CNN Poll: Americans unfamiliar with some possible Romney running mates
(L) Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida (R) Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio
July 5th, 2012
04:33 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans unfamiliar with some possible Romney running mates

(CNN) - Most Americans are unfamiliar with some of the men speculated to be on Mitt Romney's list of potential running mates, according to a new CNN/ORC International Poll released Thursday.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, the one person Romney has confirmed is being vetted, was the only name in the poll known by at least half of the general public.

See full results (PDF)

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

Among those who had an opinion about Rubio, 28% said they held a favorable view of the freshman senator, while 22% said they had an unfavorable view. Another 50% said they were unsure, with 36% of those having never heard of Rubio.

Rubio, whose parents emigrated from Cuba, has been noted for his popularity among Latino voters, a crucial voting block among which Romney lags far behind President Barack Obama.

Other potential contenders include Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

According to the poll, the four names had one common theme: A majority of Americans had no opinion about them, with many of them having never heard of the men.

One of the most buzzed-about names recently, Sen. Portman, especially had low name recognition.

"Nearly eight in ten are unfamiliar with Ohio Senator Rob Portman," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "On the other hand, that's probably what Romney is looking for, since major party nominees rarely like to be overshadowed by their vice-presidential choices."

A popular senator from Ohio, political observers say Portman brings geographic appeal to the campaign. He also served as a budget director under the George W. Bush administration as part of a long and experienced career in Washington.

Both Louisiana Gov. Jindal and former Minnesota Gov. Pawlenty are out on the trail this week, shadowing Obama's bus tour and stumping for Romney through Ohio and Pennsylvania.

However, neither of them are particularly well known, the poll shows. Forty-three percent of Americans say they don't know about Pawlenty or Jindal.

Ryan, a congressman from Wisconsin whose name is often in headlines over his proposed budget, the so-called Ryan Plan, still does not hold much weight among Americans. Forty percent say have never heard of the House Budget chairman.

Also significant, the poll shows that when broken down by party lines, the unfamiliarity numbers don't change much, suggesting even Republicans don't know anything about the potential running mates.

For example, while 40% of all Americans have never heard of Ryan, 35% of Republicans said the same thing. Meanwhile, 40% of Republicans know nothing about Pawlenty, who ran as a GOP presidential candidate last year. And a whopping 56% of Republicans have not heard of Portman.

In addition to these men, Romney's wife, Ann, said Thursday the campaign is considering women, as well.

"We've been looking at that," Ann Romney said when asked in a CBS interview whether her husband should select a woman to join him on the GOP ticket. "I'd love that option as well. So, you know, there's a lot of people that Mitt is considering right now."

New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have all been mentioned in the media as potential running mates for Romney.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from June 28 to July 1, with 1,517 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is +/-2.5 percentage points.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • 2012 VP Pick • CNN/ORC International poll • Mitt Romney
soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. Name JR

    Obama is least qualified US leader ever. Biden is almost laughable as a succesor. Anything gop appoints will be step up.

    July 5, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    Rubio = unexperieced
    Portman = Bush cronie
    Jindal = State of the Union response
    Ayotte = Palin 2.0
    Ryan = Ryan Budget

    Whichever he chooses, they're all losers and will not hlp his cause.

    July 5, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    -GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    Rubio = unexperieced
    Portman = Bush cronie
    Jindal = State of the Union response
    Ayotte = Palin 2.0
    Ryan = Ryan Budget

    Whichever he chooses, they're all losers and will not hlp his cause.
    *****************************
    You forgot that Rubio is a liar about his family history, and an apostate from the Mormon Church as well. In addition, Governor Christie is one french fry away from a stroke.

    July 5, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. mcskadittle

    he doesn't want anyone who will outshine him, so this is what you get. the list will be short

    July 5, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. Myviewis

    Most of the US had never heard of Obama and he became president so I don't see the point here.

    July 5, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. Curt

    That poll is really sad. Maybe people who are that ignorant of the players involved shouldn't be allowed to vote.

    July 5, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. sayer

    No one wants to be on the loser ticket.

    July 5, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Showmeyerpapers

    HERMAN CAIN AND THE ELECTRIFIED FENCE! Mitt is the candidate who doesnt eat dog

    July 5, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Showmeyerpapers

    SANTORUM or SHERIFF JOE!

    July 5, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. Myviewis

    So say Obama's groupies, of course, they forget that Obama is unqualified for the job he got. I mean seriously guys this man did not have a resume to brag about and his book is more of what he dreamed about himself. Obama should have gone for script writing in Hollywood.

    July 5, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. T'sah From Virginia

    ►"On the other hand, that's probably what Romney is looking for, since major party nominees rarely like to be overshadowed by their vice-presidential choices."◄

    On the other hand, maybe he needs someone that would outshine him so his FLIP-FLOPS won't look so obvious!! About time the media vets anyone R-Money chooses, it will be November!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    July 5, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. Paul Thomas

    Rubio is about as pro Latino as Mitt, from the fine people who bought you Sarah Palin comes ......Sarah 2.0 and just think if Palin would of taken their advice and shut her pie hole half the country wouldn't know she's a certified idiot and she might be VP now. There noting wrong with changing your views but a flip flopped goes where ever the wind blows and oes not follow their heart. Mitt Flipney jumps from issue o issue base on polls and talking points not exactly presidential

    July 5, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. Donkey Party

    Myviewis – No, only you rabid right-wingers who lounge around all day in your mommy's basement watching Fox Non-News in your dirty pajamas didn't know who he was. Fox Non-News viewers are statistically less informed than people who watch no news at all. Facts are a wonderful thing, aren't they?

    July 5, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    It's like standing over the portapotty's hole and trying to pick out the best turd.

    July 5, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. Darryl

    LOL...LOL....you know the comercial on T.V. the old woman laying on her bedroom floor saying Hep ! I CAN"T GET UP LOL......Thats Romney, But only he's faceing the American People behind the Podeium arms streched out " HELP I CAN"T I NEED A VICE PRESIDENT " LOL...LOL....Oh I'm sure most men are afraid to even touch that ticket. I could mean their career with lose creditability in their future. When you support someone who is dishonest and clearly seen by the people of the U.S. as a man who cares only for the Wealthiest people of this country that sends a message and it's not good.The people of this country do not have a problem with getting rich or people who already are rich, they have a problem with HOW you got there and how you can give them the oppertunity to do the same. Tha's exactly what President Obama does and thats exactly what Mitt Romney does NOT do period. President Obama gives Hope & Change.

    July 5, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. Donkey Party

    Sniffit – Cute analogy. Willard can mull over his favorite turd, but in the end, all his choices stink.

    July 5, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  17. Mikey

    Name JR – "Obama is least qualified US leader ever. Biden is almost laughable as a succesor. Anything gop appoints will be step up."

    Blah, blah, blah. Thanks for adding you intellectual heft to the conversation. Let's see, how to respond?

    Obama is one of the 10 greatest Presidents in US history. Biden would be a knowledgable and capable succesor. Anyone the GOP has on the radar is a tremendous step down in every way.

    July 5, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  18. vic , nashville ,tn

    @ Myviews
    Obama got 69.5 Millions votes in 2008 so before he became president 69.5 millions Americans know him

    July 5, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  19. Mr. Moderate

    Portman – that would be great if he would pick yet another W crony, yet alone one that was responsible for doubling the national debt.

    July 5, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. vic , nashville ,tn

    Republicans always buy the election with money, so these numbers won’t affect

    July 5, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  21. Dou

    Mitt Romney should pick Michele Bachmann for VP

    July 5, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  22. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    @Myviews
    Unfortunately, people like you are still Palin "groupies" still unable to accept voting for her was the year you wasted your vote. But that's OK, you'll get it right this time, VOTE OBAMA and you'll be so happy with yourself knowing you didn't waste your vote again.

    July 5, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. Gurgyl

    All idiots the same O, same O, nonsense idiots!!!mittens is a joke to USA and world,,,

    July 5, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  24. FlotsamJetsam

    I just laugh when i hear that Chris Christie would answer the call.... He would overshadow Romney like noone else on this list. He is so arrogant that I don't think he would help Romney at all.

    July 5, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  25. Andrew Wild

    This people are all Pathetic liars, role back the USA to the Bush years again or better lets have another depression so finally all this morons in America learn something.We go back to the 1950 policies again .You people can kiss the old USA good bye.What have the Repubic done from 2001 to 2012 ???Nothing )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))0000000000.

    July 5, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6