Of five recent Republican newsmakers also mentioned as potential 2016 presidential candidates, Wisconsin Rep. and 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is rated most positively by Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, with a 69% favorable rating and +57 net favorable score. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is also relatively popular among the Republican rank-and-file, while Chris Christie is less so, given his higher unfavorable rating.
he results are based on a June 1-4 Gallup poll, which tested the images of five Republicans who could run for president in the next election. These include two Hispanic Republican U.S. senators -- Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz -- a Tea Party and libertarian favorite in Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, outspoken New Jersey Gov. Christie, and Ryan, the House Budget committee chairman who was Mitt Romney's 2012 running mate.
Most Republicans are familiar with Ryan, Christie, Rubio, and Paul, with at least seven in 10 having an opinion of each. Cruz, just elected to the Senate last November, is familiar to about half of Republicans.
The Republican officeholders' relative standing among Republicans is not mirrored among Democrats or the larger general population. Ryan, who has the most positive net favorable score among Republicans, has the worst net score among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. That could be a result of his presence on the 2012 GOP ticket, making him more of a partisan figure. Christie, by contrast, is more liked than disliked by Democrats, and is the only one of the five with a net positive image among Democrats.
In fact, Christie's net favorable is higher among Democrats (+37) than it is among Republicans (+28). Christie has become much better known in recent months, likely due to his response to Superstorm Sandy. That response has included public appearances alongside President Barack Obama.
Also note that early favorability rating in the opposite party may not survive the general-election campaign. In 2005, John McCain had a 78% favorability rating among Democrats. In 2008, he got 10 percent of the Democratic vote.