Northeast Ohio Republican insiders say if Mitt Romney picks a running mate from this important swing state, it should be Sen. Rob Portman, according to results from Patch's first .
While a majority of the survey respondents, made up of local elected officials, GOP party leaders and activists, said they were not sure if Romney should pick an Ohioan for his vice presidential candidate, Portman was the clear preference.
Only 18 of 50 respondents said they wanted Romney to select a vice presidential candidate from Ohio, with 23 saying they were not sure.
But 33 of the 50 insiders surveyed said Portman was the best choice if Romney wanted an Ohioan. Only one person surveyed said Romney should choose Gov. John Kasich, once considered a rising GOP star until he was politically wounded in a .
Portman, who hails from Cincinnati, is the junior senator in Ohio. He was elected in 2010.
Media reports say that Portman is a serious contender to be named as Romney's running mate. His name enters conversations along with other high profile Republicans such as Tim Pawlenty and Bobby Jindal.
Donna Finney, a Republican who is a city councilwoman in Mayfield Heights and who took the survey, said Portman is the clear choice for Ohio Republicans.
"They know him best and they want someone from Ohio," she said. "They think he is doing a good job."
But some Republicans don't care whether Romney's running mate is from Ohio. They just want someone that will help Romney win.
"He should pick the right person for the job," said Tim Fox, a councilman in North Canton.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Patch will be conducting Red Northeast Ohio and Blue Northeast Ohio surveys throughout the election eason in hopes of determining the true sentiment of Republicans and Democrats on the ground in Ohio.
Our surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population but rather an effort to listen to a swath of influential local Republicans. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this week's questions. Surveys were conducted between July 10 and July 16, 2012.
If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in a weekly surveys that lasts just a few minutes, please email Senior Regional Editor Jean Dubail at email@example.com