VEEPSTAKES – AT 9:58 A.M. ET: A new poll gives an entertaining, if only that, view of who Republicans favor for the vice presidential slot on their fall ticket. From The Politico:
Republicans are increasingly falling in behind Mitt Romney’s White House run, but they haven’t got a clue who he should add to the ticket, a CNN/ORC International survey says.
Condoleezza Rice tops the vice presidential wish list among Republicans and right-leaning independents, according to the poll Wednesday. Twenty-six percent of those polled backed the former national security adviser and secretary of state under George W. Bush as Romney’s No. 2. (Rice has repeatedly said she’s not interested in the job.)
Romney’s former nomination rival, Rick Santorum, garnered 21 percent for the VP spot, while Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tied for third with 14 percent.
Sen. Rob Portman, whose name has been topping the VP list among some political insiders, registered less than one-half of 1 percent in the poll – mainly because he’s a mystery.
Sixty-seven percent — the highest in the poll — had simply “never heard of” Portman, an Ohio Republican.
Tea party supporters found Rubio, at 22 percent, their favorite as Romney’s running mate, while Christie, at 18 percent, came in second. Rice tied with Santorum for third.
Among Republicans who say they aren’t avid tea party backers, however, 36 percent picked Rice as their top choice. Rubio trailed in the single digits in part because 55 percent of those outside of tea party circles said they’d never heard of him.
COMMENT: As I said, it's an entertaining view, but meaningless. In most primary campaigns most voters have never heard of a number of potential vice-presidential candidates. That changes, of course, as soon as one of them is named by the presidential choice. The buildup begins.
So these early polls often test fame rather than quality. People want who they know. The choice of Rice is a good demonstration of that. Putting her on the ticket would link Romney to Bush 43, and that is something he doesn't want. And it probably wouldn't do a thing to increase Romney's meager support among African Americans. They will go for Obama.
I have a hunch it will be Portman, a very solid guy who may help with Ohio, but it's only a hunch.
April 19, 2012