Lynchburg, VA - Governor McDonnell gives his thumbs up to Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. And several conservative heavyweights in our area do too. They agree that Ryan articulates conservative values well.
But, we set out to find out if a Romney-Ryan ticket will tip Virginia polls in the GOP's favor, and how voters truly feel about the GOP duo.
Romney had a plenty of options - Tim Pawlenty, Bob McDonnell, Rob Portman, were all floated. Conservatives we talked with Monday felt Florida Senator Marco Rubio would be the pick. But they are still pleased with Ryan.
Conservatives say the Romney-Ryan ticket will unite the party, bringing social conservatives and budget-conscious Tea Partiers together again.
"Paul Ryan was one of the top picks in my opinion," said Jim Lampman.
Jim Lampman is Vice President of the Lynchburg Tea Party. For his members, Ryan's limited government platform is music to their ears.
"I think he will do a great job. He pretty much follows the Tea Party line on issues he's voted on in the past - not 100% - but I don't think we are going to find a candidate who does," said Lampman.
Ryan has some black marks from the Tea Party, including votes in favor of the auto bailout and TARP. Still, Liberty Counsel Dean Mat Staver sees Ryan as a uniter, not a divider.
"I think he's a bold pick for Mitt Romney and I think he's going to be good for the conservative cause," said Staver.
Ryan wants to change Medicare by giving future retirees a fixed amount of money to use to buy private insurance. Liberals hate it. But conservatives like that Ryan has a plan.
"Paul Ryan is one of the few people actually stepping up and proposing solutions to the problem," said Lampman.
The GOP is welcoming Ryan with open arms. But, for some voters, Presidential tickets are less politics and more biology.
"You have to have good chemistry in an election. That's always a number one key. Because if people don't see the chemistry going, they are not going to vote for you," said Trinae Jones, voter.
Virginia is a top swing state this election. Mat Staver says Ryan will get people not excited about the campaign and enthused again. But, the Lynchburg Democratic Committee Chair tells me the Paul Ryan pick hurts the GOP in Virginia and hurts the Middle class.