Marco Rubio...Rising GOP Star?

February 21, 2013, 2:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 2/16/2013) Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s response to the President’s State of the Union message last week seems to have boosted his recognition levels but hasn’t made him more popular – especially with political independents. The latest Economist/YouGov Poll finds two in three Americans now say they know something about him, up 7 points from last week.

But knowing more about Rubio doesn’t mean liking him more. And that appears especially to be the case among independents. Overall, Rubio’s favorable-unfavorable rating slid from 56% favorable, 44% unfavorable among those aware of him last week, to almost an even division between favorable and unfavorable views.

Democratic awareness of Rubio increased only marginally in the last week; the percentage of independents who said they know something about Rubio rose nine points, from 63% to 72%. But while last week, independents aware of Rubio were twice as likely to judge him favorably as unfavorably, this week the ratings are somewhat more even. Favorable opinions have dropped eleven points, unfavorable ones have risen by about the same percentage.

79% of Democrats have unfavorable views of Rubio; 83% of Republicans are positive, and much as opinions were a week ago, before Rubio’s State of the Union response. And Republicans continue to say that he is their first choice for their party’s 2016 nomination. 19% of Republicans choose Rubio. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is second at 12%. But a third of Republicans say they don’t yet have a choice.

Only 11% of Independents choose Rubio; about as many favor Christie. And Christie is the first choice of Democrats in this week’s poll, though nearly half of Democrats take no position.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association