Susana Martinez, Governor, New Mexico
Governor Martinez might be a particularly good choice for Mitt Romney because she theoretically could help his campaign reach out not only to women, but to Hispanic voters as well. The brutal GOP primary season pushed Romney much further to the right on immigration than he presumably wanted to be as he repositions himself for the general election. As the candidates tried to out-tough each other on immigration and border control, they lost more and more support from Latino voters. In fact, recent polling shows Obama leading Romney among Latinos by 40%.
By picking a Hispanic governor from a state with a large Latino population, Romney could start mending fences with this important group and broaden his geographic appeal to Western voters. Although Governor Martinez might help the ticket in these important areas, it’s far from clear whether she could withstand the national “vetting” that a candidate for national office must undergo. She is, like Gov. Haley from South Carolina, newly elected and unknown outside of her state. In short, this idea also might also fall victim to the Palin problem.