More than 350 Fix readers entered our Veepstakes pick ‘em pool, telling us who they think Mitt Romney will select as a running mate and when he will announce his pick.

We will announce the pool winner(s) — who will get a signed copy of Chris Cillizza’s new book, “The Gospel According to the Fix” — soon after Romney announces his pick..

What to do between now and then? Check out stats and strategies from the contest entrants.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) was picked by more than twice as many readers (108) as the second-most popular choice, Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) (53).

Condoleezza Rice got a bump after the Drudge Report reported she was as a short-lister (27 picks), but she still didn’t crack the top five readers’ selections.

Aug. 20 was the most popular date among respondents (30 selected it) followed by Aug. 13 and 15 (18 each).

Among the interesting wild card picks: Govs. Mary Fallin (Okla.), former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Sen Pat Toomey (Pa.).

Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.), who is frequently mentioned as a contender, only had three takers.

We also asked entrants to share their strategies for choosing a running mate and a date.

Mike Hurtubise (@hurtz1) took Gov. Bob McDonnell (Va.) on Aug. 13:

Ohio or Virginia appear to be Romney’s best hopes for an electoral college victory. (Note - He already needs Florida, and I’m not sure Rubio is that big a help there anyway.) McDonnell helps him more in Virginia than Portman does in Ohio... The more important question is who plays him on Saturday Night Live? (Taran Killam?)

Peter George picked Gov. Bobby Jindal (La.) on Aug. 20:

Bobby Jindal will help in multiple ways: A two term Governor who is prepared to be President if the occasion arose; A staunch conservative, will help to rally conservatives; A policy wonk, particularly on healthcare, he can speak well to the ills of Obamacare; A southerner to balance out Mitt Romney’s northeastern roots; A Catholic, can speak to Catholics directly as part of Romney’s outreach; A minority who will add diversity to the ticket; - Historical choice - first Indian American on a national ticket.

Brian Rosenwald (@brianros1) says it will be Sen. John Thune (S.D.) on 7/23:

Romney will announce within a day or two after he finally drops his tax returns to distract from them.

Gus Tupper on his choice of Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) on Aug. 27:

I think that his goal will be to make the Republican National Convention as exciting and sensational as possible. Senator Rubio is his most exciting pick, and he’ll get the Floridians at the convention and in Tampa energized.

Chris Jensen (@ctjensen) picked Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) on July 24:

The perfect blend of bland and bold, Paul Ryan will give conservatives what they are looking for and prevent the Dem’s from labeling us as the party of the old white guy. We are now the party of the middle-aged white guy, baby steps.....

Scott Castro (@ScottCastro) on picking Portman on Aug. 3:

The most effective strategy for Romney to prevail would be to allocate most of his resources to the upper Midwest states like Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio. Portman is a safe pick in this region (and safe when compared to the surprise Republican pick in 2008.) His budget credentials are invaluable and he’ll be able to better relay the themes of the Romney campaign once he’s on the stump.

The contest is closed, but keep the strategies coming in the comments section.


Is Romney about to pick a VP? Doubtful.

Rob Portman, VP contender, is a Washington insider