Which way should we go?
Mitt Romney, though not born there, is from Massachusetts. Paul Ryan is from Wisconsin. Both states lie east of the Mississippi River.
So the Romney-Ryan tandem is the first Republican presidential ticket since 1944 without at least one member politically from, though not necessarily born in, a state that lies at least partially west of the Mississippi.
The end of that 16-election streak is unlikely to have an impact on this yearís presidential election,
Still, some politics fans might be intrigued to know that over that same period, the Democrats ran five tickets with both their presidential and vice-presidential nominees from east of the Mississippi ó and only the 2008 Barack Obama (Illinois)-Joe Biden (Delaware) pairing was victorious.
Yet lest Republicans derive misplaced hope from that history/geography lesson, they should recall that the last all-Eastern GOP ticket ó Thomas Dewey of New York and John Bricker of Ohio ó lost 36 of the then-48 states to the Democratsí Franklin D. Roosevelt (New York)-Harry Truman (Missouri) tandem.
Then again, this yearís election is the first since 1920 with all four members of the major-party tickets from east of the Mississippi. In the all-Eastern contest 92 years ago, the GOPís Warren Harding (Ohio)-Calvin Coolidge (Massachusetts) team beat the Democratsí James Cox (Ohio)-Franklin Roosevelt (New York) team.
And there has never been a U.S. presidential election with all four major-party nominees from west of the Mississippi.
Indeed, Americans didnít elect a president from west of the Mighty Mississippi until choosing Republican Herbert Hoover (born in Iowa, raised in Oregon, made his adult home in California) in 1928.
But as you ponder which ticket deserves your vote in November, remember that ultimately itís not where the candidates are from that counts.
Itís where they want to take us.