Washington (CNN) - Two new polls, but as of now the same old story: Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and Sarah Palin remain the leaders of the pack in hypothetical 2012 GOP presidential nomination matchups.
According to an ABC News-Washington Post survey, 21 percent of Republican or independent leading Republicans say that as of now, Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate, is their choice for their party's presidential nomination, with 19 percent supporting Palin, the former Alaska governor and Sen. John McCain's runningmate in the last presidential election, and 17 percent backing Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who also ran for the White House in 2008.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was a distant fourth, at nine percent, followed at eight percent by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has repeatedly said he is not going to make a bid for the White House in 2012. Everyone else was in the low single digits.
Similar results from an NBC News-Wall Street Journal survey that was also released in the past 24 hours. That poll indicates that Romney with the support of 19 percent, followed by Huckabee at 18 percent, Palin at 14 percent, Gingrich at ten percent, and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who made a bid for the last GOP presidential nomination, at eight percent. Everyone else is at five percent or lower.
Polls conducted late last year from CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, Gallup, Pew Research Center, Quinnipiac University, and McClatchy-Marist, also all had similar findings.
To be fair, polls at this stage in the race for the White House are heavily influenced by name recognition and popularity.
While many potential contenders for the GOP nomination are making moves behind the scenes, this cycle appears off to a slower start than the past two battles for the White House. Only one person, businessman and conservative radio talk show host Herman Cain, has taken the first official step in setting up a presidential exploratory committee.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted Jan. 13-16, with 1,053 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was conducted Jan. 13-17, with 1,000 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
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