September 30th, 2010
03:01 PM ET
4 years ago

2012 Poll: Familiar names on top

(CNN) - With the unofficial start of the 2012 Presidential election less than five weeks away, a new poll indicates that name recognition definitely matters when it comes to early Presidential politics.

According to a Gallup poll released Thursday, 19 percent of Republicans and Independents who lean Republican say they would be most likely to support former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the next GOP presidential nomination.

Three points back, and within the survey's sampling error, is former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 12 percent. Palin, the party's 2008 vice presidential nominee, and Romney and Huckabee, who were in the national spotlight thanks to their previous bids for the White House, are all apparently well known to Republicans across the country.


Nine percent of people questioned named former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, with seven percent choosing Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who also made a bid for the presidency in the last race for the White House.

Other possible contenders including Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Senator John Thune of South Dakota, Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana, and Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, all come in the lower single digits.

The results are similar to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national survey conducted in early August, which indicated that 21 percent of Republicans said Romney was their choice, followed by Palin at 18 percent, Gingrich at 15 percent, Huckabee at 14 percent and Paul at 10 percent.

"It's not surprising that today's leading would-be presidential candidates are the ones with established national profiles. Low poll numbers at this early stage of the game usually indicate how much work has to be done to introduce the candidate to voters, but it doesn't necessarily mean a campaign is doomed before it started," says CNN Political Research Director Robert Yoon. "Most voters outside of Arkansas had no idea who Bill Clinton was at this point in 1990."

According to the Gallup poll, there's little daylight between conservative Republicans and more moderate liberal party members when it comes to Romney and Palin, with 19 percent of conservatives and 21 percent of moderate-to-liberal Republicans naming Romney as their choice and 16 percent of conservatives and 15 percent of moderate-to-liberal party members choosing Palin. Sixteen percent of conservative Republicans name Huckabee as their choice for the nomination, but that number drops to five percent among moderate-to-liberal party members.

The survey also suggests a geographical divide when it comes to support for many of the potential presidential candidates.

The Gallup poll was conducted September 25-26, with 906 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2012 • Polls • Republican Party
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Jen

    PLEASE tea party, please keep hijacking the GOP and make Sarah or good ol' RomneyCare the Republican nominee in 2012. If that's the best Rethugs have got then Obama is guaranteed another landslide. Woo hoo!!

    September 30, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. stufit

    I believe Christie from New Jersey is the only who can stand up to the Obama thugs and their union enforcers. I am sure they will work hard to dig up a lot of dirt on him and will probably suceed, but , even the worst dirt they can pile on will be certainly no worse than this corrupt hood and his band of thieves.

    September 30, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Therein lies the problem. The also-rans from previous elections, are not who we now need.

    September 30, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. MAhole

    The former governor of the state I live in doesn't have a snowball's chance of ever getting the nomination – Silly Sarah has a better chance than a Mormon – and she would be the best gift our fine president could ever hope for.........

    September 30, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Orlando Patsy

    I see the post office is going broke, and needs an increase in the first class postage rate. I recently sent a letter by Fed-Ex from Orlando to Ft. Myers, and it only cost $26. If I sent that same letter using USPS, it would have cost 44 cents. We need to get the government out of delivering mail by privatizing USPS so they won't go broke.

    September 30, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. D. Bunker

    A sorry waste of oxygen they are. Don't forget their motto this year: "If you liked the ditch we drove America into last time, you're gonna LOVE the canyon we're aiming for now!"

    September 30, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. D. Bunker

    Not a single one of those teatards has any new ideas for America. Instead, it's just more of their warmed-over, coloring book version of the long disproved "ideas" from the Friedman/Rand cultists. Remember, the GOBP is a CULT. It has no intellectual basis in fact or reality.

    September 30, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. onlysanetexanleft

    Mitt will probably have eveyone at CNBC donating to him since all he cares about is the rich. I think surprisingly Faux news will not pump Palin up because they know that republicans will get wiped with her on the top of the ticket. None of these guys listed bring anything new to the table except tax cuts for the wealthy and bigotry towards minorities, gays and muslims.

    September 30, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. anagram_kid

    DBunker wrote – … Don't forget their motto this year: "If you liked the ditch we drove America into last time, you're gonna LOVE the canyon we're aiming for now!"

    I just had to repost that. Right on!!!!

    September 30, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |