Chart: How potential Romney VP picks help or hurt him in their home state

Jamie Weinstein | Senior Writer

Since May, the Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling has been conducting surveys in battleground states. In addition to polling direct match-ups between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, the firm has also tested Romney with each state’s most notable political figures listed as his running mate versus the ticket of Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Thirty-five potential Romney VP candidates — of varying plausibility — have been tested to date across 15 states. Below is a ranking of whom performs best for Romney in their home state when listed as his running mate, along with how many percentage points he or she narrows or expands the gap for Romney from the generic Obama-Romney matchup. A “+” indicates that the candidate either narrowed the gap for Romney or expanded his lead against Obama in a given state, while a “–” means that the candidate either helped Obama increase his lead or narrowed Romney’s lead in a given state.

Best: Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan  +5

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez  +4

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty  +4

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval  +3

Former Homeland Security Sec. Tom Ridge (Pennsylvania)  +3

New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte  +2

Texas Rep. Ron Paul (measured in Nevada)  +2

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett  +2

New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg  +1

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio  +1

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell  +1

Former Missouri Sen. John Danforth  EVEN

Former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman  EVEN

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker  EVEN

North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr  EVEN

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum  EVEN

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman  –1

Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey  –1

Colorado Gov. Bill Owens  –1

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush  –1

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder  –1

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt  –2

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad  –2

Arizona Sen. John McCain  –2

Former NFL player Lynn Swann (Pennsylvania)  –3

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer  –3

Ohio Gov. John Kasich  –3

Iowa Rep. Steve King  –3

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft (Missouri)  –3

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Virginia)  –4

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio  –5

House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) –5

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann  –6

Florida Rep. Allen West  –7

Worst: Florida Gov. Rick Scott  –10

(Note: Ron Paul is the only candidate tested with Romney in a state he does not hail from or serve in office in.)

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