VP pick

Interesting analysis from Nate Silver on the likelihood that Romney’s VP would affect the election.  His basic point– summarized in the chart below– is that the most impact would come from a pick that would tip a key state from Obama to Romney:

Basically, even though the odds that Portman swings Ohio to Romney is only an additional 6% likelihood, the fact that the result in Ohio could be the key to winning the election, makes Portman the best choice in this intriguing analysis.

Coming at the VP selection from a very different direction, Chait suggests that Romney’s choice will say something about how confident he’s feeling (certainly, John McCain really wanted to shake things up:

There’s really one way to tell whether Romney actually believes the 1980 story [that, like Reagan, pretty much all the undecided voters will break to him], or is merely using it to keep his party calm: the vice-presidential choice. In May, the word from Boston had it that Romney wanted to pick an“incredibly boring white guy.” There was no apparent need to add to the ticket in any important way. The sole qualification was to avoid detracting from it, as Palin did. IBWG picks include Rob Portman, Tim Pawlenty, or Bob McDonnell.

But if Romney feels he actually needs the proverbial Game Change, he might instead avail himself of non-incredibly boring white guys, like Paul Ryan or Chris Christie. Or even non-incredibly-boring, non-white guys like Marco Rubio or Bobby Jindal. (Non-incredibly-boring, non-white non-guys Susan Martinez and Condoleezza Rice have been floated but are deeply implausible for reasons of ideological suitability.)

Knowing Romney’s cautions nature, my money is on IBWG.  But not much.  A good way to lose money in recent years would be betting on VP choices.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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