(CNN) – The Republican presidential primary process doesn't kick off for more than two years, but perhaps it's never too early to take a measure of where a race that's far from starting stands.
It appears to be a three-way race between former White House hopeful Mitt Romney, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee - also an ex-presidential aspirant. Romney stands at 26 percent in the new survey, compared to 21 percent for Palin, and 19 percent for Huckabee.
But the poll, which surveyed 455 Republicans and Republican-leaning voters between July 10-12, carries a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points, meaning all three are essentially locked in a dead heat.
Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker and current conservative commentator stands at 14 percent while Tim Pawlenty and Haley Barbour - the governors of Minnesota and Mississippi respectively - are each in low single digits.
The Gallup survey shows similar results to those of a recent CNN poll that also indicated the same three Republicans are locked in hypothetical race for the party's nomination.
But while Romney, Palin, and Huckabee are clustered on top, the survey shows voters hold a much higher favorability rating of the soon-to-be ex-Alaska governor than the other two Republicans. Palin scores a 72 percent approval rating compared with Huckabee's 59 percent and Romeny's 56 percent.
Though Palin, who has firmly remained in the headlines since she was tapped to be the party's vice presidential candidate last August, appears considerably better known than both men: only 7 percent of Republicans have no opinion of her compared to 28 percent who said the same of Romney and 25 percent who lacked a view of Huckabee.
Of course, polls more than two years before an election are far from predictive: A Gallup survey in 2005 showed Hillary Clinton would win the 2008 Democratic nomination over John Kerry while Rudy Giuliani would edge out McCain on the Republican side. President Obama was not included in the poll.
3 irrelevant republicans.
obama isn't even in office 6 months and you guys are already spinning the drama.
is anyone able to live in the present?
Instead of worrying about getting back into power why don't the republicans help try and fix this country they and bush destroyed?
Any Republican will be better than Obama.
Anyone who seriously considers Palin is presidential material has serious problems.
What in the world is our country coming to??
Another line-up of utterly puke-worthy contenders. Bleh!!!
Who cares Plain? She has no quality to run for the president. Her knowledge about domestic and international issues is so poor! And her talk lacks of logic!!!
I bet Dave, TCM, and Mike are "old" white guys. They hate everything that is not old or uneducated like them.
But do not venture in DC. We will shoot you like we did yesterday in the US Capitol area.
I am really fed up with these CNN Palin-bashing -baiting articles–As far as we know SP is not even running in 2012–yet CNN uses her good name knowing that libs will try to beat her to a pulp because she is more popular than Big O. Please try to concentrate on what the democrats are trying to do to our great country and leave Palin alone. There is method in this madness–to keep your mind off the demise of our country under Obama.
This is ridiculous. It is a long way off and I doubt anyone will want the job by the time Obama is done crippling the economy.
That picture of Mitt, Sarah and Mike needs a title. I shall call it "Trio of Deranged Prudes."
As a liberal I love the GOP lineup. Love it!! Democrats should control the White House for another 2-3 decades. Just wait until the economy turns around and growth is rampant. Now we just need to get rid of more GOPers so we can get to work on climate change, health care and education. Think America! If someone is against either of those 3 then they're a bum and we need to throw them out. And that goes for "blue dog" dems too!
Okay seriously, who the hell cares at this point? We're not even a full 6 months into the current administration's term, and we're already looking at 2012; look at the last paragraph here, this last one should have had Giuliani and Clinton facing off... this is really desperate reporting...
This is the best that they have, really? Oh, I actually feel bad for republicans.
After Obama is done destroying the USA, Yogi the Bear could win.
sarah palin is the most qualified and most popular one of the republican party. she has more promise to lead this country back to creditability than any even the present president
Romney 2012!!!! We need a businessman in the White House, someone who actually has business experience, not a chump activist.
Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee OK...but for all that's holy, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin? Seriously, what are these people smoking to actually even consider this ditz?
the only thing surprising in this poll is the number of people polled: 455 (?!) seems mighty small.
Only a total moron could think that pin head Palin is qualified.
nice to see their still the party of NO . Keep up the good work.. All 3 of them are so scary .She scored a 72 – what were these people drinking
Sarah Palin will not run for POTUS. She will be the attack dog. Perfect job for her considering all the media attention she gets. Do not underestimate her. She is crazy like a fox.
forget about it Huckabee, you are just a younger John McCain....get out of our party.
Why do we always have such bad choices from Presidential nominees? I respect the fact that societies must progress, even though that progression has been repressed by every elected body since the Constitution was written. However, it seems like both parties simply install the candidate that will offer the best dog and pony show. Voters need to really think about the next election and ignore the popularity contest that has become our political process. The media doesn't make it any easier with evaluations like "Would you drink a beer with (candidate)?" My vote in 2012 goes to –Nobody I know yet.
I'm supporting Sarah Palin all the way. However, any GOP candidate is a far better option than four more years of Obama.
For starters, could I maybe get a GOP candidate that doesn't believe in creationism? Then maybe I'd start taking them seriously.