Yesterday I ran a twelve-hour poll on my website regarding Romney’s potential picks for vice president, to which 1,179 people responded. I had released the link to cast a vote on Twitter, Facebook, and to my website subscribers. Each voter was only permitted via the system to vote once.
The question and responses were as follows:
Of the following options, who would you most like to see as Romney’s VP?
Total Votes: 1,179
Marco Rubio 41.39% (488 votes)
Allen West 34.69% (409 votes)
Paul Ryan 14.33% (169 votes)
Susana Martinez 4.07% (48 votes)
Tim Pawlenty 2.04% (24 votes)
John Thune 1.78% (21 votes)
Rob Portman 1.7% (20 votes)
The results didn’t surprise me. Despite the push by many within the GOP establishment for what they define as “safe” options like Thune and Portman, most voters in this poll rejected those choices in favor of individuals who are bolder in both policy and delivery.
My assessment based on this poll and my daily interactions with regular Americans throughout the spectrum on the right is that most voters don’t fear Rubio’s intellectual charisma, West’s unapologetic honesty on controversial issues, or Ryan’s resolute commitment to entitlement reform. Instead, they shy away from those who characteristically exhibit bland delivery, policy wishy-washiness, and an inability to excite voters with either their records or the public presentation of their ideas.
In other words, most voters aren’t afraid of bold colors. It’s the pale pastels they’re just not that into.
My instinct tells me that by nature, Romney is a play-it-safe kind of guy. I think he is likely leaning heavily in the direction of Pawlenty and Portman.
However, is it possible that Romney recognizes the need right now for courageous policy and even more courageous messengers? Sure it is. And for the country’s sake, I certainly hope so.