CNN Poll: What Republicans want in their VP nominee
August 10th, 2012
12:43 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: What Republicans want in their VP nominee

Washington (CNN) – They don't get a say when it comes to whom Mitt Romney will pick as his running mate, but a new national survey indicates that rank and file Republicans say it's critical that person be qualified to become president if needed.

According to a new CNN/ORC International poll released Friday, nearly nine in ten Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP say that it's very important to them that Romney choose a running mate who can take over in the White House if necessary.

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Sixty-three percent questioned say that it's very important to them that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee choose a running mate who agrees with them on the issues. The survey indicates that 42% say their top priority is that the vice presidential nominee believe that abortion should be illegal.

Do Republicans care whether Romney picks a well-known running mate?

"Not really. Only 29% of Republicans say that it is very important to them that Romney pick someone they know a lot about," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "This might be a good thing for Romney since just about every name on his short list is unfamiliar to most Republicans."

At the bottom of the list: geography. Only one in eight Republicans say that it is very important to them that Romney chooses someone from the state or region of the country where they live.

"Whether a running mate is qualified to be president has typically been central to the public's evaluation of a running mate, and not all of them have passed the test," adds Holland. "In 2008, Americans were initially split over whether Sarah Palin was qualified to be President, but by October, 56% felt that she was not qualified. In 1992, 62% felt the same way about Dan Quayle."

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from August 7-8, with 1,010 adults nationwide, including 419 Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus five percentage points.


Filed under: 2012 • 2012 VP Pick • CNN/ORC International poll • Mitt Romney
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. cali girl

    They really want someone to excite the base. However, we all remember very well 4 years ago the blunder of Palin.

    August 10, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  2. B.

    The Republicans want a righteous Teabager that will please all of those right wing extremists that have taken-over the party.

    Ryan looks like the perfect choice, and he can be Romney’s brain like Cheney and Dubya – They can take-over where Bush left off and finish the job of destroying the country.

    August 10, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. PJ

    As some have pointed out, the most important consideration is who will get to choose the next Justices of the
    United States Supreme Court. Do we want more of Thomas, Scalia, Alito or do we want someone who will
    be less political?
    At least we have a chance to change our elected officials, but we are stuck forever with these people.
    Their rulings have been questionable. Justice Scalia said he was "offended" by the criticism they have
    received, but he doesn't care if we are offended by their decisions. The worst, of course, being
    Citizens United.
    Something to consider, I think.

    August 10, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. Sashatree

    So, 42% surveyed believed it was necessary that the VP candidate believes that abortion should be illegal. Now try and tell me the GOP isn't attacking women's rights!!!!!!!!!! NEANDERTHALS!!!!

    August 10, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Richard

    Who cares what the republicans think. They should poll the independents and see what they say. Romney could pick a monkey and his ilk will vote for him in nonetheles. Oh wait, a monkey will be black, unless he picks an albino monkey. They would surely vote for him then!

    August 10, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. ian

    i think randy travis would be a good pick. he may disagree, but i'm not letting him vote. sorry, randy.

    August 10, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. cali girl

    PJ, you make a wonderful point. Those Justices are in it for the politics very often. It was pretty certain that they upheld the ACA ruling, but a complete surprise to everyone is that Chief Justice Roberts went against the politics for his decision.
    We can't afford anymore Scalia's and Alitos either.

    August 10, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. rick s.

    the repukes have zero cred

    August 10, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. Frank

    Making abortion illegal is their #1 priority?? These are the same people who oppose an ever-expanding all-intrusive Federal government. Turns out they're fine with a big government that enforces their social agenda, everyone else though is just a socialist.

    August 10, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. Rush L

    What?!?! Jobs wasn't their number one concern....? How odd....

    August 10, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. moderate68

    Obama wasn't qualified and look what he has done.

    August 10, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. moderate68

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Obama wasn't qualified and look what he has done.

    August 10, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. S-Hug

    1. Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts for billionaires
    2. Subsidies and tax shelters for top polluters
    3. Destroy those big, bad unions, Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare and anything else that gives the middle class any sense of security
    4. Flash your Jesus card to lure in not-so-wealthy supporters

    August 10, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. Howard

    @Call girl ... We all know what call girls do ... and, anybody who would sell themselves, would sell out anybody else ... including their country. Obama has systematically shrunk our economy, thus making the people dependent on government hand outs in order to survive. When people are desperate, they will even trade their freedom in order to feed their families. Why believe your own experience of paying more for everything, layoffs, inflation, and a shrinking economy ... when Obama and the main stream media keep telling you everything is getting better ... oh that's right, you believes what Obama tells you over your own eyes and ears. Conclusion ... you deserve to be lied to ... and, you deserve the coming economic melt down, and accompanying hardships ... but, don't worry about the Obama's, George Clooney or Anna Winter ... they will still be able to afford their lives of luxury.

    August 10, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  15. moderate68

    Romney should pick someone as qualified as Obama was in 2008. A divide us all and conqueror.

    August 10, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. ray

    hahah hahaha whay republicans wants, hahahahah. i tell what they want, they want the african americam president out the white house, it hurts the racists on the right so bad that they will lie everyday and attack immigrants at all cost just to spor up the red necks on the right so they can get this president out they wgite house, talk about lies, hahahah romney will lie day in, day out to get the rest of the racists on they right to get him elected

    August 10, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  17. Howard

    The democrats obviously don't think an honest, competent Vice President is necessary .. after all, look who they embrace as Obama's V.P. ... A BAFOON.

    August 10, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Jeb

    The Republican base is rabid and insane and that's what they want to see in a VP running mate.

    August 10, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. PushingBack

    Wow! 42% think the top issue is abortion! And these same people feign anger over jobs and the economy but in reality they, like the people they voted into office, don't care about that all. Stop blaming Obama when it's you that votes for things that won't help you get a job or put food on the table.

    August 10, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. Mindie in Indie

    moderate68
    "Obama wasn't qualified and look what he has done."

    What about Obama wasn't 'qualified" You mean because he wasn't a rich old white guy? Obama's been working tirelessly helping America (and you know it), inspite of all the tea bagged obstruction, the lies and distortions. WE all see it and we all know the truth. No amount of money can buy the truth dude. Fake news from a fake news station..

    So go ahead and vote for the guy who'll give more breaks to millionnairs that the middle class will pay for. Go ahead and vote for the guy who wants to gut medicare and give that money to his rich buddies. Go ahead and vote for the guy who'll take away your children's health care, even though he was the champion of said healthcare. Go ahead and vote for the puppet lead around by the nose.

    I'll stick with the guy who's actually helping the middle class thank you very much.

    August 10, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. Expat American

    Required: White, Christian
    Need to hate: Muslims, Gays, Minorities, Poor, Middle Class.

    August 10, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. Carlos

    It does not matter who he picks, Mitt "the twitt"(the Brits got it right!) will still be the ellitist out of touch zillionaire he is. After the election he will go back to his many homes and blame the "media" why he did not win!!

    August 10, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. PushingBack

    Howard – Read much?? Call girl?? It's Cali Girl – take a first grade reading lesson!

    August 10, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. Steve

    "..42% say their top priority is that the vice presidential nominee believe that abortion should be illegal."...and that is why the Repubicans will continue to lose support. They preach individual responsibility which actually means do as we want you to do or we will sick the government after you.

    August 10, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. Don L

    CNN telling us who is best that their enemy should pick to help their agenda?

    You're kidding, assuming that any credibility is left tin the MSM? Only the permanently brain-washed could believe anything coming out of their chambers during this crucial time for America.

    August 10, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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