PPP's looks ahead to the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination fight continue to find good news for Mitt Romney: he leads in the big states of California and Michigan. Mike Huckabee has the edge in West Virginia.
In California Romney's ahead with 24% to 21% for Newt Gingrich, 18% for Sarah Palin, and 17% for Mike Huckabee. His numbers there are reminiscent of what we saw in our most recent national poll: he's able to lead despite running behind with the conservatives who dominate Republican primary electorates because of an overwhelming lead with moderates. Among conservatives Gingrich is the leader with 24% to 21% for Palin and 20% for Romney. But Romney gets 36% with moderates with none of the others exceeding even 14% and that fuels his overall lead.
In Michigan, where Romney has strong family ties, his large lead is no surprise. He's at 30% with the other three top contenders in more or less a three way tie- Palin gets 17%, Gingrich 16%, and Huckabee 14%. Romney leads with both moderates and conservatives there but the margin is only 8% with conservatives while it expands to 22% with moderates. One thing interesting in these numbers is that Palin actually leads Romney 26-21 with voters who consider themselves to be members of the 'Tea Party.' But in Michigan only 27% of Republicans do identify with that label and Romney leads her 34-14 with the ones who don't.
In West Virginia Huckabee at 27% and Palin at 24% show the highest degree of strength with Gingrich at 16% and Romney at 13% polling further back. Huckabee leads with both moderates and conservatives there.
Full results here