Farleigh-Dickinson Poll: Rubio Is Top Choice for Republican Veep

Tuesday, 21 Feb 2012 12:41 PM

By Andra Varin

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is the No. 1 pick for Republican vice presidential nominee, followed by Rick Santorum and Chris Christie, according to a new poll.

The survey by Farleigh-Dickinson University’s PublicMind asked Republican and independent voters who they would like in the No. 2 slot. The question was open-ended, so participants had to come up with a name without any prompting. Rubio, Florida's junior senator, was mentioned 66 times by respondents, or a little more than 8 percent of the time.

Santorum got 56 mentions, or 7 percent, from voters who said he’d be a good running mate if he doesn’t win the presidential nomination.

Christie, New Jersey’s governor, was mentioned 47 times, or 6 percent, which put him ahead of Sarah Palin, the GOP’s vice-presidential nominee in 2008. She had 35 mentions.

“Anytime you place ahead of Sarah Palin, call yourself a winner,” said PublicMind poll director Peter Woolley. “Her name recognition and presence are formidable.”

Newt Gingrich, who like Santorum is still an active presidential candidate, got just 32 mentions, putting him in fifth place. And presumed front-runner Mitt Romney received just 16 mentions.

The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of 799 registered Republican and independent voters nationwide was conducted by telephone Feb. 6-12 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

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