|Ohio Gov. John Kasich|
While everyone is focused, and rightfully so, on the Republican presidential nomination battle, I thought it would be interesting to look at who the eventual nominee might pick for a running mate.
Polling shows VP selections rarely have much of an impact on the vote for President. But they can be important in terms of 1) winning a key state; or 2) help balance the ticket out either ideologically, geographically, or demographically. With that in mind, let's look at some possible Republican VP candidates.
OHIO GOVERNOR JOHN KASICH
- I don't think Kasich's presidential bid will go far, but he is a very successful Republican politician in a key state that Republicans need to win if they want to win the White House. In Democratic leaning Ohio, Kasich won re-election in 2014 with 64% of the vote, winning 86 of 88 counties. Kasich, however, is a supporter of Common Core which does not sit well with many conservatives. Still that may not be enough to keep him out of the No. 2 slot.
FLORIDA SENATOR MARCO RUBIO
- While Rubio's presidential ambitions should fare better than Kasich's, I don't think he will have enough to get him to the finish line. At some point, he is likely to be considered for the second place on the ticket, especially since he's from another key state
|Sen. Marco Rubio|
Republicans need to win the election. As a Latino, he would also help diversify the ticket. Rubio is solid on most issues, though his anti-libertarian views on national security might irritate more than a few conservatives. But, like Kasich, I doubt that's enough to disqualify him.
- If the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket, Republicans might seek gender balance by putting Fiorina in the number two slot. The former CEO of Hewlitt-Packard is surprisingly strong on the presidential campaign trail for someone who has limited political experience. (She ran for U.S. Senate in California.) Unfortunately for Republicans though, Fiorina comes from California and she has no ability to deliver that fact for Republicans.
- A favorite of many tea partiers, Carson would bring racial balance to the ticket. But it's unlikely that his presence on the ticket would cause Republicans to win many more African-American votes and his lack of political experience could prove to be a liability.SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR NIKKI HALEY
- Haley ran for the Republican nomination in 2010 opposing the establishment GOP candidate. She has battled corruption within her own party and pushed a pro-growth agenda, She would not only bring gender balance to the ticket, but as an Indian-American she would bring demographic balance as well. On the negative side of the ledger, South Carolina should be a state fairly easily won by Republicans.
LOUISIANA GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL
- Jindal, like Nikki Hale is an Indian-American from a state Republicans should win even without his help. While he would be an interesting presence on the ticket, I think the GOP selection will be focused more on a VP candidate who will bring with him or her a key state with plenty of electoral votes.
NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATOR KELLY AYOTTE
- While Ayote is a conservative who would bring gender balance to a ticket, her New Hampshire has only four electoral votes. While it is a battleground state, it is a might small battleground.
KENTUCKY SENATOR RAND PAUL
- Paul is one of the few choices who, with his libertarian leanings, would bring more ideological balance to a presidential ticket. His presence on the campaign would attract youth and more divorce crowds. However, while Paul's views on foreign policy and national security seem to be shared by more and more Republican voters, those views seem to be an anathema to most of the GOP presidential candidates. The ideological divide is probably too great. Plus, Kentucky should be a solidly Republican state in a presidential election.
I think the VP favorites have to be Kasich and Rubio. If picking the top five, I would add Ayotte, Haley and Fiorina.