Sen. Marco Rubio, (R-Fla.), leads other rumored candidates for Mitt Romney's… (John Locher / AP Photo/Las…)
WASHINGTON – Rob who?
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman remains the betting favorite to be chosen as Mitt Romney’s running mate, but a new poll finds that Marco Rubio is the leading choice of Republican voters nationwide.
Americans, in fact, seem to have little opinion of some of the most often-named short-listers. That will change very quickly for whoever is ultimately the GOP’s nominee for vice president.
Romney told NBC’s Chuck Todd in an interview on Thursday that he would not discuss his choice, but that he expected “to have a person that has a strength of character, a vision for the country that adds something to the political discourse about the direction of the country.”
PHOTOS: The search for Romney's running mate
A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. nationwide poll released Thursday afternoon found that a majority of respondents – 52% -- had never heard of Portman. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also scored low in the name-ID department.
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Rubio were the most widely recognized of the seven names listed, followed by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 28% said they wanted Romney to pick Rubio as his running mate. Christie and Ryan were tied at 16%, followed by Jindal at 8%, and Portman and McDonnell at 6%. Just 4% opted for Pawlenty, with just as many volunteering “someone else.”
The same poll gives President Obama a 52%-to-45% advantage over Romney among registered voters nationwide, an improvement over the 3-point lead he held at the end of June.
While Obama’s job approval rating and personal favorability scores held steady, Romney saw a 6-point jump in his unfavorable rating since the last poll, an indication perhaps that the president’s negative ad campaign is working.
As the campaign’s charges and countercharges continue to escalate in frequency and intensity, the poll found voters divided on whether each campaign was attacking the other fairly or unfairly.
The survey of 911 registered voters, including a subsample of 419 Republicans, was conducted Aug. 7 and 8.
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