Some VeepStake Numbers — And a Word of Caution

FiveThirtyEight.com: Electoral Projections Done Right: VP Contenders by the Numbers has some interesting and plausible hard data about possible veeps for both parties.

Firstly, I took the average of all approve/disapprove and favorable/unfavorable polls I could find on these candidates in 2008. Only the most recent survey from any given polling firm was used. Where no polls were available in 2008, I used the most recent one I could find.

Then, I compared this approval average to the partisan ID advantage (or disadvantage) of that candidate's party in 2004 exit polling. Subtracting the approval average from the partisan ID index gives us what I call the candidate's power rating. Essentially, this is the extent to which the candidate is able to defy gravity and run ahead of the political demographics of their state.

At the top of the Democratic pack, on this ranking, are Kathleen Sebelius, Evan Bayh, and Brian Schweitzer. The latter two have the advantage of being white guys. And Evan Bayh has been much talked about of late.

I can see why a campaign would think he was an appealing choice. While not bringing quite as much to the table as Sebelius, he also may be seen to have lower risks — no ovaries.

Even so, I personally very much hope that Obama doesn't pick Bayh. It's not just that he's a poor speaker who deserverdly cratered early in the Presidential primaries. It's that he's such a weak Senator: What has he ever accomplished? What has he ever even tried to accomplish?

And let's not forget that he was a cheerleader for the war in Iraq.

Don't be fooled by the family name — this is not your father's Bayh.

And there's too much chance his Senate seat could go to the GOP in a special election.

I could see the Obama people picking Bayh — on the numbers he's a strong choice. But here the numbers mislead.

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