During the podcast earlier this week, Rob, James and I got to only a few of the really excellent questions Ricochet members had posted for us, and over the next few days I thought I'd try to answer a few more. Beginning with:
Gary The Ex-Donk
What purple swing states (assuming his Veep pick is not from one) do you think Romney would have the best opportunity to turn red in the fall election?
Let's just take a look at a list--and I base all this on an online map that you might want to spend some time monkeying around with yourself. Here are states Obama won, narrowly, last time around--and that, if he wins them, will take Romney to 270 electoral votes and the White House:
- North Carolina. Obama's 2008 margin: 0.4%. Electoral votes: 15
- Indiana. Obama's 2008 margin: 0.9%. Electoral votes: 11
- Florida. Obama's 2008 margin: 2.5%. Electoral votes: 29
- Ohio. Obama's 2008 margin: 4.0%. Electoral votes: 18
- Virginia. Obama's 2008 margin: 6.3%. Electoral votes: 13
- New Hampshire. Obama's 2008 margin: 9.5%. Electoral votes: 4
- Wisconsin. Obama's margin: 13.9%. Electoral votes: 10
The big prize here, obviously enough, is Florida. I realize Gary isn't asking whom Romney should choose for Veep, but I can't help myself: Would Rubio help Romney win a state he might otherwise lose? I suspect so--and if that's the case, then there would have to be some very good reason why Romney wouldn't pick Rubio.
Other candidates to which the Romney campaign must already be paying very close attention would of course include Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, Cong. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, and Gov. McDonnell of Virginia.
But again, Florida represents the great prize. Romney simply must carry Florida--and choosing Rubio as his running mate couldn't hurt.