If you were Romney in 2012, Who do you pick as your running mate?
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May 07, 2021, 05:35:30 PM

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  If you were Romney in 2012, Who do you pick as your running mate?
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Question: Without any hindsight, If you were Romney who would you have picked as your running mate?
#1
Paul Ryan (R-WI)
 
#2
Tim Pawlenty (R-MN)
 
#3
Rob Portman (R-OH)
 
#4
Rick Santorum (R-PA)
 
#5
Bob McDonnell (R-VA)
 
#6
Marco Rubio (R-FL)
 
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Total Voters: 59

Author Topic: If you were Romney in 2012, Who do you pick as your running mate?  (Read 821 times)
Chips
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« on: April 02, 2021, 12:29:38 PM »

I actually would've went with Santorum as not only would I have thought that Santorum gives me a good chance in OH but it also would've helped make PA competitive allowing me to focus on FL, VA and the smaller swing states.



247 guaranteed electoral votes for Obama with PA.



227 guaranteed electoral votes for Obama without PA.



OH, PA and FL along with the lean and solid states is enough.
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Chips
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2021, 12:32:57 PM »
« Edited: April 02, 2021, 12:37:45 PM by Chips »

The line of thinking for Romney when he picked Ryan was probably that he could've had a good shot to deliver not only WI but IA to Romney as well and coupled that up with FL, VA and CO they thought that the upper midwestern duo would've given them a fair shot to win without OH.

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slimey56
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2021, 01:17:29 PM »
« Edited: April 02, 2021, 01:20:51 PM by 215 till I die »

What's this revisionist history with Santorum somehow being popular in PA? He was despised by the end of his tenure. Best-case scenario is he would've pumped turnout in the historically conservative sections of central PA though there was no way he was winning Luzerne/Erie/Northampton like Trump did in '16.


Romney's hypothetical path to victory was never making inroads in blue-collar strongholds like NE Ohio, the Coal Region of NEPA, Macomb County Michigan, or the Driftless Area of Wisconsin. Obama was winning those areas no matter what. A man that literally said "let Detroit go bankrupt" never stood a chance there. His path was heavily focused on the middle-aged suburbanites which have been a reliable part of the GOP coalition since time immemorial. The suburban voter that now votes reliably D was still fresh out of college with a hope and change poster on their wall in 2012.


For that reason, I would say Portman would've been the best choice. He would've coalesced support for Romney in western Ohio, helped him run better in NOVA due to his track record on foreign policy, perhaps softened the GOP hardline stance on immigration enough to win Florida, and maybe even peeled off enough suburbanites for him to win Colorado.
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Chips
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2021, 02:58:33 PM »

What's this revisionist history with Santorum somehow being popular in PA? He was despised by the end of his tenure. Best-case scenario is he would've pumped turnout in the historically conservative sections of central PA though there was no way he was winning Luzerne/Erie/Northampton like Trump did in '16.


Romney's hypothetical path to victory was never making inroads in blue-collar strongholds like NE Ohio, the Coal Region of NEPA, Macomb County Michigan, or the Driftless Area of Wisconsin. Obama was winning those areas no matter what. A man that literally said "let Detroit go bankrupt" never stood a chance there. His path was heavily focused on the middle-aged suburbanites which have been a reliable part of the GOP coalition since time immemorial. The suburban voter that now votes reliably D was still fresh out of college with a hope and change poster on their wall in 2012.


For that reason, I would say Portman would've been the best choice. He would've coalesced support for Romney in western Ohio, helped him run better in NOVA due to his track record on foreign policy, perhaps softened the GOP hardline stance on immigration enough to win Florida, and maybe even peeled off enough suburbanites for him to win Colorado.

Granted, This was without hindsight. If I had hindsight, I would've agreed with you and picked Portman but I still would've made a bigger play for PA.
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Chips
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2021, 03:12:50 PM »

The way I see it Romney had three paths to victory.

One: Win FL, OH and VA plus one smaller swing state.



This was by far the most likely path Romney would've took if he were to have won. FL+OH+VA+either CO or IA seemed to be the most viable path for Romney in particular.

Two: Upper Midwest



OH was always in doubt. Romney also thought he needed a backup plan in case he lost OH. This is where the upper midwestern path comes to light with Romney squeezing out narrow wins in IA and WI while also winning VA, CO and FL making OH irrelevant. NV and NH are gravy.

Three: 2004 Redux



This would've been the 2004 map except NM goes solidly Obama and Obama ekes out a win in Ohio but Romney wins in NH, a state where Romney hoped his Northeastern coattails could've handed him a victory. He would've also needed to have won Nevada. Obama wins by a very narrow margin in WI while Romney squeaks out a Bush 04' margin of victory in IA.
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slimey56
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2021, 06:02:51 PM »
« Edited: April 02, 2021, 08:57:28 PM by 215 till I die »

What's this revisionist history with Santorum somehow being popular in PA? He was despised by the end of his tenure. Best-case scenario is he would've pumped turnout in the historically conservative sections of central PA though there was no way he was winning Luzerne/Erie/Northampton like Trump did in '16.


Romney's hypothetical path to victory was never making inroads in blue-collar strongholds like NE Ohio, the Coal Region of NEPA, Macomb County Michigan, or the Driftless Area of Wisconsin. Obama was winning those areas no matter what. A man that literally said "let Detroit go bankrupt" never stood a chance there. His path was heavily focused on the middle-aged suburbanites which have been a reliable part of the GOP coalition since time immemorial. The suburban voter that now votes reliably D was still fresh out of college with a hope and change poster on their wall in 2012.


For that reason, I would say Portman would've been the best choice. He would've coalesced support for Romney in western Ohio, helped him run better in NOVA due to his track record on foreign policy, perhaps softened the GOP hardline stance on immigration enough to win Florida, and maybe even peeled off enough suburbanites for him to win Colorado.

Granted, This was without hindsight. If I had hindsight, I would've agreed with you and picked Portman but I still would've made a bigger play for PA.
Fair point. What's your point of divergence here from the original timeline? I'm going to assume you mean after Romney clinched the nom.

As it was in 2012, I agree with making a play for PA not necessarily to win it, but to have an effect similar to Bush in 04 where his emphasis on the state diverted Kerry campaign resources from elsewhere. The fact that he only managed 25k more votes than McCain in 2008 attests to how little of an effort was made. That said, Romney was just never really the type to appeal to the Reagan Democrat that you need to win MI/PA as a Republican. The man cut his teeth on being a "fiscal conservative" and while there was obviously strong GOP enthusiasm in opposition to the stagnant economy it just wouldn't be  



Assuming this as the battleground map, I still think Portman would've been a strong choice for the reasons I mentioned above. Romney should've known from the start that his wheelhouse was with upper-middle-class suburban voters and doubled down on that.

In addition, Portman would've been a good choice even at the time because Romney needed somebody who could hold their own in the VP debate. He should've known Ryan was too inexperienced to go against Biden in a 1v1. Also I feel that Ryan's budget was anathema to swing voters in the Rust Belt, especially to voters in the Driftless Area where there is a strong labor tradition as well as economic populism due to the 80s farm crisis.


The first Romney victory map would've been the most likely imo minus IA, +NV. Portman's moderate history on immigration could've help insulate Romney from the otherwise crushing margins Obama had with Latino voters.
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2021, 02:45:14 PM »

TPaw
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2021, 02:52:03 PM »

Rob Portman would get Romney to 253 EV as Romney picking Ryan probably cost him Florida and Portman would get Romney Ohio meaning Romney gets to 253.


This means Obama cant play on offense anywhere near the amount he did , and Romney resources dont need to be spread so thing which can open up different pathways.


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Del Tachi
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2021, 03:09:29 PM »

It’s so interesting to hear the takes that Romney should have doubled-down on being the candidate for “moderate, college-educated Whites”; never mind that red avatars on this site thought the GOP was just as rubish and hickish then as they do now
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Southern Senator Spark
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2021, 05:22:21 PM »

Portman. Would want to double down on the Midwestern strategy and Portman appealed to blue collar voters. This, combined with Romney's appeal to white collar educateds, and having a softening on immigration, could result in picking up Ohio, Colorado, and Florida.

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McGarnagle's End Times Cavalcade
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« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2021, 07:25:17 PM »

Clint Eastwood
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Archaeo-Statism
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2021, 11:27:29 AM »
« Edited: April 04, 2021, 11:59:32 AM by Arachno-Statism »

I think with Ryan he was trying a two-in-one appeal to blue collar Midwesterners and what he saw as a young generation of libertarians. Blue collar appeal is hopeless when you're Mitt Romney, and those voters were already becoming disillusioned with Obama anyway, so I would have ran as a more libertarian, 2013 RNC autopsy kind of candidate with Rubio for Tea Party appeal and to reinforce the image of a Hispanic-friendly campaign. Better to try a Conservative, Inc. route with plenty of distance from the Bush era neocons. The Trump model of supercharging WWC turnout and hoping minority turnout falls isn't sustainable, and frankly wouldn't have been possible for Romney. If everything went right:


President Barack Obama (D-IL) / Vice President Joe Biden (D-DE)
Fmr. Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) / Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) ✓

Then, when Clinton tries a populist run in 2016, spam attack ads on her scandals and personality. Do something bold like abolish the NSA to look folksy (while replacing it with several smaller agencies to keep the government happy). Also, scale down involvement in the Middle East. There were no political gains to be made from war in 2016. After that, try to handle COVID as competently as possible to soften the inevitable Republican wipeout in 2020.
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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2021, 11:43:48 AM »

Portman clearly should have been picked. Rubio could have been decent too. Either way I don’t see a path for Romney to win the popular vote.
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Alben Barkley
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« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2021, 12:43:33 PM »

Rubio could have locked down Florida, brought youth and “star power” to the ticket (at the time Rubio was being hyped up as the GOP’s own Obama), and possibly helped a bit with Hispanics in general.

It probably still wouldn’t be enough, but it might have made it closer than Ryan did. Perhaps Portman could have helped as well if he can flip Ohio.
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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2021, 06:42:16 PM »



I think with Ryan he was trying a two-in-one appeal to blue collar Midwesterners and what he saw as a young generation of libertarians. Blue collar appeal is hopeless when you're Mitt Romney, and those voters were already becoming disillusioned with Obama anyway, so I would have ran as a more libertarian, 2013 RNC autopsy kind of candidate with Rubio for Tea Party appeal and to reinforce the image of a Hispanic-friendly campaign. Better to try a Conservative, Inc. route with plenty of distance from the Bush era neocons. The Trump model of supercharging WWC turnout and hoping minority turnout falls isn't sustainable, and frankly wouldn't have been possible for Romney. If everything went right:



Hard Disagree.  First of all, Ryan was a poor choice to "appeal to blue collar midwesterners".  Even then he wasn't terribly popular in his home turf.  Libertarians are a tiny niche of weirdos (I would know, I voted for GayJay twice) and in that case Rand Paul was the obvious choice to make that appeal, not Ryan.  Now that I mention it, Paul could have undercut the Obama admin. on things like NSA surveillance/foreign policy, since this is a few years before ISIS and the migrant crisis, as well as distance from the neocons.  The "conservative, Inc." part of the party is deeply intertwined with the new-generation of neocons like Dan Crenshaw, Ben Shapiro and Dennis Prager.  

The 2013 autopsy was a joke.  You can give Romney all of the Hispanic support you want, but he wouldn't flip Ohio, nevermind the other midwestern states.  That gives Obama a bare 270-268 win with OH/IA, even though Romney would dominate in the popular vote.  People like Sean Trende rebuked the autopsy, correctly noting that the GOP's only viable path was championing trade/manufacturing issues.  And his name is literally "Trende" so he must know what he's talking about Wink

It's obvious that Romney needed FL and OH to have any hope of winning.  Even a great VP pick would not have flipped any other state.  The 2 options are the obvious one- Virginia + either CO or IA, or alternatively and underrated path is just Pennsylvania for a bare 273 EV.

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Archaeo-Statism
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2021, 07:02:46 PM »
« Edited: April 10, 2021, 07:12:31 PM by Arachno-Statism »

First of all, Ryan was a poor choice to "appeal to blue collar midwesterners".  Even then he wasn't terribly popular in his home turf.

Tell Romney that. According to Double Down, many on Romney's campaign favored Ryan because he was "young, telegenic, Irish Catholic, with blue collar appeal," and could potentially help the campaign in his competitive home state: https://swampland.time.com/2013/11/02/the-hunt-for-pufferfish/

Obviously he didn't do either, which is why I brought up Romney's misconceptions.
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dw93
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« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2021, 10:31:22 AM »

Portman. 2012 was too soon for Rubio. Portman might've flipped Ohio and give how close it was Florida.
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Charcolt
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« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2021, 11:37:31 AM »

I do agree on Portman or Rubio, though a potentially less fresh and feckless alternative to the latter could be Puerto Rico's Luis Fortuno. He was supposedly on Romney's list and the GOP making a clear appeal to Hispanics other than Cubans is always valuable.
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Pink Panther
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« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2021, 11:18:39 PM »

I personally would've picked Rubio, since he appeals to Hispanics and was a rising star, though no running mate would've gave Romney the presidency in hindsight.
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ShadowRocket
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« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2021, 12:20:13 PM »

Portman would've been his best choice, IMO. He would've reinforced Romney's technocratic image and he likely would've given the campaign a small bump in OH which could've made a difference in how close the final result was there in real life.

Rubio probably would've worked too.
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« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2021, 09:18:13 PM »

Portman would've been his best choice, IMO. He would've reinforced Romney's technocratic image and he likely would've given the campaign a small bump in OH which could've made a difference in how close the final result was there in real life.

Rubio probably would've worked too.

I don't think reinforcing Romney's technocratic image would have been a positive. The problem with Romney is that he seemed too out of touch with the common man.
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« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2021, 09:20:48 PM »

Portman would've been his best choice, IMO. He would've reinforced Romney's technocratic image and he likely would've given the campaign a small bump in OH which could've made a difference in how close the final result was there in real life.

Rubio probably would've worked too.

I don't think reinforcing Romney's technocratic image would have been a positive. The problem with Romney is that he seemed too out of touch with the common man.
If you were Mitt Romney, who would you have picked?
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« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2021, 12:27:45 AM »

Not on the list here, but I would have gone with John Kasich. Also from Ohio, but doesn't have any of Portman's vulnerabilities (Kasich didn't serve in the Bush administration, and Portman's gay son could have been disqualifying to the base when it came out, which it would have had he been selected as VP. Kasich didn't have that problem). Also would have carried Ohio, and possibly Pennsylvania and Michigan as well.
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« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2021, 12:36:06 AM »

Not on the list here, but I would have gone with John Kasich. Also from Ohio, but doesn't have any of Portman's vulnerabilities (Kasich didn't serve in the Bush administration, and Portman's gay son could have been disqualifying to the base when it came out, which it would have had he been selected as VP. Kasich didn't have that problem). Also would have carried Ohio, and possibly Pennsylvania and Michigan as well.

Kasich's popularity in 2012 still hadnt recovered from losing the 2011 special election
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