A recent poll concluded that U.S Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is Republican and independent voters' first choice for the vice presidency -- although, with only 8 percent of the vote, Rubio is still by no means a shoe-in for the position.
A new national poll of registered voters by Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind, an independent polling group, determined voters' named Rubio as their top choice, followed closely by current presidential hopeful Rick Santorum and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Pollsters based their results on a poll of 799 registered voters, who were asked respondents to name their ideal Vice Presidential nominee. Rubio, who has been frequently cited in the media as of late as a top contender for the job, was mentioned on 66 occasions, or a little more than 8 percent of the time. His endorsement may have been fueled by the fact that Rubio was named the winner of the recent Conservative Political Action Committee's vice presidential straw poll.
Santorum, meanwhile, received 56 mentions, while Christie -- who came in second in the CPAC poll -- received 47 mentions.
Peter Wolly, a political scientist and director of the poll, said in statement that Santorum's high-performance is indicative of the national surge he experienced following his back-to-back wins in the Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado Republican primaries.
The fact that Santorum is surging in visibility and that his name had already been brought up in interviews combined to push him toward the top of the VP list, Wolly said.
Meanwhile, Wolly said the poll, while not extensive, demonstrated that some of the former GOP superstars seemed to have dropped off voters' radar.
For instance, Michele Bachmann, who two months ago reportedly received 60 mentions in a similar poll, was only cited 16 times in the most recent survey. The same goes for Mitt Romney, who dropped from 38 to 16 mentions, as well as Newt Gingrich, who dropped from 60 to 32.
Sarah Palin, on the other hand, who recently made headlines as they keynote speaker of CPAC, came in fourth with 35 mentions, a boost from the 13 she received in the last survey.
A plethora of other political and popular personalities were mentioned by respondents, although several -- including Jeb Bush, U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor,R-Va., and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., -- only received one endorsement.
Interestingly, Hillary Clinton was named as a potential vice presidential candidate on more occasions than many of the political figures that recently ran for the GOP nomination. Although only 10 voters said she would be an ideal vice president, she still surpassed Gov. Rick Perry (8), John Huntsman (8) and Herman Cain (7).