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. noel

    anotherGDlefty, better open your right eye. The economy is , again, worsening, no matter what Obama and your BSNBC, CNN, & other DIMocRATS tell you. By election time we will see $5+ gas and 9%+ unemployment. Mr. Obama, was nice listening to you talk. Too bad you and your empty suit ideologues are all talk and NO ACTION!!! You really think the American people are going to vote for a president in majority whose party can't even come up w/ a budget in 3 years? REALLY? Hide and watch buddy, Obama is TOAST!!!
    OBAMANOS!!!

    April 18, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Get Real

    Condi has too much W baggage to be picked. Santorum burnt the bridge to any chance, plus he is a loose cannon as amply demonstrated in recent weeks and would never be chosen. The rest of the field are small potatoes- oh yeah, and Jindall?- he sort of underimpressed in his republican response to the dems a few years ago and fell off the pageant lists. Maybe Ross Perot might be interested?

    April 18, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. JPM

    how will they ever find someone as smart as Joe Biden? He sets the bar pretty high.

    April 18, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  4. Atanu

    B'twn Marco and Rice. Thanks.

    April 18, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. VJ

    none of them make any good for Romney. All of them going to be big losers. Just remember America made a big mistake 8 years ago when we elected two clowns known as Mr. Bush and Dick Cheney.

    April 18, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. pk in Texas

    Rice is part of the team of war criminals that started an unnecessary war and ought to be in prison. She's about the last person we need a heartbeat away from being president.

    April 18, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. noel

    Dale, won't matter who is running by the end of summer. Mickey Mouse could beat this clown!!! Remember Carter? I do!!! Your man is the black version...es lomiso...same ole thing...
    OBAMANOS!!!

    "You can't out-promise a DIMocRAT."
    RMN

    April 18, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. Paul

    Its interesting how Condi Tops the Pool in this one? Bating GOPer's anyone. While I think she would add more Credence to Romney's Run, I feel that she would be better to wait it out until 2016 and Run for President herself! She will be a Game-Changer, that could make the 2008 Republican Presidential Election look like a distant memory; but Romney is Too Arrogant and Condi too much of a serious, conservative jet moderate intellectual...They would not get along!!

    April 18, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. Mammy

    Yeah, put the black woman in second place and subservient to the white man. That will help the GOP's image.

    April 18, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. GordonGecko

    I'd like to see Governor Fatso from NJ as the VP

    April 18, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. MNTaxpayeros

    "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.

    Never underestimate the power of talk radio and conservative blogs.

    April 18, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. David B

    I think they should use a holographic image of the late Ronald Reagan as their VP pick.

    April 18, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. bobntx

    This is such left wing propoganda....

    April 18, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  14. Scott

    Condi is the only good choice I see in this list... but can I take Huntsman instead? He's perfect for what's primarily a support role; likeable, charming, charismatic, great hair and entertaining daughters.

    April 18, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  15. someonestolesociofan

    No one votes for a VP. You could put Santa Claus on the ticket and people will still be voting for Romney or Obama.

    April 18, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  16. Roger

    No consensus among the GOP about a VP, Really? They are getting there but haven't even come to the consensus of the Nominee who gets to pick this VP.

    April 18, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  17. Tom

    I hope Romney picks Rick Santorum for his VP, then the GOP could bill their ticket as a "Mormon and a Moron."

    April 18, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. weR4freedom

    Romney/ whatever VP = WIN!!

    Romney is the right President!

    Mitt 2012/2016

    April 18, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. nurse

    Romny is only in this for himself

    April 18, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  20. Indy

    I must admit any of these picks are far better then Romney,so whoever Rush Limbaugh and Ted Nugent pick for the VP spot is an improvement and you can't get worse then Sarah Palin so Romney has nothing to lose until the actual election.

    April 18, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  21. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    pick somebody from FoxNews..that should be a real winner

    April 18, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. blake

    Romney needs to select a solid fiscal and social conservative with experience and little baggage. Doesn't matter what the leftist media says about the choice. They will slam whoever Romney picks.

    April 18, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  23. Has been gone wild

    Although Condoleezza would be interesting, and I respect the job she did as Sec of State... I think she would bring in alot of baggage from the Bush administration, having to answer for decisions on Iraq.

    April 18, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  24. Chris

    Christie, eh? Mitt had better get himself a jumbo jet to transport around that extra load – and a hoist crane.

    April 18, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  25. nurse

    He has a giant ego. I know I am from Massachusetts and I watched him. I did not vote for him then and iI will not vote for him now.

    April 18, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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