Asked who should be the Republican nominee for Vice President, Florida Senator Marco Rubio tops the list, followed by the surging former Pennsylvania Senator, Rick Santorum, and New Jersey’s unvarnished Governor Chris Christie, according to a new national poll of registered voters by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind.
The open-ended poll allowed survey-takers to choose anyone rather than have to select names from an already created list.
Rubio’s name was mentioned 66 times (8 percent), followed by current presidential candidate Rick Santorum with 56 mentions (7 percent) by New Jersey. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie coming in third with 47 mentions (6 percent).
Santorum, who came in second, was mentioned in the questionnaire before the Vice President question was asked, and according to Peter Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll, “The fact that Santorum is surging in visibility and that his name had already been brought up in interviews combined to push him toward the top of the VP list,.”
Newt Gingrich, another active presidential candidate, who was considered hot two months ago, has fallen to the back of the pack, not just for president, but for vice- president too. He had 60 mentions in the December poll tying him for second place, but just 32 mentions in the recent study, placing fifth.
Gingrich is followed by another active presidential candidate, Ron Paul, in sixth place. Paul is followed by Mitt Romney, the putative but struggling front runner for the nomination, with just 16 mentions. In a similar poll in December, he was suggested 38 times.
Michele Bachmann, who dropped out of the presidential race, has also disappeared from vice-presidential sight. She got 60 mentions in the December poll, nearly as many as Marco Rubio, but gets just 16 mentions in the recent study.
Many other names were offered from Hillary Clinton to David Duke.