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Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush Still Listed as VP Contenders

Larry Sabato peered into his Crystal Ball on Thursday and weighed in Mitt Romneys potential running mates. Sabato has reduced his pool of vice presidential prospects from 23 to 11 and he is putting two Floridians on the list. Marco Rubio stands at the bottom of the first tier of contenders and Jeb Bush in the second tier.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, long thought a leader of the vice presidential race, is much lower on this list than our first list (we rated him second previously, and now hes barely in our top tier), Sabato wrote. Beyond the issue about whether Romney wants him on the ticket --theres a dispute about whether the Romney camp is even vetting him --are a couple of realities: the first is that Rubio is a new figure on the national stage who would invite intense scrutiny; and the second is that Romney should be able to carry Florida, a tossup state that nonetheless has a slight Republican lean, without Rubio in a close national election.

Rob Portman tops the list followed by Tim Pawlenty, John Thune, Bobby Jindal, Paul Ryan and then Rubio. More can be read here.

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