As Gov. Mike Pence considers whether to run for president in 2016, he’s probably wondering how he would be received by voters across the country. Could he rise above a Republican star like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, or Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz?
As political analysts debate such questions, the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University offers a clue as to Pence’s name recognition and popularity among Hoosiers. The bottom line: He’s not as widely recognized as former Secretary of State and first lady Hillary Clinton, but he’s more of a vote-getter.
The Bowen Center’s annual Hoosier Survey asked respondents whether they’d heard of eight possible presidential candidates: Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Mike Pence, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.
The survey also asked how much of a chance there was that respondents would vote for each person.
Clinton was the most-recognized name at 96.2 percent, followed by Biden at 87.3 percent, and Pence at 79.8 percent.
But Pence received the most positive responses: 15.1 percent of those who’d heard of him said there was a “good” chance they’d also vote for him, and 36.9 percent said there was “some” chance they’d vote for him.
Twenty-nine percent of Hoosiers who have heard of Clinton said there was a “good” chance they’d vote for her, and 22.7 percent said there was “some” chance.
Clinton’s wide recognition also comes with plenty of solid opposition; 43.8 percent of respondents said there was “no” chance they would vote for her.
Perhaps the most disheartening news for Pence was that nearly one in five Hoosiers had not heard of him.