PPP's final six state level 2012 GOP primary surveys, conducted right before this month's election, find Mitt Romney strong in another key early state, Sarah Palin weak at home, and Newt Gingrich's only first place finish out of the 18 states we polled.
Iowa and South Carolina were not among the states we included in these polls but the other key early states of New Hampshire, Florida, and Nevada were and they all found the same leader: Mitt Romney. In Nevada Romney is well out ahead of the pack with 34% to 21% for Gingrich, 16% for Palin, and only 11% for Mike Huckabee. He's doing equally well across the ideological spectrum there, getting 35% of conservatives and 34% of moderates. The state provided one of Romney's most important early victories the last time around and it looks as though it could do so again.
In Alaska the big story is Sarah Palin's strength- or more precisely lack thereof- only 15% of her home state Republicans say she's their pick to be President, putting her behind Huckabee at 17% and Gingrich and Romney at 16%. When you see that lack of support for Palin in the state Joe Miller's apparent loss in the state's Senate election begins to look more and more understandable. It's clear at this point that Palin is a lot more popular in the rest of the country than she is in her home state.
Newt Gingrich's one and only lead in this round of 18 polls comes from North Carolina where he gets 23% to 19% for Huckabee and Palin and 14% for Romney. Meanwhile Huckabee matches his largest lead in any individual state in Kentucky where he gets 26% to 19% for Palin, 17% for Gingrich, and 13% for Romney. Gingrich and Huckabee splitting these two states is somewhat emblematic of the fact that for either to win the GOP nomination may take the other not running since a strong across the board performance in the South would be vital for both of their chances.
In both of the remaining states- Ohio and Washington- Palin is narrowly at the head of a very closely bunched field. In Ohio she has 20% to 19% for Gingrich, 17% for Huckabee, and 14% for Romney. In Washington everyone's even closer together with Palin at 19%, Romney at 18%, Huckabee at 17%, and Gingrich at 15%.
For these 18 states as a whole Palin led in 6, Romney led in 6, Huckabee in 4, and Gingrich and Pawlenty each in one.
Full results here