I promised we were going to have a new wrinkle on our state polls this week and here it is: we'll start looking at Huckabee-Palin-Romney on each of them. It doesn't mean a ton at this point but I know you junkies want it so we're going to deliver.
In North Carolina 33% of Republicans say their preference would be Mike Huckabee to 27% for Sarah Palin and 25% for Mitt Romney.
I think the main story is how closely bunched together the three of them are. There's been some speculation that Romney might write off the South but this is a pretty solid standing for him here. Huckabee leads, as he did in our NC polling before John McCain wrapped up the nomination in 2008, but not by an overwhelming margin.
Huckabee leads among both moderates and conservatives with Romney finishing second among the former and Palin as the runner up with the latter. What I found most striking in the crosstabs was the rural/suburban divide in Palin's performance. In rural areas she leads with 38% to 31% for Huckabee and only 16% for Romney. But in suburbia Palin's a distant third with 18% to 37% for Huckabee and 31% for Romney. That would seem to confirm the conventional wisdom that Palin will do better in states, like Alaska, with low population density.
Again, wayyyyy too early, but it'll be interesting to see how much state by state variation on this there is across the country.
Full results here