Tags: Marco | Rubio | GOP | poll

WSJ/NBC Poll: Rubio Enjoys High Name Recognition

Wednesday, 27 Feb 2013 09:29 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Freshman Sen. Marco Rubio can count on already high name recognition if he decides to run for president in 2016, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll.

One quarter of 1,000 adults surveyed Feb. 21-24 said they view Rubio positively, compared with 17 percent who have a negative view. Twenty percent have no opinion.

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But the Florida Republican enjoyed unusually high name recognition among respondents, with only 39 percent saying they did not know anything about him.

His name recognition is higher than that of many other potential candidates when they first entered the presidential campaign arena, reports The Wall Street Journal.

For example, in 1999, when the Journal first asked voters about Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain, 54 percent of those responding did not know who he was, even though by that point he'd been a national figure for decades.

In addition, in October 2006, at least 40 percent of Americans did not know who then-Democratic Sen. Barack Obama was, and 56 percent did not recognize Mitt Romney's name.

“For a U.S. senator to have that sort of name recognition is telling,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the latest poll.

Rubio has had several prominent speaking roles recently, which may be in part responsible for his high name recognition. He spoke at the Republican National Convention last summer, and on Feb. 12, he gave the party's official response to the president's State of the Union address.

Another Republican, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose name is being mentioned as another potential presidential candidate in 2016, was actually better known than Rubio in the Journal/NBC poll. However, his numbers were lower in June 2011 when the Journal first asked about him, even though at that point Christie had been governor for more than two years.

Rubio got the most positive recognition from conservative Republicans and tea party supporters. But he wasn't well-liked by moderate Republicans or independents, and Hispanics offered no higher opinion of him.

But Christie's numbers were better when it comes to the kind of broad appeal a presidential candidate needs to win. Both Republicans and Democrats in the survey voiced positive views of Christie, who also drew favorable reviews among minorities and more broadly across the country.

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