What If Both Presidential Candidates Died?

For legal reasons I’m only speculating here: what if both presidential candidates died? Who replaces them?

If you’ve been pondering the same questions, you’re in luck. I’ve gathered information from both the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to see what would happen in this particular situation.

If a Republican candidate withdraws, becomes incapacitated, or dies, the Republican National Committee has the power to select an alternative nominee for president. The RNC has 168 members. Each state has three members, plus three from six territories: District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Each member would cast a vote for a new nominee. The RNC must re-elect their new presidential candidate with a majority, so it’s possible that the Vice Presidential candidate would not immediately get the nomination for president. We could potentially be seeing a Jeb presidency, folks.

In a similar manner to the RNC, the Democratic National Committee has 447 members who would choose the new nominee after the DNC chair consulted with Democratic leaders in Congress. The new candidate’s name would be placed on the ballot and all would be solved.

This is all well and good. But theoretically, if a candidate was suddenly unable to run during this election cycle it might pose a massive issue. Ballots have already been printed. People have already voted. Unfortunately, there’s not really a plan to mitigate this fact.

So, there are definitely rules in place for a particular situation in which presidential candidates are no longer able to run for president. Of course, we’re not speculating anything here. But isn’t it useful information to know?

Thumbnail by Sydney Rae via Unsplash.


Written by Marina Martinez

Arizonan student at the University of Edinburgh, dog lover, desert rat, meme aficionado and coffee enthusiast.

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