GOP insiders remain unconvinced that U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte would make a good running mate for Mitt Romney: that's the main finding of this week's Red Granite survey of influential New Hampshire Republicans.
In all, 101 Republicans from New Hampshire were asked using an automated survey tool whether they think Ayotte, R-NH, would be a good running mate for Romney.
Forty-six responses were collected.
More than half of those surveyed responded negatively to the idea of Ayotte as the Republican vice presidential nominee. Thirty-nine percent said they completely disagree, while another 15 percent said they somewhat disagree. Twenty-six percent said they somewhat agree that Ayotte would be a good running mate, 6 percent said they completely agree and 13 percent were neutral.
Asked who they think Romney should choose as his running mate, not one of the 46 people who responded to this week's survey named Ayotte. Eight people suggested Marco Rubio, four Ron Paul, four Paul Ryan, and three Condoleezza Rice, who has reportedly emerged as a top contender for the Republican vice presidential nomination. Others receiving multiple votes included Chris Christie, Tim Pawlenty, and John Kasich, with two apiece. Sarah Palin was one of 11 people to receive just one vote.
When asked if they think Ayotte's record would help the ticket with Tea Party voters, more than half of those who responded said yes. Twenty percent said no, while 26 percent said they aren't sure if Ayotte's record would appeal to Tea Party voters.
Asked what attributes would make Ayotte a good choice as vice president, several people cited her intelligence and her conservative credentials. It also doesn't hurt that she's a woman, several people said.
"She is starting to show she is willing to take a conservative stand for what is good policy long-term for the country rather than cave and vote for short-term government (taxpayer funded) programs/benefits," said one.
"Principled, granite rock solid," said another.
Asked what would make Ayotte a bad pick for Romney, several cited her lack of national experience, and the fact that like Romney, she is from a New England state.
"It would be a Massachusetts politician running with a New Hampshire politician," said one. "Would not work due to geography."
"Lack of national experience, although she has as much as our current President had when he was elected," said another.
Another person citing Ayotte's inexperience even went so far as to call her "Dan Quayle revisited."
The Romney campaign announced Thursday that the candidate will choose his running mate before the Republican National Convention at the end of August.
The Red Granite Survey
Our surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population but rather an effort to listen to a swath of influential local Republican activists, party leaders and elected officials in New Hampshire. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this week's questions. Surveys were conducted between July 10 and July 12, 2012.
Patch will be conducting Red Granite and Blue Granite surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of Republicans and Democrats on the ground in New Hampshire. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in a weekly surveys that lasts just a few minutes, please email Regional Editor Marc Fortier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Red Granite Roster: Zac Johnson (Technical writer), Mauri Foster (Retired), Marie Lopez-Reyes (Small business owner), Eduardo Lopez-Reyes (Republican Liberty Caucus, National Vice Chair), Harry McClard (Freelance writer), Pam Tucker (Deputy House Speaker), Gary Ellmer (Chairman, Portsmouth Republican Committee), John Lyons (Lawyer), Rick Paige (Loan officer), Chris Buck (Republican activist), Jerry Delemus (Republican activist), Tasha Olsen (Republican activist) Jim Waddell (State Rep), Russell Bridle (Former State Rep), Alan Williams (North Hampton resident, former Exeter Selectman), Amy Perkins (State Rep), Lawrence Perkins (State Rep), Diane Bitter (Republican activist), Michele Peckham (State Rep), Fred Rice (State Rep), David Hurst (NH Young Republicans Chairman), Sheila Francoeur (Seacoast Republican Women member), Brandon Stauber (Small business owner), Frank Ferraro (Exeter Selectman), Matt Quandt (State Rep/Exeter Selectman), Julie DiCarlo (Small business owner), Ron DiCarlo (Small business owner), Lee Quandt (State Rep), Tim Copeland (State Rep), Steve Brennan (Business owner), Brian Griset (Member of local political committee), Dan St. Hilaire (Executive Councilor/Concord City Councilor), Kris MacNeil (Former State Senate candidate), Robert Washburn (Former Concord City Councilor), Stephen Ludwick (Chairman, Supervisors of the Checklist, Concord Ward 9), Chris Tremblay (Republican activist), Laura Foote (Republican activist), Tom Rath (Consultant), Shari Demers (Republican activist), Jamie Burnett (Consultant), Bill Boyd (Merrimack Town Councilor), Chris Christiansen (State Rep), William Smith (Conservative blogger), Maureen Mooney (Former State Rep), Dick Hinch (State Rep), Chris Buda (Merrimack GOP Chairman), Juanita Dangel (Hillsborough County GOP Secretary), Gary Krupp (Merrimack School Budget Committee), Lenette Peterson (State Rep), Kathy Stroud (State Rep), George Markwell (Merrimack School Board member), D.J. Bettencourt (Former House Majority Leader), Ed Brooks (Former ME Selectman, Town Councilor), Ed Declercq (Salem Planning Board Member), Bob Elliott (State Rep), Bianca Garcia (Former Salem GOP Victory office manager), David Garcia (Salem Town GOP Chair), Pat Hargreaves (Salem Selectman), Jeff Hatch (Salem Romney Town Chair), Tom Linehan (Republican activist), Patrick McDougall (Salem Budget Committee member), Keith Murphy (State Rep), Andrew Manuse (State Rep), Joel Maiola (Former Judd Gregg Chief of Staff), Ken Hawkins (State Rep), Jim Costello (Teacher), Eric Anderson (Former State Rep), John Cebrow (State Rep), Jim Rubens (Former State Senator), Raymond White (State Senator), John Graham (State Rep), Kathy Benuck (BCTV host/blogger), Mark Vincent (Chairman of Amherst Republicans), Peter Hansen (State Rep), Ken Jones (Amherst Republicans member), Bill Modis (Vice Chairman of Amherst Republicans), Steve Landry (Small business owner), Tony Zore (Tea Party member), Lisa Hansen (Romney supporter), Gary Daniels (State Rep), Tom Walker (Conservative Republican), Jennifer Horn (Republican activist), Jim Luther (State Senator), Michael Gallagher (Nashua Republican City Committee), Mark Cookson (Nashua Alderman-at-large), J. Christopher Williams (Nashua Chamber of Commerce President), Pete Silva (House Majority Leader), Bob Duffy (Nashua Republican City Committee member), Di Lothrop (Nashua Republican City Committee member), Kathryn Peterson (Community activist), Pam Price (Former State Rep), David Bates (State Rep), Charles McMahon (State Rep), Kevin Waterhouse (State Rep), Bruce Breton (Windham Selectman), Travis Blais (Windham GOP Chairman), Phil LoChiatto (Windham Selectman), Margaret Crisler (Windham GOP member), Gary Azarian (State Rep), Donna Mauro (State Rep), Rich Okerman (State Rep), Kevin Avard (State Rep), David Murotake (State Rep candidate), Pam Skinner (Windham Planning Board), Jane Aitken (NH Tea Party Coalition), Corey Lewandowski (AFP-NH director).