Pew Poll: Majority Of Voters Already Familiar With Romney
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney sought to reintroduce himself during his official presidential campaign kickoff Thursday, but according to a new Pew Research Center poll, the vast majority of voters is already familiar with him.
Fully 82 percent of voters have heard of Romney, according to the survey released Thursday. Of those who are familiar with him, just 17 percent say there is a "good chance" they will vote for Romney, compared to 34 percent who say there is "some chance" and 44 percent who say "no chance."
Among Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters, there is little to suggest that -- at this early stage of the campaign -- Romney's leadership in delivering a Massachusetts health-care plan that mandated individuals carry insurance (and bares some resemblance to the bill signed by President Obama last year) is hurting his campaign. Of the 85 percent of Republicans who have heard of Romney, only 18 percent say there is "no chance" they will vote for him; 32 percent say there is a "good chance," and 43 percent say there is "some chance."
Romney's support among those familiar with him is rivaled only by businessman Herman Cain, according to the poll. Although only 44 percent of Republican voters know who Cain is, 39 percent of those who have heard of him say there is a "good chance" they will vote for him, the highest percentage of any Republican tested in the poll.
Other, better-known Republicans fare worse in the poll. Virtually every voter has heard of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, but 63 percent of all voters familiar with her and 39 percent of Republicans say there is "no chance" they would vote for her. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is known by nearly nine-in-ten voters, and the percentages of voters who would not vote for him are almost identical to those of Palin.