Friday, January 21, 2011

Huckabee ahead nationally

For the first time in PPP's national polling for the 2012 Republican nomination there's a clear leader: Mike Huckabee. Huckabee's at 24% to 14% for Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, 11% for Newt Gingrich, 8% for Tim Pawlenty, 7% for Ron Paul, 4% for Mitch Daniels, and 1% for John Thune.

This month's numbers are indicative of an ongoing problem for Romney: conservative voters just don't like him nearly as much as they do the rest of the leading Republican contenders. Only 55% have a favorable opinion of him. Gingrich is 10 points better at 65% favorability, and Palin and Huckabee are each almost 20 points higher at 74% and 73% respectively. Our state by state polling has indicated that the Republican electorate in most places is going to be more conservative leaning than it was in 2008 so this is somewhere Romney's really going to have to step it up if he's going to be viable for the nomination.

The worst news for Palin in this poll might be that she has the highest favorability number of any of the Republicans tested at 65%- but still only 14% say that she's their first choice for President. Her problem is not that GOP voters don't like her because they most certainly do. They just don't think she's Presidential material. She's not like a lot of Presidential contenders who start out far behind but have a lot of room to grow as they become better known- she's pretty much maxed out on people's awareness of her.

Huckabee is obviously the big winner in this poll. He's ahead with both moderates and conservatives, showing an ability to unify two wings of the party that have become increasingly polarized from each other with the rise of the Tea Party movement. That's important not just for snagging the nomination but also for Republican prospects of winning the general- they can't do it without a candidate who is able to hold the entire base in line.

The other winner in this month's poll is Pawlenty. 8% is certainly the best he's done in one of our national polls and it's a sign that he could be starting to gain some traction. His record strong standing is part of why Romney's polling so poorly this month, as we've consistently found that they tap into a similar centrist base. A strong Pawlenty candidacy is good news for Democrats because anything that divides the already diluted Republican moderate vote can only make it more likely the GOP nominates someone too far to the right to be viable in the general election.

Huckabee's definitely having the best 2011 of the potential Republican contenders so far, continuing to lead in all of the Iowa polls and improving his standing in the national ones. Of course who knows if he's even going to run...and if he doesn't that could breathe some life into Palin's prospects since they share a similar base of admirers.

Full results here

23 comments:

Micah said...

The most dangerous spot in politics is being number one; everyone is aiming for you. It won't surprise me one bit if the Republicans end up nominating a dark horse candidate.

I still think Romney has the edge though.

Robert Nolin said...

Huckabee is rocking and you are right, he is getting moderate and conservative support together.

Blue State Republican said...

Thanks for publishing this poll. You and your readers can keep up with all the Huckabee news at www.MikeHuckabeePresident2012.blogspot.com

Menorah said...

I can see why with all his exposure on Fox. He is a liberal and a RINO.

The Bear said...

Why Huckabee?

There is something oily about this guy....something just not quite right. I just don't get this...especially after how sucky the last guy from Arkansas was.

I suspect that, just like with McSwine - the media is trying to stick us with another clown that they know Obama will be able to beat and likely someone who has something they can exploit to make us Conservatives look bad.

AG said...

As we've discussed Palin's presidential qualifications to no end, what about Huckabee's? His only claims to fame are losing 100 pounds and publicaly calling for Genocide of Arabs.

Debbie said...

I agree with THE BEAR's comment. I think the media is pushing Huckabee. I am a conservative and do not support him and do not know anyone that is.

NRH said...

It's early yet. Huckabee hasn't officially entered, and given his near-total lack of organization, fundraising and staffing so far, there's a good chance he won't. His numbers will probably take a hit if he does declare and his rivals start pressing him on pardoning that guy...

Anonymous said...

To The Bear
I'm a Arkansas Republican and comparing Mike Huckabee to Bill Clinton is like saying the current Iranian President is the twin of Ronald Reagan to not suggest that because he is from Arkansas that he is like that, that is incorrect highly offensive to Arkansas Republicans like myself and is not party thinking we as Republicans do not need to discriminate againist someone just because there from a certain state that is not party thinking and is not only highly offensive but incorrect and wrong.

Jonny V said...

Here's hoping that Huckabee doesn't run and his votes go to Palin.

That said... I really don't think Huckabee will do as well in a general election match-up against Obama as it appears like he would do now.

I don't think voters have really taken a hard look at him ... and when they do they will find plenty not to like.

Anonymous said...

Does the poll specifically ask why voters don't select Palin as their choice or is the comment "they just don't see her as presidential material"your attempt to insinuate your own negative spin on the data.Could it not also be a reflection of voters' perception that she has been so badly damaged by the hateful attacks by the mainstream media,the left and the disgusting RINOS in the GOP that she is "unelectable".If the attacks on Palin from people within the GOP continue I will seriously consider voting for a third party candidate.I will never again sell out my values like I did in supporting McCain in '08.

Anonymous said...

We complain about Obama's lack of experience...then we look at Palin? Mayor of a tiny town in Alaska...then 2 yrs as guv before quitting! Very thin resume on Palin. Romney is a little better, but his past abortion and Romneycare follow him. Huckabee is the BEST candidate the repubs have...he can debate toe-to-toe with Obama and beat him badly. He's likable and smart...Romney is unlikable and Palin is dumb.

ED Denson said...

Not that it matters, since I'm a left Democrat, but Huckabee is surely the most likable of the Republican prospectives at the moment. I'm hoping that they choose Palin, of course. She is the most fun of them, and running her would tie up the 2nd term for Obama, not to mention giving Tina Fey more work. Gingrich is probably the smartest but he's a bit mean somehow, and it is hard to enjoy his TV appearances. My heart goes with Ron Paul, since I have a secret Libertarian bent, but at 70 years old I don't think I'm ready for the social turmoil his election would cause.

Anonymous said...

For those who think nothing good comes from Arkansas, just a reminder that there are only four states that are not in serious financial condition. Many of the states are going broke, but Huckabee left Arkansas with a sizable surplus as Governor. This is the kind of governor every state would want and our nation needs as its next President. And he governed with support from Independents, blacks, and Democrats, too. What America needs now.oct14678

Matt Underwood---Louisville, KY said...

For PPP and any anti-Tea Party folks: I only speak for myself here, but I am a Tea Party Republican conservative who has been a Mike Huckabee Presidential supporter from day one and still am. I would simply like to reply to PPP's ridiculous comment about "two wings of the(Republican) party that have become increasingly polarized from each other with the rise of the Tea Party movement." The Tea Party didn't polarize the two wings of the Republican party---the so-called "moderates" did by increasingly siding with Democrat left-wingers on nearly every major issue that will break this great Nation of ours into pieces. Republican professional politicians---which Mike Huckabee really is not, when you analyze it all---who have caved into stupid stuff with RINO's, been willing to constantly give Obama another chance (because they have never done their homework on that man), and do not seem to have the first clue what to do with the political power that we Republican voters entrust to them---these are the people who have split us up and actually gave rise to the Tea Party movement as much as Obama did.

I agree that Bro. Mike has unifying abilities, but it's because he has courage to speak the truth about these most critical issues, and the majority of the country being CONSERVATIVE, they agree with him and will support him. He is a true gentleman, but not in the mold of those who equate gentile behavior with being a soft-spined sissy. He stands for every "big" conservative platform plank---pro-life, pro-border enforcement (please build that fence from the Pacific to the Gulf), no amnesty for illegals, LOW taxes for every American, pro-business of all types which equals pro-jobs and pro-workers and pro-families...the list goes on. When stirred up, he has sufficient "fire in the bones" to become as animated as necessary to convince skeptics---it's convincing because it's not an act. The man is passionate about these issues because he knows the future of the Nation is at stake and it hinges upon these very things. The Governor also has a long record of standing for these concerns, and he has a proven record of endorsing others who also stand for these same issues.

In short, Mike Huckabee is my future President, and this is one Tea Party type who believes he will be elected to that office because he does have the wisdom and courage to divide truth from error. The egregious behavior of the Left and all those who try to play games with them is what has polarized our Country and the Republican party. And smartaleks of all stripes---even among Republicans that I know and respect---who want to constantly disrespect the grass roots people like the Tea Party and other ordinary people like Palin who have done no harm to anyone----THOSE are the polarizers. There will be a lot of people who will not like Mike Huckabee for the very reason that the majority of us love they guy---he's just plain honest and wise. I can only hope that when Mike and his lovely wife and his family are wrongfully eviscerated by the godless character-assassins of the mainstream media and the Hollywood potheads and the left-wing elitists, accusing him of "polarizing" the country with tough talk, etc., like they have Palin and the Tea Party, that PPP remembers that a true friend and fellow Huckabite warned him that he is having trouble with proper opponent identification.

Matt Underwood---Louisville, KY said...

For fellow posters here:

For Menorah and The Bear: Huck is no liberal or RINO---please check out all the rock-solid arch-conservatives he backed with his HUCK-PAC political action committee. He puts his money where his mouth is because he means it.

For Debbie: I am a mega-arch-ultra conservative who supports Huckabee wholeheartedly. Is he perfect? No one is---every other viable or non-viable candidate under consideration now and forever will always have some set of mistakes made along the way. No excuses, mind you, but I've looked at Huck's 10.5 years as Governor, and his previous years in the pastorate. His record, taken in context, speaks of him as a true conservative, even though I respect the other conservatives who have been his opponents from time-to-time. I hate the wishy-washiness of RINOs and the moral vapidness of liberals, and I also hate anything that smacks of statist, Stalinist, Marxist, Socialist, etc., and I find none of these to be part of Huckabee's political DNA.

To AG: Mike Huckabee never called for the genocide of Arabs. That is a rotten lie to say about him. What he did say, however, was that Israel had a right to defend herself against attacks, and that if neighboring Arab nations didn't like loosing land then they shouldn't have started so many wars.

For NRH: Huckabee didn't pardon that guy that later went to Washington state and gunned down four cops. He paroled that guy in compliance with Arkansas state law because he met the requirements for parole. In the 2nd poorest state in the Union, you have to free up space in the prisons for the next ones, like it or not. It doesn't mean Huckabee was or is soft on crime or a bleeding-heart. That felon was convicted of a crime as a teenager and served a good part of his sentence and came up for parole with good behavior. He made parole. Sure, biased media types are going to hammer Huck with it and blame him for killing those cops just like they blamed Palin and Rush and Mark Levin for all those people being killed in Tucson. That's outrageous. The guy took his job as Governor very seriously and did his best to properly assess everything that came across his desk, unlike Clinton who spent 12 years of state funds, resources and personnel building a political team of thugs and chasing every girl that caught his eye. The problem with political power is that---aside from Jesus Christ Himself---we are obliged to entrust it to people as ordinary and flawed as the rest of us. But honest ones like Huckabee who are willing to stand at the forefront and make decisions which might require taking some arrows, are worth their weight---give or take 100 pounds. I come from a law enforcement family, with myself formerly serving in an M.P. unit in the Army. It broke my heart to hear about those cops and it bothered me that he had been paroled, but it could have been any governor of any state and I would not have faulted anyone but the crumb that pulled the trigger. I can tell you that the criminal justice system has plenty of flaws, but Mike Huckabee really wasn't one of them.

Matt Underwood---Louisville, KY said...

Also, for all commenters: Please remember that Mike Huckabee nearly won the nomination in 2008 with little of the traditional organizational structure. I would no more sit on my hands this time than any before, of course, but there are many candidates who could and will beat Obama in 2012. How much better than to have an honest guy with a good rapport with people who is also a good debater and knows his business. Huckabee will mop the floor with Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton or any other Democrat.

NRH said...

"... the godless character-assassins of the mainstream media and the Hollywood potheads and the left-wing elitists, accusing him of "polarizing" the country with tough talk, etc..."

That pretty much sums up the teatarded lack of self-reflection right there. "We're not polarizing! It's those damned elitist drug-addicts on the other side who say polarizing things!" When the other side notes that you're constantly firing verbal assaults at them, and demanding candidates who refuse to compromise, and castigating anyone who does compromise, yes, that really does mean YOU are the ones polarizing the situation.

And Underwood - Dukakis didn't give Willie Horton a notarized letter authorizing him to go commit armed robbery and rape either, but it still was an effective ad for Bush Sr. in that race. It's one of those irksome bits of human nature - a compelling narrative sticks in the mind better than boring reality. The Huckster can offer up rationalizations and excuses all he wants, but it won't convey the same impact as "Huckabee let a guy out of jail to go murder cops." It's just part of campaign life. As to his 2008 race, well, that wasn't exactly a star-studded list of contestants.

Jonny V said...

I'd like to remind all Republican voters that Mike Huckabee believes in man made climate change!

He's on video saying that believes in it. There's no way for him to run away from it!

He's not the total loon you guys want: You want to vote for Sarah Palin!

nhguy said...

I heard Huckabee speak when he came to NH the last time around. I have to say I do like his ideas, eg. Healthcare vs. wellness programs, infrastructure improvements vs bailing out banks etc.. Not keen i=o the 'religious side of things' but I'd support a Huckabee/Gingrich ticket.

That being said I hope Palin stays out of the race. It will just make it worse on any republicans in the race.

Joan said...

I agree with the post by Matt from KY. Huckabee is my guy. He's very smart and I'm going to vote for him. Was watching a rerun of the 2008 debates last night online and the answers mike gave about religion and Jesus Christ was right on. He has a backbone and will stand up for what he believes in. I think his biggest problem will be raising money for his campaign and I for one, hope he runs and doesn't wait to long before anouncing his candidacy.

DBL said...

"When the other side notes that you're constantly firing verbal assaults at them, and demanding candidates who refuse to compromise, and castigating anyone who does compromise, yes, that really does mean YOU are the ones polarizing the situation."

That sounds like a good description of progressives also. The hatred of Blue Dogs and "corporate sell outs" like Lincoln and Nelson is deafening. Unions spent $10 million to bounce Lincoln in the primary because if you're a Democrat you either support everything unions want 100% or you're unfit to hold office.

But that's not polarizing at all.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how many Republicans find themselves having "misspoken" when it comes to comments about Obama's background. They continuousy try to make a huge issue out of a non-issue. American citizen, Christian...how difficult is this??

 
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