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).
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).
For some Republicans, a pro-choice candidate such as Rice may not fit the definition of a “true conservative.”
Sec. 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.
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.
In addition, Romney support among Republicans increases by five points (from 84 to 89 percent) with Rice on the ticket.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 901 randomly-chosen registered voters nationwide and is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from July 15 to July 17. For the total sample, it has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. The sample of Republicans has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points.