Here is my story for NBC12:
The numbers from a new Quinnipiac CBS News/New York Times poll are hard to argue with. At first glance it appears to be all good news for Barack Obama and his friend Tim Kaine.
Obama leads republican Mitt Romney 49- 45.
Kaine leads George Allen 48-46, a number that keeps the race too close to call.
But also polled in this report is Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell whose approval rating has slipped, but remains above 50%. He still ranks among the most popular governors in America.
Wednesday following a press conference on college tuition McDonnell played the role of attack dog, going after a new Obama welfare policy.
"It could be because of this Obama economy and an 8.3% unemployment rate," McDonnell said of the plan. "People can't find work."
McDonnell continues to be a go-to surrogate and this poll could provide more proof that he would be a quality running mate for Romney.
Among independent voters, Quinnipiac found that McDonnell enjoys a 36 point net positive approval rating. Female voters in Virginia, which is considered to be a weakness for the governor, approve of him 8 points more than then even President Obama.
And the poll revealed that 44% of republicans are more excited to vote than in 2008, while only 33% of democrats are looking forward to getting to the polls.
An analysis of McDonnell's poll numbers by the respected New York Times pollster Nate Silver revealed that McDonnell has the second best chance of any V.P. prospect to improve Romney's chances of winning.
read and see the full story on NBC12.com
Speaking of the Silver piece. It has an interesting and unique breakdown of the impact a V.P. prospect could have on a the race.
Instead of just looking a raw poll that asks "would you be more inclined to vote if?" Silver uses a number of factors and a ton of polling data to run tens of thousands of simulations that could provide some insight into what a pick could mean.
I've said all along that this very small group of public polls that ask that very specific question are only a tiny part of a immense amount of data the Romney campaign must be compiling to see who would help the ticket the best. It is an analysis like Silver's that might give us some insight into the process.
But as always, we truly won't know anything until the pick is made.
More reason for you to take a stab in the dark with our Decision Virginia VEEPSTAKES.