Kelly Ayotte, Junior Senator, New Hampshire
Ayotte has been a strong supporter of Mitt Romney throughout the campaign and would make sense as a potential running mate. She’s a fresh face and has impressive conservative credentials on two issues of particular importance to Republican voters: abortion and crime.
As the Attorney General of New Hampshire, Ayotte defended the state’s right to require parental notification when a minor seeks an abortion against a challenge from Planned Parenthood, taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court. While Deputy Attorney General, she was in charge of the homicide unit, successfully prosecuting New Hampshire’s first capital murder case in 60 years.
Despite these positives, however, Kelly Ayotte has two significant factors working against her: She’s from the Northeast, and she could be perceived as Palinesque. Although New Hampshire is considered a swing state this year (Bush won it in 2000, but Obama took the state in 2008), it has only four electoral votes. Putting two candidates from the Northeast on the same ticket might lessen Romney’s appeal to the crucial Midwest swing states. Lastly, any young and inexperienced woman will inevitably appear similar to McCain’s disastrous choice of Palin in 2008.