NEW ORLEANS -- There are about a half dozen prominent Republicans, including Gov. Bobby Jindal, stumping far and wide and raising campaign cash for the man expected to carry the GOP banner into the presidential battle this fall.
One of them could soon join the ticket as Mitt Romney's vice presidential candidate.
Speaking Tuesday in Baton Rouge, Jindal had a new twist to his standard answer as to whether he's interested in the job.
"I do have the job that I want, secondly, and you've heard this from several folks. We're not commenting at all about the VP process or anything like that. We're referring all that to the Romney campaign at their request," said Jindal. Political pollster and Xavier Professor Dr. Silas Lee said Jindal might not be the strongest candidate, both geographically and philosophically.
"This election is going to be won basically in the swing states and with infrequent voters and voters that describe themselves as moderate conservatives," Lee said.
Lee also said other potential candidates from the battleground states of Florida and Ohio may be more valuable to the ticket.
"In Louisiana, we have eight electoral votes, but the reality is that Governor Romney would carry Louisiana regardless of whether he was to put Bobby Jindal on the ticket."
According to UNO political science assistant professor Matt Jacobsmeier, Jindal would help Romney expand his base with the conservative core of the GOP.
"He's Roman Catholic, but he has a lot of support among conservative Christians, evangelical Christians in particular, which Romney doesn't necessarily have that level of support being a Mormon," said Jacobsmeier.
Jacobsmeier says Jindal appears to be on the shortlist, but...
"If I had to bet, I'd would say he's not one of the top two potential choices," said Jacobsmeier.
Other potential vice presidential candidates include Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
The Romney campaign has about seven weeks to pick a number two before the start of the GOP convention next month in Tampa.