A new Fox News poll shows that if Mitt Romney were to select Condoleezza Rice as his running-mate, he would go from trailing Barack Obama 45-41% to a 46-46% tie. That poll also shows she remains the top choice of both Republicans and the population in general, with nearly 1 in 3 saying she would be their pick. The 5-point bump for Romney is actually quite a powerful move for simply being a VP selection.
Among Republicans, Romney would go from attracting 84% to 89% of the base, but he also improves from 7% to 10% among Democrats and from 34% to 40% with Independents. By selecting Rice, he goes from trailing Obama among women by 8, to trailing by just 2 (47-45%). His support among non-whites grows from 17% to 20%, and his support from whites upticks from 50% to 55%.
Other potential VP selections have had far less impact. State polls shows that popular figures helped far less with their own voters (meaning nationwide impact would show even less help). A PPP poll of voters in New Mexico showed the Suzanna Martinez would help Romney pick up 3 percentage points in her state. Martinez is one of the most popular Governor's in the country with a 56% approval rating. In Florida, Marco Rubio helps Romney jump 1 point, while in Wisconsin Paul Ryan helps by adding 2 points while selecting recently re-elected (and by a decent margin) Governor Scott Walker actually loses a point for Romney.
If it's true that selecting Rice would help remove President Obama from office, would it be worth the pick? I've argued both for and against a Rice pick. That said, even with the somewhat mixed reaction to the Rice rumors, it's hard to ignore that the polls show Rice helps Romney in every voting demographic including conservative voters, where his vote total improved by 4 percentage points. Does the reaction to the Rice rumor show a disconnect between conservative voters and conservative commentators? For now, the vice-presidential pick speculation continues. (Oh, and there has yet to be a strong denial from Rice. Given the amount of attention that the speculation received, a lack of statement might suggest she really is in the running.)