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
You know the real Republican contenders are waiting until 2016 when CNN can run a story on Trump vs. Palin with a straight face.
If Sarah Palin were "roasted" – she wouldn't get it at all.
Shouldn't he have to quit his tv show if he is running for president?
Trump – the guy who in 1991 financed the building of the Taj Mahal in Vegas with junk bonds and bankrupted his company. In 1992 the Trump Plaza Hotel bankrupted as well and just in 2009 Trump Entertainment Resort filed for chapter 11.
Trump is a self promoting imbecile. There are no fewer than 15 families in NYC alone who are MUCH larger in real estate holdings that he will ever have. He's the P.T. Barnum of the 20th Century. A certified jerk and a moron. Had his father not be Fred Trump, he's be a real estate broker.
Trump and palin both are idiots and big ego pple ... i would vote for obama any day again ...
I doubt either will run. They don't look forward to the pay cut.
I'd like to see several Republicans honestly evaluate each perceived candidate since no one is officially a candidate for the nomination just yet. Trump and other should be clearly show with the highs and lows. I'd like to see their electability also a point in this evaluation; not just for the nomination but for the presidency as well.
Mr. Trump is unelectable. Why? For starters, look at that hair!!!!!!! Secondly, his political acumen isn't quantifiable notwistanding his unstatesman-like behavior, case in point, statements about "srewing" Gadafi. Additionally, his tattered personal life (divorces, et.al.) does not lend to the idea that he's a perspicacious man who adheres to his values and obligations. Lastly, he just looks like a rat, doesn't he?
Mr Combover has as much chance as Failin Palin, Huckster, Santorum, Paws, Newter, and all others but one.....NONE!! The only one who can even give Obama a slight run is Mittens, the cult member who initiated givernment run health-care (not that HIS kind of Health Care is objectionable to the sheep but Obama's is)
@rip. I don't know when Maher said anything like that sbout the imbecilic moron from AK. As a woman I have always detested the "c" word (if that is what he said) but when it comes to this woman anything goes!! She deserves anything and everything she is called. Welcome to the world of she is disliked by milions!!!!
We'll know how serious the Trump presidency issue is when his comb-over becomes the popular national hairstyle.
Only Sarah Palin can save America. I hope when she wins the nomination and on to the White House, she will put in Bristol Palin as Secretary of State and Levi Johnston as National Security Advisor.
Run Sarah Run! America needs you now!!!!
What about Snookie? As long as we're having battle of the reality stars for the GOP nomination.
difference between Trump and Palin? He had brains and class. Palin? Ignorant and conceited. President? Trump anyday
I'm calling for a Cage Match between the two! Loser leaves town! (Isn't it amazing how much like "Professional Wrestling" american politics has become? I guess it's no wonder as the ethics and morals of our culture is totally dictated by advertising and maketing. Good luck! We're gonna need it.)
Will there ever be a viable candidate for the GOP? Isn't looking good for 2012 with the lot they have out there now. Good!!
@ rip darn it too. Didn't mcnasty called his rich wife the same word at a bikers rally. The same place where he was ready to sell her to the highest bidder in a topless "beauty" contest?
Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. What a group. The Republican Party has become an international joke.
The right-wing crazies have so many appropriate choices! Republicans are a giant joke, offering America a parade of circus clowns. One must wonder what weird, warped, social deviate will crawl out and join the race next...
Trump might be good for the economy and bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., but as far as leadership and diplomatic relations with other countries, he would be an embarrassment to the U.S., he might have money, but he has no class.
I would put him inn above all 3 of the top vote getters, at this point.
it figures that many of the people who would vote for Palin would also vote for Trump.
What is with the wealthy...Their egos are so big they actually do believe they are "Chosen". Trump as president has to be the worst idea I have ever heard...next to Palin that is. The country is already sick of Republican politicians catering to Bible Thumpers and Tea-Baggers... and both of them are trying to win their vote by saying irrational things like Huckabee.
Democrats will sweep in 2012...This country wants jobs!!! Not rules for women regarding birth control, or weather or not gays should marry, or if the President was born in another country, etc., etc, etc,
guess what -- the KKK are all republicans.