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
8 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. Alvin

    I remember Obama having great months of fund-raising last time around. The difference this time of course is that "hope and change" has been replaced with HYPE and BLAME and few want to invest in that. A dismal economy with the largest tax increase ever thrown on the back of the middle class–tough things to run on....

    July 5, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  2. 2020

    Romney has to picked a well recognized, experienced VP. The winner is:

    Dick Cheney

    July 5, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "the largest tax increase ever thrown on the back of the middle class–tough things to run on...."

    It's not even close to the "largest tax increase ever thrown on the back of th emiddle-class." The only people trying to run on THAT are the GOPers/Teatrolls and it is a 100% lie disproveable with very simple math and reference to undeniable historical facts about the tax increases levied by presidents like Reagan, Bush 1 and Clinton. Repeating it won't make your version true and just helps prove that the GOP/Teatrolls are willing to run on lies because they have nothing else to prop up their infantile ideology and campaign shenanigans.

    July 5, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. Ferathka

    Does not matter who this joker picks. Nothing will help him. There is too much footage of him being for one thing and then being against it over and over. This guy is a liar and a hypocrite and does not deserve to be in the white house.

    July 5, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. trex

    ...Mitt...take ol' Crazy Eyes Bachmann. Cant ya see it, when the first lady is announced, Marcus Bachmann will step up.................................

    July 5, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. American

    That is not true. Please stop letting Fox propaganda tell you how to think.

    There were much larger tax increases under President Reagan, Clinton & Bush.

    July 5, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. Supporter of Respecting Opinions

    Obama inherited a mess – 2 wars, bailout, economy tanked. He made a mistake going after healthcare first, but any objective look at the economy shows an improvement, albeit slow. He did not cave in on the Iraq Status of Force agreement and got us out of that war, but did not make the right decision (in my opinion) on Afghanistan. Good job killing terrorists, saving auto industry, repealing DODT, to name a few. All in all, he has not been a terrible president as some suggest and the level of disrespect he gets as president is because he is a person of color. That's also how the GOP get "some" poor and middle income whites to vote against their own economic self-interest.

    July 5, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. hmmm

    I personally think Christie is a good choice. Despite the numerous ad homs that his detractors throw out (fat, loud, etc) the republican party has the best chance by running on fiscal conservatism... the tightwad Dad to the democrats spendthrift Mom personae. People realize that there is a fiscal issue with domestic spending and someone who is going to efficaciously handle that over politics will probably have the best chance IMHO.

    July 5, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  9. flatbushfred

    I think Chris Chistie, the "Jersey Shore" governor of NJ, would be a great running mate. If he wins, he's out of New Jersey!!!

    July 5, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. clint

    Huckabee for vp great choice

    July 5, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. Woody

    If this is about how much money a guy has than its not about the people but rather what and maybe who can be bought . I will vote for the person that can do the job . Not the person that can raise the most money .

    July 5, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. Indyswimmer66

    Rob who? Great. Is this going to be another Palin "surprise?"

    July 5, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  13. cariqunyil

    I'm betting it will be Senator John Thune of SD

    July 5, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  14. Obama from Popeye's Chicken

    ...where'z all these folks getting that kind coin to donate to Romney?? Sounds like we'z need to raise them there taxes on those rich, fat cat small business peps making 100K a year. Who needs that kind of wealth?

    We need spread it around a little......

    I'z need to get back to packing for my upcoming Martha's Vineyard luxury vacation. Michele is having her $800 sneakers re-soled in preparation for hanging out with all our rich limosine liberal friends.



    July 5, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. Anthony Quatroni

    While the rest of the country is scraping and scrounging to get by, this fool (and the other one) are raising MILLIONS for their ridiculous campaigns. We all know that no matter who wins nothing is going to change for the better. What the American people should do is NOT VOTE. If NO ONE goes to the polls in November, it will send a message to the government that we've had enough of the lies and flip-flops. What a waste.

    July 5, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  16. Marc Chamot

    Condaleeza Rice good pick. Marco Rubio bad pick. If we have to pander to anybody, I'd rather pander to legalized African Americans, rather than to illegal Latino immigrants!

    July 5, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  17. Larry

    Remember the last time repubs picked an unknown vp candidate – 2008 I believe it was, that boon to intellegensia, Sarah Palin. They would have to look into the deepest depths of idiocy to top that one. AND, she went from totally unknown to the darling, overnight. Matters not who is chosen, matters not. Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Bush I (the best of the lot), Dan Quayle, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin – what an elite group to become a part of.

    July 5, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  18. Hillary

    No need to find out about any of them since alexithymic Mitt won't be moving into the White House.

    July 5, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. OK born and bred

    Mary Fallin? Ha – funniest thing I have ever heard! And she is known for is her affair as Lt Gov with a state trooper.

    July 5, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  20. najib

    Idonot. Think this Guy going to be us president

    July 5, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  21. Lenny

    I hope he picks Sarah Palin! That insures an Obama victory!

    July 5, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  22. george S

    Short on ideas and solutions for the people of this Country...but great at raising Bain and now for the Presidency...

    This is Mitt Romney...let's see if he can finance the acquisition and purchase of the USA for his right wing fat cat investors.

    This would be the biggest leverage buyout in history...and the saddest

    July 5, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  23. w l jones

    Only two canidate have experience the current president and his vice president. .. in the old military the other would be green horn. Bless.

    July 5, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  24. sharir27

    Yeah, and everyone says Ron Paul is not good. Ha ha. Romney and Obama will raise our taxes. Look what we get, more of the same by both candidates. At least Ron Paul stands the same stand as he did 30 years ago. We need real leadership that well help cool the waters across the board.

    If all of you didn't see the clip, CSPAN was there, while reporters admitted that if they even mention Ron Paul's name, they would be fired. Interesting, since Ron Paul is the most conservative candidate. Ron Paul had thousands of supporters, while Romney maybe had a few hundred. No wonder why the attorney's are going after the GOP. However, we allow the corruption to continue, because we all become brain-washed with the main stream media, or what I like to call them, the "Talking Heads" who don't allow people to critically think issues for themselves.

    Look at France, they are raising the taxes for the rich to 75%. Who is going to want to work harder for less money? Is this the road that we are on? Take away our 1st amendment, 2 they are voting on our 4th amendment on July 27th.

    I would like to see Obama have a decent running mate. It would make for an exciting election year. Vote for more of the same or vote for change.

    July 5, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  25. Indy

    Even though Romney has been running for close to seven years we don't even know him because he changes his views on a daily basis so his VP pick is going to have to be someone very well known and liked to make up for Romney's lacking of personality,character and spine

    July 5, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
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