creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Scott Rasmussen
Scott Rasmussen
25 Jul 2014
Opposition to Hobby Lobby Decision Highlights Problem With Mandates

Following the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision, one of the key talking points that emerged from enraged … Read More.

18 Jul 2014
Reliability of Economic Data Undermined by Digital Revolution

The economic data that drives so much political debate is becoming increasingly less reliable in the digital era.… Read More.

11 Jul 2014
Political Language, Not Watergate, to Blame for Public Distrust of Government

In his weekly column for CNN.com, Julian Zelizer makes a reasonable case that "Distrustful Americans still … Read More.

The Introduction Is Key to a Successful Romney Veep Pick

Comment

Every summer, millions of Americans enjoy baseball, summer camps and vacation plans. But for the nation's political junkies, every fourth summer is filled with guessing games about the vice presidential nomination.

While the guessing games are fun, it's more accurate to look at the fundamentals facing the candidate and what he hopes to achieve.

In the case of Mitt Romney, he is in a much better place than John McCain was four years ago. McCain was trailing badly in the polls and likely to lose unless he swung for the fences and hoped for a home run. That led him to make a risky pick and elevate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to national prominence.

Romney, however, is currently ahead in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and a slight favorite to win in November. He doesn't need to swing for the fences; he needs to avoid making a foolish mistake.

Additionally, the Romney campaign wants the election to be all about President Obama and his record on the economy. Just 33 percent now give the president good or excellent marks for handling the economy. That's down 8 points from 41 percent just over a month ago. It's no coincidence that declining ratings for the president coincide with declining consumer confidence and poor jobs reports. Romney doesn't want those economic realities drowned out by a controversial vice presidential pick.

That means the ideal nominee for the Republican challenger is someone who looks capable of becoming president if needed but is bland enough not to distract attention from either Romney or the president's record.

Political pros will endlessly analyze the process Romney follows for clues as to how he might govern if elected. So far, the process appears to reflect what you expect from public perceptions of the candidate — buttoned-up and methodical. But more important than the process of selecting the nominee will be the way the choice is rolled out to the public.

At that moment, all eyes will be on the newly famous nominee. More than likely, most Americans will learn all they know about the new name on the ticket during the week the candidate is introduced.

Consider, for example, Sen. Rob Portman from Ohio. Many see him as the frontrunner in Romney's veepstakes. He looks solid, has been reasonably well vetted in public and comes from a key swing state. His biggest negative is having served in the Bush administration, but every candidate has drawbacks — and that's more manageable than some others.

Still, the way Portman is introduced to the public will matter more than his resume. Half the nation's likely voters (47 percent) have absolutely no opinion one way or the other on Portman. They don't know who he is. Another 43 percent have only soft opinions. They're not sure they know who he is. Just 11 percent currently have strong views one way or the other.

That means, if Portman is selected, nine out of 10 Americans will have their opinions shaped after the nominee is picked. Portman, by the way, is the rule, not the exception. Some other prospective nominees are even less well known than he is.

So enjoy the summer guessing games for now. But discount most of the political analysis until you see how Romney's choice survives his or her introduction to the nation.

To find out more about Scott Rasmussen, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 SCOTT RASMUSSEN

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM



Comments

0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Scott Rasmussen
Jul. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Marc Dion
Marc DionUpdated 28 Jul 2014
Suzanne Fields
Suzanne FieldsUpdated 25 Jul 2014
Patrick Buchanan
Pat BuchananUpdated 25 Jul 2014

16 Mar 2012 To Create Jobs, Voters Want to Cut While Washington Wants to Spend

11 Apr 2014 The Troubling Legacies of Racism and Crony Capitalism

26 Sep 2013 The President's Health Care Law Will Soon Be Irrelevant