Although former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has suggested that Florida Senator Marco Rubio be Mitt Romney's choice for the vice-presidential ticket, other vice presidential running mates would make a stronger ticket against against President Barack Obama and Vice Joe Biden.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee all fair better as a running mate with Mitt Romney than Rubio in a recent Public Policy Polling Poll.
Speculation about Romney’s potential running mate ramped up almost as soon as Santorum dropped out of the GOP primary battle, and PPP finds that Santorum would be one of the only running mates that would immediately help Romney at this point. A unity ticket would bring the contest to a 48-46 edge for Obama, as would a matchup featuring fellow social conservative Mike Huckabee on stage with Romney.
But the option that would make the national popular vote tightest would be Chris Christie. In that case, the Obama-Biden and Romney-Christie tickets would tie at 47% apiece. Jeb Bush would make it a one-point contest, with Obama edging Romney 48-47.
On the other end of the spectrum are the potential vice presidents who would hurt Romney’s odds at the outset. They are led by Sarah Palin. Obama-Biden would top Romney-Palin, 50-43. “It” kid, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, would also drop the GOP ticket three points to 49-43. House budget author Paul Ryan would do almost as poorly as the #2, with Obama up 48-43. Ron Paul’s presence would make Romney lag, 48-44. “As expected, Republicans are consolidating around Romney as Democrats rally to Obama,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling.
President Obama opens what is now effectively the general election contest with a three-point lead over his nearly-crowned opponent Mitt Romney in PPP’s latest national poll, 49-46. Both parties are coalescing around their standard-bearers, with Obama up from 79% to 84% of Democrats in the last month, and Romney up from 78% to 82% of the GOP. Obama leads 52-43 with independents, up from 48-42.
Romney’s favorability numbers are still poor, but they have already begun to rebound since it became clear he would be the nominee. In March, only a third of American voters saw him favorably and 58% unfavorably. That is now 39-51. Republicans have quickly joined ranks, moving from only 49-42 to 67-22. Independents have improved their view of him as well, from 29-58 to 36-50, but that is balanced out by Democrats growing even more sour on their autumn foe (20-71 to 14-79).
PPP surveyed 900 American voters from April 12th to 15th. The margin of error for the survey is +/-3.3%. This poll was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization. PPP surveys are conducted through automated telephone interviews.
Complete polling results can be found here.