Political rumors abound about Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick -- especially with public backing this week of Condoleezza Rice from high-profile conservative voices. Whom Romney will choose between now and the Tampa convention is anyone's guess. But who is No. 1 on some GOP voters' wish lists? Here's one Republican's perspective:
COMMENTARY | According to the most recent polls from Quinnipiac University, Mitt Romney is facing trouble in key swing states, particularly Pennsylvania (20 electoral college votes) and Ohio (18). The Republican hopeful can lose one of those states and still have a shot at the presidency, but to lose both would be a disaster.
Romney trails in the Keystone State by 6 percentage points and in the Buckeye State by a shocking 9 percentage points.
That's why he needs a game-changer when selecting his pick for vice president. He needs a running mate who will excite the base without creating unnecessary angst in the GOP.
That is why Cathy McMorris Rodgers is a perfect pick for the ticket.
Rep. Rodgers, R-Wash., is female and Christian -- two key demographics Romney must make a stronger appeal to. Rogers has served in the House since 2005 and sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee. She has a reputation of being a fiscal conservative, which could very well satisfy the far right and tea party. Immensely popular in her home state of Washington, Rodgers grew up on a farm, which provides a stark contrast to the wealth of Mitt Romney which has been so hotly debated in recent weeks. While name recognition will present some challenges for her, Rodgers is charismatic and well known on the West Coast.
Her biggest asset may be her youth -- McMorris is 43. Republicans have stalled among the youth in recent years and she could very well reverse that trend.
Others veep choices Mitt Romney should consider are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.