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Romney Losing Ground Among Independents, Voters Want Rice as VP

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is the top choice as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate among both American voters overall as well as among Republicans.


Thirty percent of voters would like to see Rice on the ticket with Romney, according to a Fox News poll released Wednesday.

She receives the same level of support among Republicans — 30 percent select her as their top choice for Romney’s running mate.

That far outdistances the number of Republicans who choose Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (19 percent), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (8 percent) or Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (8 percent).

Fewer still would pick Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (5 percent), Ohio Sen. Rob Portman (3 percent), Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (3 percent), New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (3 percent) or former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (2 percent).

Fox News Poll

Pick As Romney’s Running Mate

Among Republicans

Rice                 30%

Rubio              19%

Christie             8%

Ryan                 8%

Jindal                5%

July 15-17, 2012

Republicans ± 5%

Republicans are most likely to say they want “a true conservative” (32 percent) on the ticket with Romney when asked about preferred attributes.  That’s followed by someone with military experience (17 percent), a woman (11 percent), a moderate (10 percent) or a foreign policy expert (7 percent).

Fox News Poll

Preferred Romney Running Mate

Among Republicans

True Conservative                   32%

Military Experience                 17%

Woman                                    11%

Moderate                                 10%

Foreign Policy Expert               7%


July 15-17, 2012

Republicans ± 5%

For some Republicans, a pro-choice candidate such as Rice may not fit the definition of a “true conservative.”

Rice delivers a bit of a bump for Romney.  In the head-to-head ballot test, 45 percent of voters back Barack Obama and 41 percent Romney, if the election were held today.   Yet the race is tied at 46 percent each when the hypothetical Romney-Rice ticket is matched against the Obama-Biden ticket.


Fox News Poll

2012 Presidential Preference

Head-to-Head Matchup          Hypothetical Ticket

Obama             45%                 Obama-Biden  46%

Romney           41%                 Romney-Rice  46%

July 15-17, 2012

Registered Voters ± 3%

Independents give the edge to Obama over Romney by four percentage points in response to the ballot question, and are more likely to back the Democratic ticket by one point when the running mates are included.

Fox News Poll

2012 Vote For President

Among Independents

Now    June 24-26       June 3-5

Barack Obama            38%     37%                 34%

Mitt Romney               34%     31%                 38%

Other/Unsure              28%     31%                 27%

July 15-17, 2012

Independents ±8%

In addition, Romney support among Republicans increases by five points (from 84 to 89 percent) with Rice on the ticket.