JUPITER ISLAND, Fla. – Despite his avowed non-interest and the fact he may not even be constitutionally eligible to hold the office, Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is the top choice of Republicans and independents for the vice-presidential slot on the Republican ticket this year, according to a brand-new poll.
The national survey of 800 registered voters by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind shows Rubio receiving 66 mentions, more than 8 percent of the time, followed by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
“Anytime you place ahead of Sarah Palin, call yourself a winner,” said poll director Peter Woolley, “Her name recognition and presence are formidable.”
The question given to respondents was open-ended, asking: “No matter who is the Republican nominee for president, if you could pick the vice presidential nominee, who would it be?”
After Palin, the top respondents were Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and surprisingly, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
While Rubio himself has expressed numerous times that he is not interested in running for vice president, the public’s interest in him has not waned.
But his presence on the ticket could cause a backlash among some voters who believe he is not a natural-born citizen of the United States, and thus ineligible for president or vice president.
Though Rubio was born in Miami, Fla., in 1971, his parents were not U.S. citizens at the time, and they did not become American citizens until Nov. 5, 1975, four years after Marco was born.
Many say that a natural-born citizen must be someone born to parents who are both already U.S. citizens.
“Rubio’s not eligible,” WND Editor Joseph Farah told Sean Hannity during an appearance on the Fox News Channel last month.
“You’re going to lose 10 percent of the Republican vote because he’s not a natural-born citizen. We’ve been through this with Obama now for four years. You want to open that can of worms again?”