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Ranking of Potential Republican Vice Presidential Candidates

Candidate Pros Cons Trending ...
Jeb Bush The declining economy means the opportunity for Jeb to win is now, not in 2016 when another Republican would be the incumbent; Jeb is sure to win Florida and Obama cannot win reelection if the Republican wins Florida; George W. Bush's book sold far better than expectations, making the name an asset again; Jeb could unite the Republican Party with a late candidacy; Jeb is more conservative than his brother George W. Bush; Jeb has already criticized Palin as a rival candidate might;[1] Jeb published an editorial on Jan. 3, 2011 taking credit for saving Florida public schools with vouchers.[2] Has polled unusually poorly (54-34%) against Barack Obama;[3] Jeb says he does not intend to run in 2012, when he could still be tagged with negatives via George; not liked by many Tea Partiers; might wait to run when Hillary runs. With unemployment high (9.1% in August 2011), it is more likely a Republican will win in 2012, and Jeb will not want to pass up that opportunity and then wait until 2020, when he's old
Chris Christie Leads Barack Obama in Zogby's polling (January 2011), takes on the public school teachers' unions and is a fiscal reformer who puts liberals in their place, has an unscripted style and appearance that is a refreshing alternative to the Teleprompter President. Significantly overweight, Picked a pro-abortion running mate when he ran for governor, and has little experience with national issues; repeatedly says he is not running; campaigned for RINO Mike Castle in Delaware who was then defeated; neither added New Jersey to one of the lawsuits against ObamaCare nor joined an amicus brief against it; will probably support Mitt Romney. Attaining budget cuts, particularly to Planned Parenthood, Christie has become the leading contender for Vice President
Marco Rubio A movement conservative who could unite the Party, he is the most charismatic speaker in politics today; in the general election he would pull Florida and many Hispanic voters away from the Democrats. Both of his parents were Cuban exiles seeking asylum in the U.S. at the time of his birth in Miami, making him an inspiring, uniquely American success story. Could face the liberal double standard on two fronts: 1) what's OK for Obama (e.g., inexperience) is somehow not OK for a conservative. 2) Liberals who have been deriding the strict definition of "natural born citizen" which some conservatives have been applying to Obama might also turn around and use the same logic with Rubio, claiming that his non-citizen parents invalidate his natural-born status.
Some Republican voters may think he's really running to be selected as Vice President.
Probably running for VP
Rand Paul Could be the next Ronald Reagan; is the heir-apparent to massive support for Ron Paul; won the U.S. Senate seat by a 56-44% landslide in 2010, despite an intense effort by liberals to smear and defeat him; is 100% pro-life. Failure of Congress to cut spending enhances likelihood that voters will turn to someone strong on reducing government. Could inherit the support for his father, who could hand off the campaign to Rand. Rand, immensely popular after his landslide victory for Senate, will not run for president unless his dad drops his own campaign for the same office. Rand could first campaign for his dad and then become the candidate if voters think he has a better opportunity to win, but time is running out for Rand to assert himself as the candidate in 2012. Backup if voters think his dad shouldn't run
Allen West 'America First' conservative patriot, Lt. Col West knows leadership from experience. He won the Florida U.S. House of Representatives seat in the 2010 Midterm Elections, and kept a high profile ever since. Sports a crew cut, rises above petty inside the Beltway bickering, and carries a camouflage bag rather than a briefcase New to national politics, not well known and maybe a future presidential candidate beyond 2012. A terrific congressman
John Bolton Expert on foreign policy and national security issues [4] Polarizing figure that Democrats refused to appoint to permanent UN position
Fred Thompson Former Republican Senator from Tennessee, former presidential candidate, has a loyal following Hollywood type, sided with McCain in campaign finance laws that the Supreme Court overturned.
Scott Brown Proven ability to appeal to moderate voters even in a blue state Inexperience; already voting with the Democrats in the Senate; voted to repeal DADT, will not repeal Obamacare.
Haley Barbour Rose in ranking based on the victory of his choice as the new RNC chairman;[5] has a conservative record as governor of Mississippi; was a consummate lobbyist and could raise many tens of millions for a campaign. Announced in late April 2011 that he is not running; also, rarely seen at conservative conferences, and a Republican from the Deep South may have trouble attracting independent voters.
Jim DeMint Strong support by social conservatives, libertarians,[6] Tea Party, and evangelicals; a tenacious advocate willing to criticize Obama Stated at a conservative conference in July 2010 that he is not running for president, but after Mike Pence pulled out in Jan. 2011 Jim DeMint is showing interest again, before announcing again in late March that he is not running; as a Southern conservative, he would need to work hard to gain support in Iowa and New Hampshire, the key early primary states[7] Definitely not running now
Ken Cuccinelli Has won statewide office. Leader in challenging ObamaCare, advancing pro-life principles, and opposing the global warming hoax, including investigating Liberal University of Virginia's involvement in the Climategate scandal. Wants to stop the homosexual agenda prevalent at the University of Virginia and other Virginia universities. Only 42 years old, he'll probably become governor of Virginia before running for president. Not as frequent a speaker at Tea Party events as others, such as Steve King and Michele Bachmann. Also, Cuccinelli may be more influential on domestic policy in his current position than a president is. Busy achieving good things in his current job
Bobby Jindal Conservative Governor of Louisiana, strong critic of Obama's handling of the Gulf oil spill in the summer of 2010 Says he's not running for president. Made a good statement on birth certificate issue
Tim Pawlenty Young; popular in his home state of Minnesota (but never won with more than 50% of the vote); benefits from exodus of the leadership from Newt's campaign on June 9th. Still not well known outside of Minnesota; signed $893 million in meddlesome fees/taxes including a "health fee" for cigarette smokers (which was ruled unconstitutional), a harvest fee for farmers, a 9-1-1 fee on all telephone lines, a fee for traditional marriage, and large increase in parking fees;[8] supported the liberal cap and trade; accepted stimulus funds after arguing against them; lacks a socially conservative base or any appeal that would attract support away from the front-runners; arranged a meeting with a liberal medical society in 2003 in order to cave into the pro-abortion side by downplaying medical harm caused by abortion,[9] despite hard-fought passage of the Woman's Right to Know Act mandating disclosure; an ex-Catholic and that may not play well with Catholic swing voters. Pawlenty may be a stalking horse for Romney. Lost ground after a perception of underachieving in the first debate June 13; then his criticism of Michele Bachmann seemed to backfire with her rebuttal in the second debate. Pawlenty finished third in the Iowa Straw Poll and quickly announced that he was ending his bid for the nomination.
Mitch Daniels Signed a law that defunds Planned Parenthood, has been an effective Rust Belt governor and critic of the Obama administration, being promoted heavily by neoconservatives Stated in May 2011 that he's not running for president; sided with Democrats in 2011 in opposing right-to-work legislation, unknown nationally, criticized when he tried to downplay significance of social issues, not telegenic, lacks a socially conservative base, and his state budget relies heavily on gambling revenue Losing ground since he announced he's not running
Steve King A conservative Iowa congressman who could win the Iowa caucuses; resonates well with independents; recommended by Bachmann[10] Not well known yet; has never won statewide office. Likely to endorse Michele Bachmann, and stay in the House
Mike Pence Communicates a very strong conservative message: "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order." Won straw poll held at the Values Voter Summit in September 2010. On Nov. 3rd, gave up his House leadership position. Has since announced a run for Governor of Indiana in 2012. Announced on Jan. 27, 2011 that he's not running for president; previously he unsuccessfully proposed a "comprehensive" immigration plan that was widely criticized by conservatives; lacks legislative achievements; not well-known and has never won statewide office; either he or Huckabee could become a stalking horse for Newt Gingrich with respect to evangelical voters in Iowa Focusing on the Indiana governorship
Todd Akin A movement conservative from Missouri, which he serves as a congressman Running to win a U.S. Senate seat from a liberal instead Gaining in ability to defeat an incumbent liberal senator
Bob McDonnell Won landslide election as Virginia governor; has Obama's height Not widely known yet, but gave Republican response to State of the Union; seemed more conservative as a candidate than as governor Falling into obscurity
  1. In a Newsmax interview in February 2010, Jeb criticized Palin by saying, "my belief is in 2010 and 2012, public leaders need to have intellectual curiosity." [1]
  4. POLITICAL INSIDER: John Bolton weighs a WH run, Breitbart, September 10, 2010
  6. Jim Demint has the best favorable-unfavorable rating of anyone at CPAC 2010.
  8. Duluth News Tribune: Fees soar as state taxes hold steady (2006)