Poll shows GOP not happy with its prez candidates
April 19th, 2011
09:22 AM ET
3 years ago

Poll shows GOP not happy with its prez candidates

Washington (CNN) - As the Republican presidential primary race continues its slow march out of the gate, a new poll suggests likely GOP voters are significantly less satisfied with the potential field of contenders than they were four years ago.

Less than 50 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents give positive marks to the still-in-flux GOP presidential field, down markedly from 2008 when nearly two-thirds said they were happy with that cycle's crop of candidates, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

And in another sign no potential candidate has yet to register momentum within the party, only former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney scored in the double digits (16 percent) when likely Republican voters were asked who they would support in the primaries and caucuses. The answer "no opinion" by contrast was the response of 33 percent of respondents, while an additional 12 percent said flatly "no one."

Behind Romney comes perhaps-serious candidate and business mogul Donald Trump at 8 percent, followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, at 6 percent and 5 percent respectively.

Several other candidates were at 2 percent or less, including: Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has said he will not run.

The telephone poll was conducted April 14-17 and carries sampling error of 5 points.


Filed under: 2012 • GOP
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. TEE

    The Repubs can only deliver a message of insane, mindless, one liners...They have no plan, no solutions for all of America..By next year even Repub voters, and independents will see the current list of clowns only want to take this country back to the stone age.

    April 19, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. maine liberal

    will the republicans stay home or all run as indpendents

    April 19, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. Pat in IL

    If they had a "grown-up" on the roster, it wouldn't be so hard.

    April 19, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. Al

    GOP doesn't have any credible candidates. Trumps an idiot and Romney well he has his own Health Care problem.

    April 19, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. Peter E

    But... but... I thought Palin was the clear front runner! Isn't that why CNN kept pushing stories about her every week for the past two years?

    April 19, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. Quintus

    I think the better GOP possibilities think a better strategy is to wait for the 2016 election. Getting beat by Obama in 2012 would impair another run in 2016, so they'll wait. The Republicans are left with also-rans and second tier candidates. Of course it is really early. In early 2007, few would have identified Obama as the winner in 2008.

    April 19, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. LA, LA, LA

    Well, who can like any of those clowns?

    April 19, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. Limbaugh isa liberal

    Good luck with Mitt Romney! He is running on what? Criticizing Obama for the exact same agenda (mandatory health insurance, rubbing up to unions, etc.) that he himself championed as governor of Massachusetts.
    Still, better than the thrice-married, but now suddenly conservative Catholic Gingrich, or the mandating the teaching of creationism Huckabee and Bachman.
    And yes, I am sure republicans would be just happy with Trump... the pro-abortion, anti-corporate and farm-subsidies, pro-unions Trump...

    April 19, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. Former Republican, but never again!

    I wouldn't vote for Palin or Bachmann in a three-way race with Hitler and Stalin!

    April 19, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. J. Barker

    I just think that there is so much time between now and the next presidential election that people don't feel a strong need to delve into this matter right now, especially when there seem to be more pressing issues to deal with elsewhere in the world.

    April 19, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  11. GOP

    This is too early. Of course the messengers will refine their message.
    Obama will still win, but the GOP will come around to swallow whatever poisonous candidate makes it to the top of the heap. That's what we call the two party system.

    April 19, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. ThinkAgain

    Palin = Quitter, Liar, Mooch
    Pawlenty left Minnesota $6 BILLION in debt.
    Barbour is a racist from MS, the state at the bottom when it comes to education, per-capita income, etc., etc., etc.
    Bachmann is a nutjob.
    Romney made his money by buying up companies, breaking them apart, laying off people and outsourcing jobs.

    This is what you get when your party's policies are PROVEN FAILURES! The GOP can't promote itself based on its record, so they resort to these yahoos who'll stir up the fearful, gullible base.

    PATHETIC!

    April 19, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. Joshua Ludd

    Yeah, because they are all terrible candidates. Not a single one is worth voting for.

    April 19, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. ThinkAgain

    jane: Excellent quote from FDR! More should read and heed it!

    April 19, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. paul

    People are not happy with Republicans because they have moved way too far to the right. The current bunch have insulted just about everyone in the country. Seniors, students, workers, women, minorities, etc etrc erc They have attacked just about everyone except the RICH.

    April 19, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Martin

    loved the comment "we might not be happy with the candidate but we'll vote for him anyway".

    First of all, assuming the candidate will be male.

    Secondly, this shows what's wrong with American politics, blindly voting Republican or Democrat, regardless of the candidate, or whether you actually LIKE the candidate.

    Don't get me started on policy positions. I bet 8 out of 10 Americans at the polling stations wouldn't be able to tell you a single position that candidates from either party have on ANY of the issues. US elections are popularity contests, nothing more. When there's no candidate with the popularity, most Americans will simply vote for the same, tired old parties.

    April 19, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. Michael in Houston

    You repubs have your field. You have been supporting each one of these wackos and its now time to get behind your candidates. Pick anyone of them. The rest of the nation welcomes any of your choices. Tee up Bachmann, Trump, Palin, Newt, Santorum, etc and watch this Nation deliver the most brutal crushing defeat you have ever witnessed

    April 19, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. Superhiro

    Lol, this is the sorriest bunch of GOP presidential hopefuls in quite some time.

    April 19, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. Rsprings

    It would be great to have a new face in the mix...I think the problem is that the way the election process works it deters good candidates from stepping forward. You need a huge war chest and to raise funds you've got to step out early. Once you do, the media goes on a feeding frenzy like sharks smelling blood in the water. The main mission of the media is to destroy the candidate using any means including fabricating lies. Sad but true.

    April 19, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. Get A Grip

    MR. HERMAN CAIN....folks. Check him out. This is the one man that the left does not want to run against Obama because they know HERMAN CAIN will win!

    HERMAN CAIN FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!!

    April 19, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. thomas

    Looks like the Fall line up for American Idol .
    Fox's celebrity non reality Nation .
    In God we Trust!

    April 19, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. ThinkAgain

    Once again, the GOP is using a group to gain political power. Currently, it's the scared, mostly white folks who just can't wrap their minds around the fact that a Black man is in the White House.

    So the GOP panders to the old folks, saying you'll get to keep your Medicare and Social Security; just vote us in and we'll return our country to the glory days of your past (cleverly omitting the fact that our country flourished under FDR whose policies ushered in a 40-year economic expansion and instituted Medicare, Social Security, the Interstate Highway system, rural electrification, etc., etc., and who was a strong supporter of unions).

    The GOP throws out a bunch of candidates willing to lie and manipulate and fear-monger, hoping to convince voters to once again vote against their own self-interest.

    And if the GOP succeeds, the old folks will be gone in 20 years and the GOP will have completely turned our country into a third-world nation where the top 2% own and control everything (along with their multi-national corporate buddies) and the rest of us live in poverty.

    Wake up and catch a clue, folks!

    April 19, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. JMR49

    While I do support President Obama 100%, a weak, confused republican party is not good for the process of choosing a President. 3rd party is a joke. I see Romney as the most viable, but he's got a problem with the GOP base in being a Morman – I just don't see the extreme right accepting this. The other issue for Romney is Trump, who beside the Birther BS, will be targeting Romney as front runner. A weak, confused Democratic party is why G.W. Bush was elected. Going hard right for primaries, then trying to slide back to the left isn't going to work in this round. If we end up with 45% right, 45% left and nutty independants swinging the result...we stay in this rut.

    April 19, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. djdjdjs

    Amazing not one of these wannabe's can even make the DECISION to run at all. That's strong leadership.

    And what happened to repubs with making jobs priority one? All they can attempt to muster is battles with Planned Parenthood or Obama's birth certificate?

    What an embarrasment to the once great republican party.

    April 19, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  25. Anonymous

    As far as I know there are only two men running for President Our current one and Mitt Romney. All the rest are just media-made names.If anyvody is serious about running- SAY IT OR SHUT UP!.

    April 19, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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