The poll asked Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP to choose from eight names who could be among the two dozen or so potential running mates that the Romney campaign may be considering as the vice presidential nominee.
According to the survey, Condoleezza Rice is on top of the list. Twenty-six percent questioned said they would like to see Rice, who served as national security adviser and later as secretary of state under President George W. Bush, as the Republican vice presidential nominee. In second place in the survey, at 21%, was Rick Santorum, who was Romney's chief rival for the nomination until early last week, when the former senator from Pennsylvania suspended his campaign for the White House.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were each at 14%, with House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin at 8%, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal at 5%, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell at 1% and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio at less than one half of one percent.
Now that Republicans are starting to coalesce around the presumptive Republican nominee, it’s only natural and proper for Americans to speculate who Mitt Romney will choose at his number two. In truth, I expected Marco Rubio and Chris Christie to top the charts as the most popular and viable candidates. This is not the case. Curiously, according the survey, six in 10 Republicans who do not identify with or support the Tea Party movement have “little or no idea” who Marco Rubio is! (Less surprising, perhaps, 60 percent of those same individuals hold no opinion of Chris Christie.) Ultimately, the study demonstrates that name recognition – at least at this point – is the most important factor in determining who Republican voters want as their VP nominee. Thus, given Condoleezza Rice’s high profile name, she seems to be the logical choice.
Incidentally, in the May issue of Townhall Magazine, my TH colleagues have dedicated an entire feature – available for purchase here – to exploring this increasingly important and popular subject. In the article, they weigh the pros and cons of a number of different candidates and identify what they could – if chosen – potentially bring to the ticket. Of course, the decision will ultimately come down to one man’s choice, but it’s still fun evaluating all the different possibilities nonetheless.
Parting Thought: Do you think Mitt Romney will choose Condi Rice as his running mate? Or would he be better off going with someone else? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
Update: Also, if you haven’t done so yet, click here to vote in the Townhall.com GOP Veepstakes.