There were plenty of people who said Gov. Bob McDonnell’s stance on a contentious bill requiring ultrasounds before abortions took him off any vice presidential lists.

Guess not.

Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell greet supporters at a campaign rally, Friday, Jan. 20, 2012, in North Charleston, S.C. (David Goldman/AP)

Not only did McDonnell (R) remain on Hotline’s Veepstakes Power Rankings this month, he moved up — all the way to No. 1.

This month, the second month of the rankings, McDonnell passes Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

“McDonnell preserved his spot on the short list by backing off a controversial antiabortion measure in Virginia, but he didn’t emerge entirely unscathed,’’ according to Hotline. “The incident refocused attention on McDonnell’s conservative background -- and Democrats would surely dredge up the 1989 thesis he wrote at Regent University. But if Romney’s team decides they must win the commonwealth, McDonnell’s approval rating in the 60s has to look attractive.’’

McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Governors Association and one of the most popular governors in the nation, come in after Rubio last month but before New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.