By Justin Sink
Republicans favor former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for Mitt Romney's running mate, according to a survey released Wednesday by Fox News.
The former George W. Bush Administration official was the pick of three in 10 Republicans, leading Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the favorite of 19 percent of those surveyed; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the choice of 8 percent; and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who garnered 8 percent.
Speculation has swirled around Rice since a story was posted to the Drudge Report last week that said she had become a front-runner in Romney's search for a running mate.
"I can assure you that even though I have not chosen the person that will be my vice president, that person will be a conservative; they will believe in conservative principles," Romney said.
Some Republicans have argued that Rice's support for abortion rights should disqualify her from being on the ticket. Romney has said he would pick a running mate who opposes abortion rights.
Of late, the majority of vice presidential speculation has centered around former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio) and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — but none of the three cracked double digits among the Republican voters surveyed by Fox.
Jindal was the most popular, earning 5 percent of those surveyed, while Portman was the choice of 3 percent of voters and Pawlenty a mere 2 percent.