Mike Kueber's Blog

July 5, 2012

The Republican Party’s vice-presidential sweepstakes

Filed under: Issues,People,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 10:13 pm
Tags: , ,

For the past few months, I have lost track of the Republican Party’s vice-presidential sweepstakes.  The last time I checked the on-line betting site called Intrade, Florida Senator Marco Rubio was the prohibitive favorite, and there was a clutter of also-rans trailing him.  Based on recent news reports concerning Romney’s ongoing vetting process, I would guess that Rubio is still be in first place, but the candidacies of Ohio Senator Rob Portman, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal seem to be gaining traction.

But let’s not guess; let check with Intrade.  As of today, Portman is the new favorite at 29%; Pawlenty is next at 17%; Rubio is down to 12.5%; Jindal has 6%; Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan has 5.9%; South Dakota Senator John Thune has 5.7%; and Christie has 4.4%

Wow, Rubio has surprisingly gone into a free-fall, having been passed by former also-rans Portman and Pawlenty, and I’m not sure why.  Last week, Mitt Romney went out of his way to say that Rubio was one of the candidates being vetted, and that appears to have been a kiss of death.

Chris Christie also appears to be in a free-fall, having been passed by Ryan and Thune, who previously weren’t even on the radar.  Christie was on Imus in the Morning this morning, and he refused to say whether he was one of the candidates being vetted.

Although the prevailing wisdom is that running mates rarely affect elections (with LBJ in 1960 being the singular exception), there is also a strong feeling that the vp-selection process conducted by a presidential candidate reveals much about his decision-making.  McCain’s selection of Palin and Obama’s selection of Biden are excellent examples of that, with McCain revealing himself as a risk-taker who shoots from the seat of his pants, and Obama showing himself to be methodical and dispassionate. 

All of which explains why Portman and Pawlenty are rising to the top – i.e., the smart money is betting that Romney will behave more like Obama than McCain.  We shall soon see.

p.s., Obama is a 56-42 favorite over Romney.

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