2006 Democratic National Convention

2006 United States Presidential Election


Santos & McGarry

Date(s) July 21 - 24, 2006
City San Diego, California
Venue Mission Arena
Presidential Nominee Matthew Santos of Texas
Vice Presidential Nominee Leo McGarry of Illinois
Other Candidates Robert Russell of Colorado
John Hoynes of Texas
Eric Baker of Pennsylvania
Total delegates 4,323
Votes needed for nomination 2,162
Results (President) Santos (TX): 2,751 (63.64%)
Results (Vice President) McGarry (IL): By acclamation
Ballots 4
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The 2006 Democratic National Convention was a presidential nominating convention, held in July 2006, wherein Democratic party delegates chose their nominee for President and vice president of the United States for the 2006 United States Presidential Election. The convention was held in San Diego, California.

No candidate earned a majority of delegates during the Democratic primaries. After three deadlocked ballots, Congressman Matthew Santos was nominated for president on the fourth ballot. Leo McGarry was nominated for vice president.


There were three major candidates going into the convention: Vice President Bob Russell, Former Vice President John Hoynes, and Congressman Matthew Santos. An attempt to draft Governor Eric Baker of Pennsylvania occurred during the second ballot.

The convention was held in San Diego, California (though scenes from "2162 Votes" show the convention center to be the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California). Prior to the convention, Santos turned down the offer of the Vice Presidential slot from Russell and decided to take his chances for the top of the ticket. Pennsylvania Governor Baker, an early favorite who had decided against running in the primaries, turned down Russell's offer of the Vice Presidential nomination and offered himself as a compromise candidate from the floor, ultimately ending Hoynes' candidacy and political career. Baker took delegates from all of the other candidates and stretched the balloting to an unprecedented third day. Baker seemed poised to receive the nomination when members of the Russell campaign revealed to the press that Baker had covered up his wife's history of clinical depression. This made delegates question his integrity, causing him to lose his momentum and substantial support on the convention floor. With Hoynes and Baker out, the race was now between Russell and Santos.

With the momentum of Baker's insurgency stalled, the convention remained deadlocked. In order to break the stalemate, Santos was ordered by the convention organizer, former White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, to step aside in favor of either Baker or Russell. Santos was given a chance to address the convention again and announce his support for one of the two remaining candidates. Instead of withdrawing, however, Santos gave a rousing speech, defending Baker and urging the delegates to choose the candidate who represented their hopes and dreams. This swung the momentum in the balloting back to him and impressed both President Bartlet and Leo McGarry.

Oddly, scenes of the ballots make it clear that the voting system for the primaries in the West Wing universe is "winner takes all", not the proportional system used in actual Democratic primaries in real life.

At the urging of Chief of Staff C.J. Cregg, President Bartlet decided to end the balloting before it damaged the party's image. Due to the president's behind-the-scenes machinations, Santos received the support of a key New York teacher union that had previously spurned him because of his views on teacher tenure. Santos clinched the nomination, eventually receiving 2,751 votes. Santos immediately ruled out choosing Russell as his running mate and Baker declined to perform the role, to spare his wife further press attention. Santos decided to choose Leo McGarry as his Vice Presidential running mate.


Democratic National Convention presidential vote, 1st ballot
Candidate Votes Percentage
Robert Russell 1,677 38.79%
Matthew Santos 1,599 36.99%
John Hoynes 956 22.11%
Democratic National Convention presidential vote, 2nd ballot
Candidate Votes Percentage
Robert Russell 1,426 32.99%
Matthew Santos 1,363 31.53%
Eric Baker 1,341 31.02%
John Hoynes 102 2.36%
Democratic National Convention presidential vote, 3rd ballot
Democratic National Convention presidential vote, 4th ballot
Candidate Votes Percentage
Matthew Santos 2,751 63.64%
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