An Elon University Poll found likely Republican voters in North Carolina had plenty of nice things to say about former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee – but described New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as “fat” and an “idiot.”
The survey of about 300 GOP-leaning voters, released Monday, took a different approach from the typical presidential campaign poll. Instead of asking voters to rank their favorite candidates, the poll asked for “one or two words that first come to mind” about the candidates and potential candidates.
Pollsters then tallied up the positive and negative words used to describe each politician.
While former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush had the highest number of positive words on the national level, Huckabee ranked highest in North Carolina.
Among the most common words for Huckabee: “Christian,” “conservative,” “religious” and “honest.”
Christie, however, had the highest number of negative words in North Carolina. The most common terms used for him included “fat,” “Jersey,” “idiot,” “outspoken” and “no.”
Other likely candidates, such as Ohio Gov. John Kasich, generated little name recognition among the Republican faithful.
“The survey suggests there are several candidates in both the Republican and Democratic field who are facing an uphill battle,” Elon Poll director Kenneth Fernandez said in a news release. “Very few voters know who these candidates are, and the few that recognize the candidates’ names frequently attribute those names with a negative connotation.”