Running mate poll: Santorum up, Bachmann down
February 20th, 2012
10:29 AM ET
2 years ago

Running mate poll: Santorum up, Bachmann down

Washington (CNN) – Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are the names that come up the most when Republicans are asked who they would like to see as their party's vice presidential nominee, according to a new survey.

Rubio is mentioned 66 times in a study conducted by Fairleigh Dickenson University's PublicMind poll. Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania who in the past week and a half has surged to front-runner status in the race for the GOP nomination, is mentioned as the running mate 56 times, with Christie grabbing 47 mentions.

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The national survey questioned Republicans and independent voters who lean towards the GOP.

"The question was open-ended," said Peter Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll, which means that people came up with their choices for who they'd like to see as the Republican running mate without any prompting.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the GOP running mate in 2008, was mentioned 35 times, with two presidential candidates, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 32 mentions and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas with 30 mentions, close behind.

While Rubio has edged up by 5 mentions from when this survey was last conducted two months ago, Santorum has surged from just 19 mentions.

"The fact that Santorum is surging in visibility and that his name had already been brought up in interviews combined to push him toward the top of the VP list," added Woolley.

Christie also jumped by 18 mentions from two months ago. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who dropped her bid for the White House the day after the Iowa Caucuses in early January, has also virtually disappeared from vice-presidential sight, according to the survey. She grabbed 60 mentions in the December survey, just 16 mentions now.

A wide range of names were also offered.

"Ronald Reagan was summoned from the grave by one respondent," said Woolley "Clearly, that person has watched too many Republican debates."

The Fairleigh Dickenson University poll was conducted February 6-12, with 799 Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Also see:

Santorum clarifies 'theology' remark

Santorum rips Obama on social agenda

Gay sheriff resigns Romney role after allegations


Filed under: 2012 • 2012 VP Pick • Chris Christie • Marco Rubio • Michele Bachmann • Rick Santorum • Veepstakes
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Bill in Florida

    My guess is it will be Romney/Santorum, even though the ideologies of the two are pretty different. Romney will win because of his money and influence in the party, and Santorum will be the runner-up to encourage the lunatic fringe to vote, otherwise they'd stay home on election day.

    I think we'll see a repeat of McCain/Palin, with the same result for the Presidency.

    February 20, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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