Insiders are expecting Mitt Romney to go with a conventional choice for his running mate. Picking a new and exciting candidate, like Republican Governors Bobby Jindal of Louisiana or Susan Martinez of New Mexico, runs the danger of having an unvetted candidate make a blunder, which calls Romney's judgment into question. Unlike John McCain, Romney was never a daredevil fighter pilot. He always tries to minimize risk. For this reason, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and Ohio Senator Rob Portman are the most likely picks. They are solid Republican Midwesterners who are unlikely to embarrass Romney.
One of the things a Veep candidate is supposed to do is bring in his own state. What are the chances of this happening? The table below shows how Minnesota and Ohio have gone since World War II.
|Year||Democrat||Republican||Dem %||GOP %||Winner||Dem %||GOP %||Winner|
As can be seen from the table, Minnesota is a very blue state. In the 16 presidential elections since WWII, the Democrats have carried the state 13 times. Only when there is a Republican national landslide (Eisenhower twice and Nixon's reelection) can a Republican win Minnesota. In contrast, the Republicans have won Ohio 10 of the 16 times. In particular, in close elections (and sometimes in not-so-close elections), the Democrat wins Minnesota while the Republican carries Ohio. All this goes to say that having Pawlenty on the ticket probably buys nothing in terms of winning the Veep's home state, while if Portman can add a few points to Romney's total in Ohio, that might swing the state. The chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, Bob Bennett, says that having Portman on the ticket is worth 3 to 5 points.