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Motivating The Base

This will be a short and sweet post on my analysis of Mitt Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan to be his VP running mate. The one sentence version is that I think that Mitt is trying to motivate “the base”, which he knows he doesn’t have. I believe that he has some internal polling that shows that a significant chunk of the base isn’t excited, and might not show up.

Why do I think this? Because Mitt Romney just kissed off most independents (and Catholic nuns). A moderate pick like Rob Portman, Tim Pawlenty, or even (yikes!) Chris Christie would have been a play for independents. A play that he would have made, if the base was already locked up.

Presidential nominees always make VP picks based on that that potential VP can bring to the electoral map. VPs are picked to fill the holes left by the nominee on that map. Paul Ryan is not going to turn Wisconsin red in November. So what’s the hole that Romney hopes Ryan will fill? It’s the base. Specifically, the base in Virginia and Ohio where Romney is losing badly.

This VP pick isn’t one that tells me that Romney is coming from a position of strength. It tells me that he’s trying to lock up voters that any other republican nominee would have locked up by now.


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