We kicked off our 2012 cycle polling over the weekend with surveys in Virginia and Montana. Tomorrow we'll have have Montana Senate and Virginia President numbers, Wednesday we'll have have Virginia Senate and Montana President numbers, Thursday we'll look at who Republicans in those states would most like to have as their Senate and Presidential candidates, and then Friday we'll look at the Montana Governor's race.
A lot of things we found were different between the two states but one thing that was the same may have been the most interesting- two very clear tiers of electability within the ranks of the Republican front runners.
In Virginia both Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee had the exact same margin against Barack Obama. Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin had the same margin as well- but it was 6 points worse than the margin for Romney and Huckabee. In Montana it was an even greater disparity. Just like in Virginia Gingrich and Palin posted the same margin against Obama- there Huckabee does 8 points better than the Gingrich/Palin duo and Romney does 9 points better.
Things will change a ton over the next year but for now it looks like GOP prospects against Obama are massively better with Huckabee or Romney than with Gingrich or Palin.