Poll: Most Americans can't name GOP candidates
April 21st, 2011
04:16 PM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Most Americans can't name GOP candidates

Washington (CNN) - The growing number of Republican presidential hopefuls face a long road to gain support and attention from their party and other Americans, according to a new poll.

Americans remain relatively unaware of the various potential 2012 GOP candidates, according to results from a Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday. The survey found that more than half of Americans cannot name a single GOP presidential candidate.

Donald Trump is currently the most outspoken and the most visible of the potential candidates. Twenty-six percent of responders tagged the real-state mogul as the most public contender.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney trails far behind.. His presidential hopes are on the radar of nine percent of Republican responders. Sarah Palin came in third at four percent. Only one percent of people said they've heard most about Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty.

While 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls are being given their fair share of media attention, only 20 percent of respondents reported closely following the 2012 presidential candidates, opting to focus their attention on the disaster in Japan, the most closely followed story during the second week of April, according to the survey.

A separate poll finds that a majority of Republicans keeping tabs on the early presidential players are not yet sold on any current potential candidate. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll released Thursday, nearly 60 percent of Republican voters cannot single out a candidate they were excited about.

When asked if there was any potential GOPer they felt enthusiastic about, nine percent of Republican voters were keen on Romney. Another contender garnering a small support base of eight percent was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Falling in third at seven percent was Donald Trump.

Huckabee was viewed most favorably by Republican voters who were asked how they felt about specific potential GOP candidates. Nearly eight in ten Republican respondents said they did not know enough about Tim Pawlenty to come up with a favorable or unfavorable view of the former Minnesota governor in the poll. Eighty-five percent of Republican respondents did not know enough about Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour to form an opinion.

The Pew poll surveyed data from the top news stories in the week of April 14-17 among 1,015 adults. It has a sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

The New York Times/CBS poll was conducted by telephone April 15-20, among 1,332 adults. The sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Filed under: 2012 • Polls
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. LovesIrony

    Moe, Larry, Curly, Joe, and Curly Joe.

    April 21, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. Thankfully Independent

    That's because none of these clowns are relevant right now. Remind me, how long is it until the primaries start?

    Once the primaries begin, then MAYBE I'll get interested. But I am looking for a damn sight more than "We gotta stop Obama and the Dems." Anyone wants my vote gotta give me programs and specifics.

    April 21, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Jake

    wake up, America! our nation is ignorant!

    April 21, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. ACE

    You must be pretty oblivious if you don't know who they are, there all over the internet but if you really don't have a clue just think of snow white and the 7 dwarfs the ones thinking about running are the dwarfs you know sleepy, grumpy so on and so on.

    April 21, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  5. Kara

    The republican party is a defunct party of no ideas. Even it's own supporters are jumping ship.
    That's why there are so many independents.

    April 21, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. Glennf

    Got it........Grumpy, Doc, Sneezy, Happy.......At least the 7 dwarfs did a day's work

    April 21, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. Knucklehead

    They can't remember the Republican's names? That's their only hope...

    April 21, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Just call in the clowns and you've got all the GOP candidates by name. Knowing GOP stands for the rich only, Americans aren't interested in their names because they won't be voting Republican for sure.

    April 21, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. insighttrader

    Obviously the polled public was smarter than the author. None of the people listed here are candidates!

    April 21, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. S. In California - Obama 2012

    It has taken Romney and Huckabee over TWO YEARS to even become a household name that along should tell you something. I understand why they are so scared of our president.

    April 21, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. Dave

    Wow, what a cast of clowns the GOP has running. Looks like I'm not voting next election.

    April 21, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. juliei4

    I can name them all and I AM LOVING IT!! I can't wait for the debates, but that's because I wouldn't vote for any of them. It sure will be entertaining though. It will be Mitt and Newt tryiing to tell the others that they don't know doo doo about anything while trying not to tick off the Tea Party. The one who should win the primaries is the one that will stand up to the know nothings, but they won't do it, giving the dems lots of tape to use during the actual election.

    April 21, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    Maybe that's because not a single one has become "officially" a candidate. they are all "exploring the possibility".

    April 21, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. OneMoreTime

    They are all rolling around the South feeding their egos, and from the looks of things, their stomachs.

    April 21, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  15. anagram_kid

    How can you run a poll of less than 2,347 people and say it applies to most Americans? I really wish CNN would start putting the population of the poll in the headline. But I guess that would show how irrelevant these polls are.

    April 21, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on YOU!

    I can name them:

    "This little piggy is a birther, this little piggy is a neocon. This little piggy is crazy, and this little piggy is a corporate Koch-head"

    April 21, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. Scott F

    The sad thing is these are Republican voters. Now you know why Republicans want to kill education. If the public were truly educated these clowns( Palin, Bachman, Trump, Gingrich, Etc) would not even be considered. With the help of Corporate America ( low wages or outsourcing) we are Dumbing down this country.

    April 21, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. Al-NY,NY


    Moe, Larry, Curly, Joe, and Curly Joe

    you forgot Shemp.

    April 21, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. skidmark

    Beckerhead, Trump, Palin, Bachman!
    What a circus.
    Now they're starting to eat each other.
    It's great to be a spectator at this freak parade.

    April 21, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. w l jones

    Give Mr.Trump just a little slack he got the Republican hopeful scatter lika a covey of Quail and enjoying every minute of it. Go Mr. Trump with your bad self. LOL.

    April 21, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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