Update: Pawlenty says he will not be in Dayton today and that he was honored to be considered. Wow.
Now news is swirling around Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin. Holey Moley!
Back in early 2006 two bloggers examined the electoral map and predicted that in 2008, the Republican ticket would be McCain/Pawlenty. The fact that they were accurate predicting McCain is impressive enough and it's looking like their prediction on Pawlenty may be accurate too.
Mark Noonan at GOP Bloggers wrote this in March 2006:
Without Minnesota, the Democrat's chances of winning the White House become nearly impossible - and a re-elected Pawlenty as VP for the GOP could pretty well ensure Minnesota's electoral votes go red in 2008.
In November of 2006, a few days after the 2006 Congressional elections, John McIntyre at RealClearPolitics blog recommended Tim Pawlenty as VP on a GOP ticket:
Looking ahead to the 2008 electoral map, there are two regions where the parties are increasingly competitive: the Southwest quartet of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada and the upper Midwest trio of Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.
In what turned out to be a very rough year for Republicans, Tim Pawlenty's reelection in the Minnesota Gubernatorial race, coupled with the 2008 GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul and Minnesota's ten electoral votes, should elevate Governor Pawlenty to very near the top of the VP short list - irrespective of who the Republican nominee turns out to be.
Erick Erickson earlier this evening wrote that "every sign, signal, and background chatter" points to John McCain choosing Tim Pawlenty to be his vice president. A McCain campaign official later told Erick that "more likely than not" it will be Pawlenty.
Update (Lorie): Palin? The talk tonight was almost exclusively Pawlenty, with many all but calling it for him, but I am still wondering if that was meant to throw people off track. Red County predicts Sarah Palin to be McCain's choice based on a chartered plane from Alaska to Ohio. Flip Pidot makes the case that Mitt Romney is not out of the question. It will be interesting to see if McCain can keep people guessing right up to the end.