Washington (CNN) – It's still early in the pre-season in the next battle for the White House, and a new poll indicates that the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is wide open.
A Gallup poll released Thursday indicates that 14 percent of Republican voters and Republican-leaning independents say they would like to see former Massachusetts Gov. and 2008 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney as their party's nominee.
Eleven percent of those questioned said they'd like former Alaska Gov. and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin as their party's candidate in 2012, with 7 percent backing Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, 4 percent supporting the newest member of the Senate, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and 3 percent pulling for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and for former Arkansas Gov. and 2008 Republican White House hopeful Mike Huckabee. Everyone else registered at 2 percent or less.
The survey, without prompting any names, asked Republicans and Republican leaning-independents whom they would most like to see as the party's 2012 presidential candidate.
In a hypothetical 2012 general election match-up, the poll indicates that 44 percent of the public say they would likely support President Barack Obama if he decides to run for re-election, with 42 percent backing the Republican candidate and 14 percent undecided or supporting another candidate.
According to the survey, Democrats would overwhelmingly back Obama and Republicans overwhelming support the GOP candidate.
Thirty-one percent of independents questioned say they would support Obama, with 45 percent backing the Republican candidate and 1 in 4 backing another candidate or undecided.
The survey's release comes one week before some possible 2012 GOP presidential contenders will speak at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
The Gallup poll was conducted February 1-3, with 1,025 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points for the overall sample and plus or minus 5 percentage points for the Republican only questions.
–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn
I think we should do
Ron Paul // Jesse Ventura 2012.
Mitt Romney in 2012-–with Scott Brown as his VP running mate.
This ticket would DEFINITELY win the White House!!!
Mitt Romney is a business/economic/financial genious, and we are definitely going to need someone like this in 2012.
Scott Brown's intelligence, popularity, charisma, and star power–would make him a GREAT candidate for the VP slot.
Can you just imagine the debates-–Obama being forced to debate Mitt Romney without his teleprompter??? Romney would make Obama look like a fool in a debate.
You know what's funny about the GOP calling Pres. Obama out about his teleprompter, see those speeches have to be written by someone. Hold on..guess who acutally helps the paid speech writers with the speeches - Golly gee – Harvard educated Pres. Obama. He whopped the GOP last week at their own retreat without the teleprompter. But I'm talking reason, after all, we want to worship a woman who writes on her hand. I haven't done that since high school.
I would rather have a Root Canal without pain medication before I vote for another republican.
Do"favorite"and GOP actually belong in the same sentence?Wasn't it their last"favorite"that was the architect of most of what's wrong with the country?
I'm a Dem who will not be voting for Obama in 2012. After trying to ram health care down our throats with NO transparencies and side deals, his true self came out. Thank you MASS for sending a message.. the people still matter and ultimatley decide.
No favorite in the Democratic side either although I would like to see Hillary try at it. Get Obama outta of there. Him and his goofy staff, especially Sissy Boy Gibbs
I'm sure a man with a gazillion dollars like Mitt knows the pain of the common man. I mean after all, he had to sell his ski chalet at a loss last year. Puh-lease.
whys is ok for the left wing to say they wouldn't vote for a mormon? Racists.
We need someone new....John Huntsman ...or the best would be Paul Ryan!
people like GI Joe need to get a job. "i would never support a republican". you are the problem. Support the candidate that will be honest and promise LESS government. Read the constitution.
Believe me Sara Palin will have no problem with beating Mitt. Sara Palin is the best person for President Obama to get re-elected.
Sorry, but Scott Brown is Sara Palin in pants.