The science of picking a vice presidential candidate

5:59 PM, Jun 18, 2012   |    comments
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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. listens at left as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a news conference prior to a town hall-style meeting in Aston, Pa.
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Tampa, Florida -- Mitt Romney will consider several factors when picking his running mate, but the science of deciding when to reveal his decision can be a complicated one as well.

Historically candidates announce their selection around their party's convention as a way to build excitement during the 4-day event.

However University of South Florida Professor of Mass Communication Wayne Garcia believes this year Romney will break from tradition and announce his running mate selection within a few weeks.

"So if he can announce in July who his vice president is, that person can go out and start raising money, that person can go out and start attacking Barack Obama and can be working during the entire summer when normally nothing much is going on," Garcia told 10 News.

While Garcia admits there is "something to be said for creating that suspense," heading into the convention, he believes Romney realizes "they need to do some things differently" than what's been done in the past.

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While not calling it a mistake to make an early announcement, USF Prof. of Political Science Dr. Susan MacManus believes waiting until late August would have a bigger impact.

"I think going earlier with an announcement is not as strategic as waiting right up until the convention," she said. "There's a lot of strategy about the timing. Do you do it early? Do you do it right at the conference or when do you do it?"

MacManus believes one thing Romney will need to consider when picking his running mate is the person's foreign policy expertise.

"Because the Vice President debate, there's only one of those; there's three Presidential (debates), that V.P. debate is going to be all about who is really ready to step into the shoes of a President and when people say that they usually mean foreign policy."

Other criteria experts say Romney will need to consider when making his decision: does the person help him in any swing states, is the person a minority and bring some balance to the ticket and will the person help motive and energize the far right?

Possible vice presidential candidates include U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte, Rob Portman and Marco Rubio, Congressman Paul Ryan, Governors Chris Christie, Mary Fallin and Susana Martinez and former presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty.

The Republican National Convention will begin in Tampa on August 27th.

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