CNN Poll: Republicans divided on VP choice
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Sen. Rick Santorum or Pennsylvania, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie top the CNN/ORC poll.
April 18th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
3 years ago

CNN Poll: Republicans divided on VP choice

Washington (CNN) - Who should Mitt Romney choose as his running mate?

According to a new national poll, there's no consensus among Republicans. But a CNN/ORC International survey released Wednesday does indicate there's an ideological split that could put pressure on Romney, the all but certain GOP presidential nominee, as he tries to make his decision.

Full results (PDF)

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The poll asked Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP to choose from eight names who could be among the two dozen or so potential running mates that the Romney campaign may be considering as the vice presidential nominee.

According to the survey, Condoleezza Rice is on top of the list. Twenty-six percent questioned said they would like to see Rice, who served as national security adviser and later as secretary of state under President George W. Bush, as the Republican vice presidential nominee. In second place in the survey, at 21%, was Rick Santorum, who was Romney's chief rival for the nomination until early last week, when the former senator from Pennsylvania suspended his campaign for the White House.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were each at 14%, with House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin at 8%, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal at 5%, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell at 1% and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio at less than one half of one percent.

"Name recognition is the key," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Rice and Santorum are best known and they top the overall wish list."

But split out self-described supporters of the tea party movement and a different picture emerges.

The poll indicates that Rubio, at 22%, and Christie, at 18%, top the list of tea party supporters, with Rice and Santorum dropping into a tie for third place.

According to the survey, among Republicans who say they aren't supporters of the tea party, 36% say Rice is their choice to be Romney's running mate, with one in four saying they'd like Santorum as the GOP vice presidential nominee. Christie barely cracks double digits and Rubio is in single digits among non tea party supporters.

Why don't Rubio and Christie do better among non tea party supporters?

"Once again, it's all a matter of name recognition," says Holland. "Two-thirds of tea party Republicans are familiar with Rubio and virtually all of them have a favorable view of him; six in ten Republicans who do not support the tea party have little or no idea who Rubio is. Christie's numbers among tea party supporters are even higher - three-quarters of them have a favorable view of the New Jersey governor and only one in five are unfamiliar with him; nearly six in ten Republicans who don't support the tea party don't have an opinion of Christie."

The poll indicates that the other names on the list, such as Jindal, McDonnell, and Portman, are unknown quantities to tea party supporters and other Republicans alike. It goes without saying, however, that the presidential nominee is unlikely to put his running-mate choice to a vote, so Romney's opinion is probably the only one that will count in the end.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from April 13-15, with 473 Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

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Filed under: 2012 • 2012 VP Pick • Bob McDonnell • Bobby Jindal • Chris Christie • Condoleezza Rice • Marco Rubio • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan • Rick Santorum • Rob Portman
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Sorensen

    The first three would make Romney look good. Which of course makes them a disaster. And Cristie would probably
    never accept to report to Romney. And he would be right.

    April 18, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. anotherGDlefty

    Gee, no consensus among the GOP about a VP?
    Didn't see that one coming....they all seem to get along so well.

    Better go with Condi so you can say that you like women AND black folks.
    How about $arah Paylin again, maybe she'd take the pay cut to save the country.
    Pick whoever you like Mitty, it won't matter.

    Seamus the dog says Obama / Biden in 2012
    Warren in 2016

    April 18, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Christie? Have you ever seen pictures of Christie and his new state helicopter? The Big Apple is not a pretty site.

    April 18, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. dale kaskey

    They don't even have a nominee and you want to start picking a vp..??????

    April 18, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. Russ

    Most of them will turn him down. The ones that have already said no, know what's coming and they all have way to many skeletons in their closet to accept the VP slot. After the Palin fiasco, not many Repubs will want to go through that kind of scrutiny. Obama already has a fully vetted VP and could find another one in Hilliary, which I think would be a death blow to the GOP's chances.

    April 18, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Christie.... just to see him smash Biden during the debate. The guy is ready for action Romney. Twist his arm!

    April 18, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. mrindependent

    Rice would be a great choice politically and with respect to issues. Romney-Rice 2012 !

    April 18, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. Bill

    Lets' see, here are their choices: a smart, but politically poisoness former Sec. of State, who agrees with torture; a guy who thinks he is either the pope or Chriust; a guy who lies about his own family history for political gain, and finally, a bombastic, rude, loud-mouthed behemoth who will not listen to anyone who disagrees with him. Great choices GOP!

    April 18, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. Grinning Libber

    Nah mitt will go whole hog clutching the 3rd rail and pick Ryan!

    April 18, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. stars

    I hope condi dont be a fool again. These ppl hate black ppl please dont get used again.

    April 18, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. al in memphis

    Listen, we know from the last election cycle that you just need to choose someone with a loud mouth. And who thinks seeing another country from their door step is foreign policy experience.

    April 18, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. xRedfoxx

    I think I'll still take Dr. Ron Paul and whomever he chooses as VP.

    April 18, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. MARK DC

    HOW IS THIS BREAKING NEWS, WORTHY OF A MASS BROADCAST?? I value the CNN breaking news emails for SIGNIFICANT events, but a change in the polls is not breaking! Triage what you send out...I would hate to have to leave this service because of a barrage of poll number changes. COMMON SENSE, CNN!!

    April 18, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Gus

    This group of losers looks worse than the ones they had for president. Please God, no Santorum. Is Rubio sane? Condy just wants an excuse to buy more shoes. The NJ guv has a lot of baggage.
    How about Alfred E Neuman? He fits right in with the republican heavy thinkers.

    April 18, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. beevee

    It does not matter who he picks. it is going to be a losing ticket in November anyway.

    April 18, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. Deke

    Ahh, Condi. The token black woman of the GOP. Nothing too hollow and obvious about that pick.

    April 18, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. jeremy

    condeleez rice? VP? LMAO NO, please. lol

    im so glad this romney guy has no chance.

    April 18, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. judy

    Lets see how long it takes for them to argee. Has to be either black woman or cuban guy. Romney needs both demigraphics. The repos will let condi be vp just not president. Obama 2012 Move forward

    April 18, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. V in Chicago

    Why on earth would anyone think that the Republicans could agree on anything – other than they want President Obama out of office. I am not a youngster, and this is the most ridiculous attempt at a presidential race I've ever seen. These clowns are pathetic. None of the above will make any difference because President Obama will win another term.

    As for Christie – he shouldn't be allowed to be dog catcher. He's nothing but a big (emphasis added) Bully and should not be anywhere near a presidential position.

    April 18, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. once upon a horse

    is there ANYTHING this current GOP is not divided on? The Tea Party helped destroy a once proud party...and I'm not even a Republican. The only thing it seems that they all agree on is beating Obama in 2012.

    April 18, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  21. V in Chicago

    Where's Newt???? Maybe we can start a new game – Where's Newt and how many checks has he bounced this week.

    April 18, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. anagram_kid

    How about Ted Nugent?
    Romney/Gonzo 2012 – Greedy and Crazy, What a Combo!

    April 18, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. VTguy

    Another CNN poll ... about as useless as a Fox news poll

    April 18, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  24. Cedar Rapids

    I think Rice might actually be a strong choice. She has enough of a positive image that it would be hard for people to claim they are just pandering to the women or minority vote by choosing her.
    Santorum is too much of a relgious nut, and Christie is just plain obnoxious.

    April 18, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. mezasemaster

    I'm glad Bob McDonnell is polling as low as he is. He's a stupid social conservative yes man who's been destroying my state fiscally, but taking credit for all the accomplishments that are thanks to our last governor. As soon as he's out of office he deserves to be totally forgotten by everybody.

    April 18, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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