CNN 2016 GOP Poll: Who are these guys?
March 29th, 2013
12:00 PM ET
5 years ago

CNN 2016 GOP Poll: Who are these guys?

Washington (CNN) - They may be familiar figures in political circles, but a new survey suggests that many of the possible 2016 GOP White House contenders are not that well known among Republicans nationwide.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Friday asked Republicans across the country about their opinions of seven people considering bids for the next GOP presidential nomination. At least a quarter of those surveyed said they didn't know enough of five of the seven potential candidates to form an opinion.

According to the poll, 57% said they were unfamiliar with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, with 32% saying they have a favorable opinion of him and just over one in ten saying they see the two-term governor in an unfavorable light.

Even though Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has been in the headlines quite a bit the past few months, just over one in three Republicans said they were unfamiliar with him, with 54% saying they had a favorable opinion him and 12% saying they have an unfavorable view of the man who gave the Republican response to the President's State of the Union address.

Thanks to his well-covered filibuster, Rand Paul has been in the headlines recently, but 28% of those questioned said they didn't know enough about the senator from Kentucky to form an opinion. Fifty-three percent said they saw him in a favorable light, with just under one in five saying they had a unfavorable opinion of Paul.

Just over a quarter said they were unsure about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate. Forty-eight percent said they saw the tough-talking Christie in a favorable light, with 26% holding an unfavorable opinion. Santorum, a one-time longshot for the 2012 GOP nomination who ended up battling eventual nominee Mitt Romney deep into the primary season, had a similar 47%-27% favorable/unfavorable number.

"Favorable ratings at this stage of the game only measure name recognition, but name recognition does give a candidate a major boost," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Three years before the GOP nominated John McCain in 2004, 84% of rank-and-file Republicans were familiar with him. Three years before the party chose Mitt Romney in 2012, 78% of GOPers knew enough about him to form an opinion. That let both men play the game at a higher level when many of their rivals were still introducing themselves to voters."

Much better known were Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, thanks to name recognition.

Only 13% were unsure about Ryan, less because he's the House Budget Committee chairman and more because he was Romney's running mate last year. Ryan had a 74% favorable rating with 13% seeing him in an unfavorable light.

Bush, the brother of former President George W. Bush and the son of former President George H.W. Bush, is also well recognizable, thanks to his family name. Only 16% were unsure about Bush, who has a 56%-28% favorable/unfavorable rating in the survey.

The CNN poll was conducted March 15-17 by ORC International, with 476 Republicans and independents nationwide who lean towards the GOP questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

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soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. ST

    Why should people know these so-called GOP contenders? A person is known if they have done something very, very, remarkable. What have these all GOP contenders done?? Totally nothing. Except Marco Rubio who sipped that bottle of water , which is not really important to people. So please do not blame people who have no idea who they are.

    March 29, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. Just a thought

    The GOP IS A JOKE...a very bad joke for America. I couldn't imagine these imbecciles being given the keys to the white house when in fact those keys should only be to the outhouse because that party is full of it.

    March 29, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    Never too soon to push Reince Priebus' autopsy report under the bus and start the 2016 primaries three years ahead of time ... yes, GOPers?

    Fuel up the clown car ... It's going to be another Etch A Sketch election in GOPerville.

    March 29, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Fair is Fair

    Hey CNN... if there were no dem candidates who had held national office previously, you think the results would be different? Please.

    March 29, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. Brian from CO

    As of right now it is hard to imagine any Democrat or Republican beating Mrs. Clinton in 2016. Were a long way out and a lot could still change but right now she seems to be a clear favorite.

    March 29, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Kong

    Rand Paul 2016!

    March 29, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Questionable

    Dear ST,

    Who was the little known senator from Illinois a few years ago? Have you forgotten history. Did not this senator have little on his resume? Had this senator not abstained from many critical votes in the Senate? Yet, did he not become the president?

    Might we have a responsible individual step forward from anywhere in America and begin to lead our country? Just a request.

    Have a pleasant day.

    March 29, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. ST

    Anyone who thinks can beat Hillary is cheating himself. I continue to hear that in 2008 she was inevitable and the little known Senator from Illinois came and beat her. In your mind how can you under-rate Pres. Obama? This man is quite exceptional, yes he was able to beat Hillary BUT still he beat the man with all money on earth and in a worst economy. Not only that, even in a high unemployment rate. Is there anyone from GOP side this time of that caliber? I do not think so.

    March 29, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. Jon

    Who are these guys? The losers.

    March 29, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. iceload9

    If they are going to dodge the three elephants in the room, unemployment, runaway healthcare costs and corporate welfare the way the current administration and congress do, what difference does it make who wins?

    March 29, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. Fair is Fair

    Brian from CO

    As of right now it is hard to imagine any Democrat or Republican beating Mrs. Clinton in 2016. Were a long way out and a lot could still change but right now she seems to be a clear favorite.
    Well, yes... I guess I'd have to agree. But we saw how much THAT conventional wisdom was worth in '08.

    March 29, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. Liberal Uber Alles

    Hillary smokes all these fools and a generic GOP opponent.

    March 29, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. JK-MN

    They are simply the latest crop of fringe loving wingnuts IMO.

    March 29, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. Silvia Morales

    Keep polling those low information voters. Clinton was thrown uder the bus for obama, she continues to have no dignity

    March 29, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. bannister

    Both parties are corrupt and just because the GOP is currently trending downward, I am sick of Democrats acting like they are some kind of party of virtue. Their sanctimoniousness reminds me of the self-righteous religious fundamentalists of the 1980s who were convinced they could do no wrong.

    As the government gets bigger, the dollar becomes weaker and the nation fills up with more poor from the Third World (we currently take in 2 million per year right now) no amount of social programs, fake money from the Federal Reserve or smoke and mirrors from the Obama Administration will save us. Wait till they shut off the food stamps, it will be hilarious to watch white liberals defending their homes with shotguns as their current political allies, their "people of color" come to their neighborhoods looking for food.

    Instead of supporting the GOP, conservatives, libertarians and other freedom lovers of all stripes would be best to start rebuilding communities and establishing organizations that DON'T include the government or liberals. They've made their bed, let them lie in it when the time comes.

    March 29, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. dialogos68

    Look at the clueless liberals on here repeating what they were taught from the MSM at the likes of MSNBC and CNN. If one had no clue, one would think the GOP is dead. In reality, the GOP is transforming from the party of old white people, to the party of freedom and civil-liberties.
    Special interests have taken over our government and are bankrupting our nation. The old neo-con republicans are siding with the clueless liberals and the MSM in covering up the corruption.
    With a new spiritual leader in Rand Paul, the tea Party is more popular than ever. One major reason! Obama and Holder NEVER prosecuted any bankers after they caused the 2008 meltdown! The big banks are the largest financial contributors to Obama, Romney, Bush, Clinton, The democrats and republicans. Both parties are two heads on the same monster.

    March 29, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |

    ST: Yes he drinks water. what's next? The color of his tie? I guess you libs need to find something. How shallow

    March 29, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. Robert

    There are 2 GOPs, and liberals can't tell the difference between them. One GOP is focused in individual liberty, personal responsibility, and fiscal responsibility. The other GOP is motivated by fundamentalist religious views. I fall into the first group and get frustrated when I'm grouped with the religious fundamentalists, who I don't like.

    March 29, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. dialogos68

    Reading the comments from the liberals on here makes me realize how doomed our nation is. Our government borrows 46 cents to every dollar spent. This cannot continue with a 16 TRILLION debt. The republicans know that we must slow down. Obama agreed to the current deal last summer, but with the help of the biased lib MSM, they smear the Republicans. It is amazing that liberals can't see what a sinister plan the Dems are using. The Dems use threats of firing teachers, air traffic controllers and releasing illegal aliens. Instead, why don't we start by cutting foreign aid to Egypt, Libya and Syria. Wait, I forgot, those are Obama's allies. The Obama plan is our road to financial ruin and it seems like he knows this. He is a banking puppet for Goldman Sachs and the corrupt privately owned Federal Reserve. The Fed profits from our massive debt by charging interest. They also hope to kill the dollar as an excuse to move to a new World currency administered by their friends at the IMF.

    March 29, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    This poll is an exercise in futility. We are 3 years out. Pointless.

    March 29, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  21. polarbear

    "A person is known if they have done something very, very, remarkable. What have these all GOP contenders done?? " uh who was Barack before he was president?

    March 29, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. DirtyHeat

    @ Just a Thought: What makes each Rubio, Paul and Jindal imbecciles? I'm willing to bet you have no idea what their political positions are on most important issues. You are simply another liberal troll who loves bashing republicans because really, that is all you are intelligent enough to do.

    The article is a little misleading. It leads you to believe that the percantage of Republicans that do not know enough about each candidate, has never even hear of the candidate before when in reality, they just do not know enough about their stances to form an opinion about them.

    Personally I don't think there is anything wrong with that seeing we are still 3 1/2 years from the election. There is plenty of time to feel these candidates out and separate the contenders from the pretenders.

    March 29, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. Heck NO

    I went to western Kentucky Unversity. Sen. Rand Pual is from our district. He is crazy as hell. If the republican party wants a chance to win, I would not sugggest him. Just saying!

    March 29, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. ART

    Never gonna get it, never gonna get it ,never.The GOP will continue to be a laughing stock as long as they continue with their retrogade rhetoric and hate

    March 29, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |

    Is it just me, or does the media label every new GOP contender a rock star?

    It's seriously getting old. They are the same politicians as the rest of the pack. Just because they are younger and more brash doesn't make them a star with new ideas. And even if they offer new ideas on the campaign trail, once they get into office they pull the same crap.... funneling money upwards. Using our tax dollars for crony contracts to make their buddies rich.

    March 29, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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