Washington (CNN) - If Donald Trump decides to run for the White House, he would just barely crack double digits in the crowded field of potential GOP candidates, but his entry into the race could hurt former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, according to a new national poll.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday also indicates that Democrats may have started to close the enthusiasm gap that plagued them in last year's midterm elections.
Ten percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican say they would most likely support Trump for the GOP's 2012 presidential nomination.
That would place him fifth on the list behind former Arkansas Gov. and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee at 19 percent, former Massachusetts Gov. and 2008 White House hopeful Mitt Romney at 18 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 14 percent, and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin at 12 percent.
Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who also ran for the Republican nomination in the last presidential election, is at eight percent, with everyone else in the low single digits.
"Adding Trump to the list of potential candidates doesn't change the GOP standings all that much, since Trump seems to pull his support equally from all the other major candidates," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
But what if Trump decides not to run?
"Removing Trump's name from the list and allocating his voters to their second choice gives Huckabee 21 percent and Romney 19 percent - essentially unchanged from January. In a Trump-less field, Gingrich gets 15 percent, up from 10 percent in January, and Paul goes from 7 percent to 11 percent. Palin is the big loser, dropping from 19 percent in a no-Trump round in January to just 13 percent now," adds Holland.
The poll's release comes just a few hours after word that the businessman, real estate giant, and reality TV star, who is seriously considering a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, will head to Iowa in June to headline a major GOP dinner. Iowa plays a crucial role in the race for the White House, as its caucuses traditionally kick off presidential primary and caucus season.
Trump, who has said he will decide by June on whether he'll run for president, is also scheduled to speak that month at a political event in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary on the road to the White House.
The poll also indicates that 56 percent of Democrats say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting in the next election, up 22 points from last October. Sixty-two percent of Republicans say they feel the same way, up 12 points from last October, just before the midterm elections. That means the GOP's 20 point lead on enthusiasm has narrowed to a six point advantage.
In 2008, 79 percent of Democrats said they were extremely or very enthusiastic about voting, far ahead of the Republicans. That helped produced a high Democratic turnout that helped sweep President Barack Obama into the White House and widened the party's majorities in Congress. The 20 point enthusiasm advantage for the GOP last year helped the party win back control of the House of Representatives and narrowed the Democrats' majority in the Senate.
"Keep your eye on this measure - it has been a good predictor in the last two election cycles and it may help us figure out what's going on next year as well," adds Holland.
The survey also indicates that just over three quarters of Democrats and independents who lean Democratic say the party should re-nominate Obama next year, with just over one in five saying another Democrat should be the party's nominee. Those numbers are basically unchanged over the past couple of months.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey was conducted March 18-20, with 1,012 people questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
-CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
Yes, just what we need. A crooked real-estate dealer who rips people off, then brags about it on national TV. A guy who cheated on 2 wives and has 5 illegetimate children. This same guy who puts his name on everything he buys to compensate for his tiny ding-dong. A dude who inherited his father's fortune, ran most of it to the ground, and runs a string of sleazy casinos. Lets make THAT guy president.
The fact that Trump and Palin account for a combined 22% makes me even more worried about the GOP (and the nation for that matter).
Palin/Trump or Trump/Palin for 2012. Yay !
Hope that's the ticket. Either way, Obama wins; again.
And, therefore America wins. Hope they go for it.
You can dream on Donal Trump.
Trump will split the vote with Palin for the tin foil hat wearing club.
I really wanted a choice so that I would not have to vote for Obama again but the Republicant's do not seem to have a clue as to a viable candidate. I would not cast a vote for anyone mentioned in this non-news article. Maybe it is time for a benevolent monarchy. I nominate Johnny Depp.
Democrats, make sure you vote. Some of us not voting is why we have a republican controlled house and several state legislatures. You have seen what the republicans are all about. One look at Wisconsin should tell you that we can ill afford anymore republicans in elected offices. They do not have our best interests at heart. All they care about is making the wealthy even wealthier.
TRUMP – PALIN 2012!!! It's the end of the world as we know it... and I feel fine! -REM
Boy, you got that right. She thought Katie Couric roasted her, and couldn't handle that. I would still love to see it though!
I really don't think Palin will run. She will do and say anything just to stay in the media.
Polls mean nothing at this stage so please ignore all presidential polls until the Presidential Season starts in 2012. Then things will really get exciting.
The only reason Huckabee polls @ 19% is because of all the cooky evangelicals and baptists that vote based on religious preference alone.
I don't like the idea of Trump in office, nor Huckabee... I do like Herman Cain! I think if he had some more funding behind him, he would be a wonderful POTUS! GO HERMAN CAIN!!!
Go Donald! We need an American Berlusconi!
So, do we want another bully ruling the USA. I hate that some of these guys think telling countries what to do is useful in all cases. Thats the GOP way. Ugly American bully trying to tell the world what to do. A lot of the world can use some guidance in things but telling them what to do with out them asking is just stupid and everyone will hate us. Reagan was the only one that made the world like us again. I grew up in Tulsa OK and had the Southern Baptist inflicted on me. Mean hateful bullies trying to tell me what they wanted me to do. Homie don't play dat!
They arn't thinking.