women tested (plus 16). None of the frequently discussed Republican nominees tested negatively.

To assess the public appeal of potential vice presidential candidates for both the Republican and Democratic tickets Gallup, created a ticket strengthening index (TSI). The index encapsulates a measure of a candidate's appeal to swing voters who might be lured to the ticket minus that candidate's political liabilities among swing voters who might drift away from the ticket.