Yesterday we ran two polls regarding Mitt Romney's VP pick to get a gauge on the topic from the investment community. In the first poll, we asked, "Who will Mitt Romney pick as his VP running mate?" As shown below, Marco Rubio got the highest percentage of votes at 28%, followed by Rob Portman at 18%, Tim Pawlenty at 15% and Condi Rice at 12%.
Next we asked, "Who should Mitt Romney pick as his VP running mate if he wants to win?" While we realize both Democrats and Republicans voted in our polls, this question attempts to eliminate partisanship by including the "if he wants to win" part. As shown, Marco Rubio once again received the highest number of votes at 33%. This time, however, Condi Rice received the second highest percentage of votes at 19%, followed by Chris Christie at 16% and Paul Ryan at 14%.
Below we provide a chart that shows the difference between the results of the two polls. Specifically, we subtracted the percentage of those saying a candidate "will" be picked by Romney from the percentage of those saying a candidate "should" be picked by Romney. Here the results are clear. Poll participants clearly think that Romney would be making a bad decision if he chose either Rob Portman or Tim Pawlenty. On the flip side, participants think Romney would be better off going with Chris Christie, Condi Rice and Marco Rubio.
While 18% of participants think Romney will choose Portman, just 4% think it's the right choice for Romney if he wants to win. That's a spread of -14 percentage points. Pawlenty's spread is nearly as bad at -12 percentage points.
Just 6% of participants think Romney will choose Chris Christie, but 16% say he should pick Christie, which is a spread of +10 percentage points. Condi Rice's spread is +7, while Marco Rubio's is +5.
To sum things up, the majority of participants think Romney will and should go with Marco Rubio, and they think Romney is not helping himself by leaving Portman or Pawlenty in the mix. And if it's not Rubio, then he should go with Condi Rice, Chris Christie or Paul Ryan.