Mitt Romney’s vice president pick will be a mystery no longer.
The Republican nominee says he will announce his running mate Saturday in Norfolk, Va., the Associated Press reported. In a statement issued Friday night, the campaign said the running mate would be named at 9 a.m. at the Nauticus Museum, the start of a four-day bus tour through swing states.
By selecting a candidate well ahead of the Republican convention, Romney could be looking for an early boost to help his shaky polling numbers. The move could also be in reaction to a vice president selection process that has gotten away from him, Newsday pointed out. What was intended to be a quiet, behind-the-scenes search has instead turned into a media frenzy as potential candidates are leaked and scrutinized.
There has been a wide range of speculation of who might be Mitt Romney’s vice president pick, but the setting of his announcement could provide one hint. Virginia governor Bob McDonnell has been floated as a potential nominee, a pick that could give Romney a boost in what is shaping up to be an important state.
Pres. Obama took Virginia in 2008, marking the first time the state went to Democrats in a number of years, and the once-solidly Republican Virginia is increasingly competitive. With Mitt Romney’s poll numbers in other potential swing states like Nevada and Michigan looking tough, Virginia could be key to his path to the 270 electoral votes needed for election. McDonnell could help Romney get a home-state boost.
Just about every high-profile Republican has gotten some speculation as a potential running mate.
As the Los Angeles Times points out, Mitt Romney could go for a “safe” vice presidnet pick like Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) or former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. He could also try a bold choice, like House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), a Tea Party favorite and author of the GOP’s gameplan on budget reform.
If he’s looking for help in swing states, Mitt Romney’s vice president pick could be Portman, McDonnell or Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.).