If you live in Minnesota, you can't pick up a paper or turn on the radio and not hear about Governor Pawlenty being at the top of the top of Senator McCain's short list for VP.
A few weeks back we posted on some polling showing that Governor Pawlenty was best positioned to help McCain pick up Minnesota, a feat that hasn't been accomplished by a GOP Presidential Candidate since 1972.
Indulge me for a moment.
Let's set aside the following as givens:
- Governor Pawlenty is a young, vibrant new voice for the GOP
- Governor Pawlenty will excite and energize the Christian Conservative base.
- Governor Pawlenty has reshaped Minnesota with fiscal restraint and the most taxpayer friendly administration in the history of Minnesota.
- Governor Pawlenty with his "Sam's Club Republican" vision and his deep blue collar roots has an uncanny ability to talk to disaffected voters.
- Governor Pawlenty has been a loyal McCain supporter during the most difficult times of the campaign.
- Governor Pawlenty is an Outside-the-Beltway Reform minded Governor who would compliment Sen. McCain's "stand strong against the beltway, reform minded" senate Record.
- Mary Pawlenty is awesome!
Let's set those aside as given, because they are.
With all of the growing buzz surrounding Governor Pawlenty, let's take a look at raw numbers.
Today, a Quinnipiac Poll was released that shows a dramatic closing of the gap between Obama and McCain. In fact, McCain is only down two points in Minnesota, and the polling continues to move in the right direction here and in surrounding states.
Everyone knows that Governor Pawlenty will be able to walk into states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio and look voters in the eye to talk about economics, jobs, health care and all of the pocket book issues that the GOP needs to win back in order to be successful this election.
Adding that to the increasing evidence that Senator McCain will have a legitimate shot at Minnesota (probably more likely than not now) with Pawlenty on the ticket, and it is no wonder Governor Pawlenty is the likely choice.
If Governor Pawlenty can bring to McCain more electoral votes, and a more personal story to disaffected blue collar voters and Christian Conservatives, the fact that he has been a loyal McCain supporter throughout will just be icing on the cake.