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Magazine / CONGRESSIONAL INSIDERS POLL

Congressional Insiders Poll

May 10, 2012

Which type of politician would make the best choice for Mitt Romney to tap as vice president?

DEMOCRATS (19 Votes)

Member of Congress: 37%
Governor: 16%
Former officeholder: 21%
Other (volunteered): 26%

Member of Congress

 

“I still believe that a member of Congress with a following outside his/her district can be of great help to any ticket.”

“Member of Congress [for] balance and so at least someone on the ticket has an inescapable policy record.”

Former officeholder

“Romney can’t win without Florida, so begging Jeb Bush to join the ticket may be his only shot.”

“Go for [Sarah] Palin—she’ll add color to an otherwise gray candidate!”

Other

“None of the above. Because Mitt Romney is a former governor, it doesn’t matter which type of politician he selects as his running mate.”

“It depends on the person. The office held is important but secondary.”

“Doesn’t matter. He should make a pick that accomplishes the unthinkable: [Show] that Romney is a candidate worth taking seriously and not just a windsock who will say and do anything to get elected. Good luck.”

“Any of the above. It’s who, not what.”

“None of the above. Romney has ‘governor’ covered. Unfortunately, America thinks all politicians are tainted, particularly D.C.-based pols, so he should avoid them. He should pick someone who has never held elective office if possible. Having said that, I hope he picks [Rick] Santorum or [Newt] Gingrich.”

 

Which type of politician would make the best choice for Mitt Romney to tap as vice president? 

REPUBLICANS (23 Votes)

Member of Congress: 26%
Governor: 39%
Former officeholder: 9%
Other (volunteered): 26%

Member of Congress

“Someone with experience and connections in Congress (current or former) for VP might be very helpful to Gov. Romney as a candidate and as president.”

Governor

“Romney needs a governor. He needs a safe pick—first priority, do no harm.”

Former officeholder

“[A] former officeholder, like Santorum.”

“Former member [of Congress]—or someone with excellent defense/foreign-relations bona fides. Romney has the economy waterfront covered, but it is entirely possible this election ends up being about security issues. [John] McCain was focused on defense, and that election turned into the economy election at the end.”

Other

“What matters is the person’s credibility on jobs, not their current job.”

“Since he’s a former governor, either a governor or member of Congress works. Conservative, respected, positive, and battleground-state [ties] are keys.”

“All of the above. Politically, a governor or former officeholder would probably be best right now, but Mitt Romney needs someone he can trust who will work the Hill. Ask any member, and they’ll tell you Obama failed miserably at the task.”

“The individual matters, not title/background.”

“Who the nominee is will be much more important than his or her former position or office.”

“Usually governor, but they are in short supply. There is only [Chris] Christie among the current crop. The best choice would be Jeb Bush—but he will never allow that to happen. If Romney fails, Jeb is ‘next up to bat.’  ”

 

Of the most-talked-about congressional candidates, who would be the best pick for VP? 

DEMOCRATS (19 Votes)

Sen. Marco Rubio: 11%
Sen. Rob Portman: 58%
Rep. Paul Ryan: 21%
Sen. Kelly Ayotte: 5%
Sen. John Thune: 0%
Other: 5%

Rubio

“Perhaps not the strongest policy voice in the group, but probably the only one to add anything politically.”

Portman

“He will be a solid, well-vetted candidate who is also a family man who can sell to Middle America.”

“The best in a weak field.”

“He’s dull, but serious and could actually make the case that Romney is serious, sort of. The Bush connection might be a problem, but the rest of the choices have even bigger deficiencies.”

“Smart, seasoned guy from a swing state; carries a lot of Bush-era fiscal baggage, though.”

“Portman conveys seriousness of purpose. The rest are political supernovas who will fade away fast.”

Ryan

“Why not put the architect of the effort to repeal Medicare on the ticket to defend that move personally?”

Other

“None of the above: Rubio is too green and can’t really move the Hispanic vote. Portman is ‘Mini Mitt.’ Ryan is too controversial. Ayotte is too unknown. Thune doesn’t bring any help on any issue. Condi Rice is his best choice.”

 

Of the most-talked-about congressional candidates, who would be the best pick for VP? 

REPUBLICANS (24 Votes)

Sen. Marco Rubio: 21%
Sen. Rob Portman: 50%
Rep. Paul Ryan: 17%
Sen. Kelly Ayotte: 8%
Sen. John Thune: 0%
Other: 4%

Portman

“At least he could likely deliver Ohio.”

“He’s from a swing state, he’s got a jobs agenda, and he’s well prepared to be president on Day One.”

“Has the most proven record of a backbone and rhetorical restraint.”

“Portman by a hair over Rubio and Ryan.”

“Portman has the most experience.”

“Portman understands how to make the executive branch run. He could turn the VP position from a cipher into a [chief operating officer] for government.”

“He needs a safe pick—first priority, do no harm.”

Ryan

“He’s articulate and knowledgeable on economic and budgetary issues and comes across as sincere. It doesn’t hurt that he’s from a swing state, either.”

“Paul’s got the best of both worlds. He’s down to earth and connects with everybody but is also a policy wonk who wasn’t afraid to take on the toughest issue we face.”

“Hands down. The others have such a slim constituency. And if Romney wants the election to be economy and spending, put your best man on the field.”

Ayotte

“White women are the most important demographic in this election. She is new to the national scene, but she is smart, tough, poised, knows how to ‘make a case,’ and offers Romney cross-generational appeal. It would mean taking a risk, but one that reflects well on Romney.”

________________________

Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher A. Coons, Mark Pryor, Tom Udall; Reps. Jason Altmire, Robert Andrews, Tammy Baldwin, Karen Bass, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, James Clyburn, Gerry Connolly, Joseph Crowley, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Elliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Marcy Kaptur, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Ed Markey, Jim McGovern, Jim Moran, Gary Peters, Collin Peterson, David Price, Linda Sanchez, Kurt Schrader, Allyson Schwartz, Jose Serrano, Bennie Thompson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, Peter Welch, and Frederica Wilson.

GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Johnny Isakson, Richard Lugar, David Vitter; Reps. John Boehner, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Jeff Denham, David Dreier, Sean Duffy, Jo Ann Emerson, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Trey Gowdy, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Nan Hayworth, Tim Huelskamp, Mike Kelly, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Adam Kinzinger, John Kline, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry, Candice Miller, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Tom Price, Dave Reichert, Reed Ribble, Phil Roe, Paul Ryan, Aaron Schock, David Schweikert, Austin Scott, Adrian Smith, Steve Stivers, Lee Terry, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, Daniel Webster, and Joe Wilson.

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