Donald Trump will receive his formal nomination as the Republican candidate for president in Cleveland this week, with Indiana Governor Mike Pence at his side. Trump unveiled Pence as his running mate Saturday, and political commentators were quick to label the new vice presidential candidate a potential liability for the GOP ticket.
While boosting the conservative credentials of the unconventional Trump, Pence’s track record as a congressman and governor is considered by some to be farther right than moderate voters may wish. Similarly, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presence on the vice presidential shortlist for Hillary Clinton has led analysts to raise concern over Warren’s progressive views, as well as the pairing of two women on the Democratic Party’s ticket – a first for both the White House and the governorship of any state.
Yet while these choices may represent political risk, the addition of a vice presidential candidate to a presidential campaign does little to affect the underwriting of its insurance policies, one industry professional says.
As senior underwriter for K&K Insurance, Warren Mead oversaw insurance coverage for eight of the 17 Republican presidential candidates this election cycle, while others in the company led efforts in insuring a candidate running for the Democratic nomination. He says the addition of a vice presidential nominee should not have much bearing on underwriting for the account – most of the time.
“Since the VP pick is anticipated as part of the overall process for a (successful) presidential campaign, the selection of a running mate does not have much –if any – impact on our approach to the account,” Mead told Insurance Business America
. “Of course, if the person selected is a ‘fire brand’ or otherwise deemed to be inflammatory or controversial, we may have a bit more concern.”
Strong personalities have been a major factor in this election cycle, Mead said in a separate interview with IBA
, and K&K underwriters have had to take note of the shift in political winds in their approach to campaign accounts.
“We got to a point this year where many college campuses were very liberal in their mindset. If you have a conservative politician going onto a liberal campus like that, there is the possibility for rabble rousing, demonstrations and other protests,” he said. “There’s a lot of little intricacies like that that have to be considered.”
While Mead said he encountered “some of that with a couple of campaigns” during the primary season, it did not create significant problems – and he doesn’t anticipate significant problems as running mates are added to party tickets, either.
“History has shown that the VP selections never outshine the presidential candidate, so this track record factors in to our approach to this particular circumstance,” Mead said.
Trump will accept the GOP party nomination July 21, while Clinton will receive her nomination a week later during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
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