The Ticket

Rice, Christie and Rubio top VP polls, but Rubio insists he won’t be Romney’s running mate in 2012

Holly Bailey
The Ticket

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Romney and Christie (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Who should Mitt Romney pick as his running mate?

Most Republican voters still have no opinion, but two new polls found some favorites among the names most frequently mentioned as possible Romney vice presidential picks.

A new CNN/ORC International poll asked Republicans and Republican-leaning independents to pick from eight names Romney might be considering. At the top of the list: former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who attracted 26 percent support. In second place was Rick Santorum, Romney's former GOP rival, with 21 percent.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tied for third place with 14 percent support apiece, followed by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (8 percent), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (5 percent), and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (1 percent). Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a Romney surrogate whose name has been frequently mentioned in recent days, registered with less than 1 percent support, outpolled by "someone else" (4 percent), "none/no one" (2 percent) and "no opinion" (4 percent).

Meanwhile, a new Quinnipiac University poll surveyed registered voters among all parties on Romney's potential pick. Christie topped the list with 31 percent among all voters—though 49 percent still had no opinion. Among Republicans alone, 44 percent called him a "good choice," while 33 percent of independent voters—a key voting bloc this fall—said he was a good pick.

Asked about Rubio, a majority of voters—58 percent—had no opinion on whether he would be a good VP pick, though 24 percent of those polled said he would be a good choice. Among Republicans alone, 40 percent labeled him a good pick, compared to 27 percent of independents.

Ryan attracted similar results: 23 percent of all voters called him a "good choice," compared to 34 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of independents. But as with Christie and Rubio, a majority of voters across the party spectrum still had "no opinion" of him.

According to the CNN poll, Rubio was the most popular prospective VP among those who described themselves as tea party supporters, edging out Christie 22 percent to 18 percent.

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But Rubio continues to maintain that he's not interested in being Romney's running mate.

Speaking at an event sponsored by National Journal this morning, Rubio insisted he would say no if Romney asked him to join the Republican ticket this fall.

"I don't want to be the vice president right now, or maybe ever," Rubio said. "I really want to do a good job in the Senate."

Instead, he threw his support behind Portman, who he described as a "phenomenal choice" as Romney's running mate.

But, when talking about his political future, the freshman Florida senator suffered a slip of the tongue that quickly had reporters wondering if the VP job is, in fact, on his mind.

"If in four to five years, if I do a good job as vice president—I'm sorry, as senator—I'll have the chance to do all sorts of things," Rubio said.

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