Mitt Romney told donors in Virginia Beach Tuesday night that three guys are on his short list for vice president: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Bearing Drift reports. Aside from the amusing thought of the Tea Partying Rubio being No. 2 for Romney--whose state's overhaul was a model for President Obama's--the list feels like one more instance of Romney counting his chickens before they're hatched, NBC News' First Read observes--"he’s acting like someone who’s already wrapped up the GOP nomination, or even the White House."
An average of the seven most recent polls of Republican voters ... finds Mr. Romney with the lead, with an average of 22 percent of the vote. After that, there's essentially a four-way tie between Ms. Bachmann (13 percent), Sarah Palin (13 percent), Mr. Perry (12 percent) and Rudolph W. Giuliani (11 percent in the polls in which he is included). ...The results tighten up a bit, however, once we adjust for name recognition based on the latest Gallup numbers. (Dividing a candidate's polling average by his name recognition can somewhat improve the predictive power of early-stage polls.) In particular, Mr. Perry is recognized by only slightly more than half of Republican voters. Of those who recognize his name, 21 percent list him as their first choice, just slightly behind Mr. Romney at 25 percent.
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