The poll suggests the public knows little about the potential GOP candidates because they lack interest and because of relatively little news coverage on the subject.
Just 20 percent of Americans said they followed news about possible GOP candidates very closely in the last week, and coverage of the presidential race only made up 2 percent of news coverage in the past week, according to Pew.
The debate in Washington over deficit reduction, by contrast, accounted for 31 percent of last week's news coverage, and 36 percent said they followed that story very closely.
While Americans may not be paying too much attention to the upcoming elections at this point, other polls suggest they have strong ideas when it comes to proposed deficit reduction plans.
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that 78 percent oppose cutting spending on Medicare to reduce the debt, and 69 percent oppose cutting spending on Medicaid. Additionally, 56 percent oppose cuts in military spending to reduce the debt.