Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) comes out as the least controversial running mate for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in a new poll, besting former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the junior senator from Ohio, Rob Portman.
Although all three are weak in key areas, Rubio has narrower favorable-unfavorable splits in the poll. Meanwhile, Bush and Portman have high unfavorable numbers among certain groups, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Friday said.
In total, Bush has the highest favorable and unfavorable numbers of all three men, split at 36-45. Portman, less known but with very high unfavorable numbers among conservatives within his own party, proves himself to not be a GOP VP option, polling at 19-51 percent unfavorable.
Rubio, on the other hand, has less margin between those who like him and those who don't, at 29-32. With 39 percent with no opinion, he has a substantial group of undecideds from which to gain support.
Among moderates and independent voters, a key swing group, Bush fares the worst. This is mostly due to the American peoples' familiarity with his family and past gubernatorial record. The favorable-unfavorable split for Bush among independents is 36-46, a wide margin, while it is only 29-31 for Rubio and 23-24 for Portman.
However, both Bush and Rubio have a strong base among Republicans who are have strong opinions about the candidates. Both men are favored identically by this group 77-23 percent, while Portman is slightly unfavorable to the party base at 49-51.
Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants who emigrated in 1956, also polls favorably among Hispanics, a key voting bloc for President Barack Obama.
While Jeb Bush has said multiple times he is not interested in being vice president, Rubio has stumped for Romney multiple times and has not made his feelings known on the position. Bush also endorsed the Florida senator in April, telling Newsmax a Romney-Rubio combination would be "extraordinary."
At the Chicago Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this week, Rubio was also named the favorite VP candidate in a straw poll, receiving 30 percent of the votes. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came in second at 14 percent and Rep. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), son of presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-Tex.) third at 9 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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