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)

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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. Mm

    Ooooooo...Pick Newt, Mitt. Your candidacy couldn't get any more ridiculous with him as your vp......lol!

    July 5, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  2. Greekj

    Cheney/Romney 2012

    July 5, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  3. Rick

    Palin, Palin, they should be educated by now, read a few newspapers and magazines. And know some foreign policy.

    July 5, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  4. Allisio Rex

    Mitt Romney should sick to his White Voter's Base. If he pick this Marco Rubio or similar company then he probably will give another four years to Obama as most Whites will be turned off. Romney is turning to be another John McCain. They both identify with "Hispanics" who btw are not Latins at all,(no Latinos,no Latins). McCain was born in Panama and Romney's father was born in Mexico. We need to defeat Obama and this is the best we get? Another McCain?

    July 5, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  5. taz

    Dismal economy?
    hahah then what do you call the republican led economy he inherited?
    You better start thinking of a word that is far more dramatic than dismal because losing millions of jobs and a shrinking economy is leagues worse than gaining jobs and a growing economy.

    July 5, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  6. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    Anybody againest the health care act is not going anywhere in this election ,and the republican gov. In republican controled states won't be realected when their voters find out their behind all the other state for health insurance because of the Gop morons ,by by .

    July 5, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  7. ED FL

    Hopefully He picks RUBIO,that should put the nail in Romneys coffin. Can't wait until the PROFESSIONAL News Media gets to Miami and vetts Rubio. He gets a free ride from the Miami Media but that will dissappear when the National media take over.

    July 5, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  8. acajunthatsagun

    Unknown to the uniformed. That is why voters elect worthless candidates. Voters are too lazy to engage in the process.

    July 5, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. Patricia A. Jackson

    Yup, I know them all. Chaos, Destruction, Danger and Disaster.

    July 5, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  10. Johan S

    I can't believe most people havent heard of these potential VPs. Seriously? 36% havent even heard of Rubio? The guy was on the news practically every day. Most of the others too. This is insane.

    July 5, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  11. Margaret

    If he picks Rubio he will have almost all the religious groups covered, maybe he can get him to convert of Judaism, Islam, and a few more so he can cover the whole field.

    July 5, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  12. Mary

    The only reason why Romney has raised more money is due to the Superpacs – the republicans on the Supreme court allowed for unlimited spending on campaigns. Of course people with money want Romney in office – he will not support the middle class like President Obama. Wake up middle class and contribute to President Obama's campaign.

    July 5, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  13. voodkokk

    None of these guy's will be #2

    July 5, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  14. John Smith

    Rob Portman was budget director under George W Bush. Well that certainly speaks for itself. As for Paul Ryan, it would ignite so much momentum against Romney because of the Ryan budget ending Medicare and Medicaid as we know it. Pawlenty is the most moderate but that hardly helps Romney. As for Rubio, he has the charisma but all the wrong ideas (so with the other majority right wingers representing the Republican party). Jindall is less extreme but still very problematic.

    July 5, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  15. Chedar

    All of those shown on the pictures as candidate for VP including Romney belong to the Looney Tunes.

    July 5, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  16. peckbag

    I know who they are, but I wish I didn't.

    July 5, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  17. Regis990

    I love that the GOP is having to spin BOTH Obama good news and Romney goofs. LOVE IT.

    July 5, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  18. james

    These are the guys helping him lose the campaign.

    July 5, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  19. Chedar

    Where can you find sn American candidate for president that stash large part of his money in oversea (the.Cayman Island) except Mitt Romney.

    July 5, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  20. RE McKay

    Anyone of these prospects make Romney look like a saint! They are each more corrupt than the other! LOL Bring it on Republicans ... unless you have Ronald Reagan ready to rise, the Republican party has about as much chance of winning an election as Muslim would! LOL

    July 5, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  21. demsrule

    I'm thoroughly convinced that the GOP would much rather have an old guy, without a clue for anything but closing plants and putting people out of work. All the GOP need is someone who can stay awake long enough to sign their "good ole boy" policies into law. He would be nothing more than their pupper- much worse than he is right now.

    July 5, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  22. zod

    As long as it's not another Sarah Palin he should be fine. And it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

    July 5, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  23. Robrob

    "Other potential contenders include Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal?" Of course BOTH his parents were not US citizens at the time of his birth. Wonder if that's going to be an issue with the birther crowd – or do they only care about Democrats?

    July 5, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  24. Motto

    Ronmey should vet for Rice. If he does that then Obama is 100% one term. The problem is that it is very very hard to convince Rice involved.

    July 5, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  25. moonghaelela

    Yes, I am familiar with each one of these putrid Republicans. None of them is qualified to be president. End of story.

    July 5, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
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