Friday, March 19, 2010

Romney leads tight Republican race

Our first national look at who Republicans would prefer as their 2012 Presidential nominee confirms the wide open nature of the field. The leading candidates are all within the margin of error of each other, with Mitt Romney leading at 28% followed by Mike Huckabee at 24% and Sarah Palin at 23%. Ron Paul pulls 11%, 9% say they're undecided, and 6% say their preference would be someone else.

Romney's lead speaks to the fact that moderates could actually pick the GOP nominee in 2012. That's because there's gridlock among conservatives about who their preferred candidate is. Huckabee leads with 28% to 27% for Palin and 25% for Romney. But the former Massachusetts Governor has a large advantage with moderates, getting 35% to 17% for Palin and 16% for Huckabee. That significant edge with them gives him the overall lead.

Palin is the most popular candidate with self identified Republican voters, as 69% have a favorable opinion of her compared to 58% for Romney and 54% for Huckabee. Palin's problem is that the people who like her aren't necessarily committed to voting for her. Only 32% of folks with a positive opinion of her say she would be their choice for the nomination. By comparison 45% of Republicans who view Romney favorably support him and 39% with a positive take on Huckabee say they would vote for him.

One of the things holding Palin back may be electability concerns. 48% of Republican primary voters say the most important thing is getting a nominee who can beat Barack Obama, and with those people Palin lags well behind at 15% to 32% for Romney and 27% for Huckabee. 42% say the most important thing is getting a candidate who's conservative on every issue and Palin does lead with those folks at 36% to 24% each for Huckabee and Romney.

The main takeaway from these numbers? There continues to not really be a Republican front runner.

Full results here


Rasmus said...

It's interesting that you show the historic gender gap concerning Palin - men like her, women don't- reversing in this poll. Men vote for Romney, Women for Palin.

It's also interesting how hyper-conservative young Republicans are. They easily out-crazy any other group.

Rasmus said...

Also interesting that Huckabee gets only 9% in the West, but 17-18% in NM and CO. Does that mean his support is non-existent in the Mountain West? But he got 15-20% in the Caucuses there even in 08.

steve p brad said...

I was just making the case yesterday that Romney may be the best shot for centrist Republicans. Guess I am not alone.

rightcoast said...

11% for Paul is an interesting number this early. It does make intuitive sense he could pull both the tea party types, and the centrists who lack a firm pro-war streak. Heck, at that point the wars would be ~10 years deep and it may be a bigger campaign issue than we'd think right now.

Anonymous said...

This couldn't be better news for Palin or conservatives.

Romney has peaked way too soon and doubts exist as to Huckabee even running.

When the saga of Romneycare is told, very few GOP primary voters will ever trust him to undo Obamacare.

Meanwhile GOP voters will also be reminded of Huckabee's record breaking number of pardons and the resulting body count.

David K. Meller said...

There is always Ron Paul!!

The "insane" opponents of Ron Paul here--their insanity being expressed by repeating the same actions and expecting different results--are showing the utter bankruptcy and irrelevance of the GOP, even with the ongoing failures and scandals of the Obama regime!

Ron Paul's message--restore the Constitution and Bill of Rights, as originally written and understood; establish sound money, uphold the sovereignty and independence of America First and unilaterally disengage from all overseas tripwires and commitments, and begin to renormalize life and liberty in OUR country--is one that will continue to have enormous appeal to Americans, especially Republicans, and offers a stunning contrast to the "managed decline", perpetual-war-for-perpetual-peace, and future of inflation and debt characterised by the all-too-defective status quo characterising the (GOP) neocons!

David K. Meller

Anonymous said...

11 for Paul is quite an amazing number.

I mean, hell, at just 5-8% national support he would dominate all the straw polls and place top 3 in all the caucuses.

And the schedule is set up perfect for Paul.

First is the Iowa Straw Poll, and Paulites dominate straw polls (see CPAC).

Then, the first primary is the Iowa Caucus, and Paulites will do well in the caucuses cause enthusiasm helps there. It's kind of like a straw poll.

Second primary is New Hampshire. It's pretty libertarian, and Paul got 8% last time. More libertarians will have flocked there by 2012 to participate in the "free state project" (

Then comes South Carolina, where Paulites have taken over some of the counties, and have censured Graham and so forth.

And Nevada is a caucus, and Paul even got 14% and 2nd place there last time.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see Ron Paul write a book that identifies his reasoning for his political stands. I want to know where he intends to take this country. "RonPaulvolution" slogans from his supporters is a real turn off for me.

Angie said...

Ron Paul has written several books. I haven't read them, but I would think that they explain his positions.

Romney wanted health care mandates, same as we have now. Being a Republican isn't good enough any more - we want conservatives, and Mitt isn't.

GOP2010 said...

Romney, a true conservative leader who leads by example, and created the very model for healthcare that this nation is now embracing.
Ron Paul is a joke. How can we fight the islamo-fascists in Iraq and Afghanistan if we go back to a constitutional system? Would give his some credit if he woke up on foreign policy.

K. B. said...

Romney? After Obama pushing national health care on us with almost 70% against it, I find it ludicrous to suggest Romney, who foisted his own version of universal health care on Massachusetts which is now struggling to stay running, as frontrunner for the Republican ticket in 2012.

I would have preferred Romney to McCain last election only because I was so opposed to McCain. Since then I have looked beyond the 'loon' characterization of Ron Paul by the Republican establishment and was astonished to find his stand on the issues to be based on the constitution and grounded by common sense. I now see that that 'loon' characterization is nothing more than the attempt to dismiss him from our consideration that it is. Because he stands by his beliefs, he is a threat to the cronyism that has become the mainstay of our 'representatives'. Ron Paul is, actually, there to represent us, not seek opportunities to benefit himself at the expense of the people.

Listen to what he has to say, not what others with ulterior motives say he is saying. Read his stand on the issues on his web site. Check out his speeches on Youtube. He is that rare species in Washington, a man with integrity and the courage of his convictions.

I have great hope that Ron Paul will run again. This time I will actively support him.

Anonymous said...

You would like Ron Paul to write a book explaining his views? Here you go: Books authored by Dr. Paul: ("The Revolution, A Manifesto" is an excellent place to start.)
End the Fed;
The Revolution: A Manifesto;
A Foreign Policy of Freedom;
Pillars of Prosperity;

Donn3336 said...

Massachusetts, the experiment for Obamacare and pushed by Romney as Governor, is in big financial trouble. The Massachusetts State Treasurer, a former Democrat turned Independent, was interviewed on Glenn Becks program (not that I am a big Beck lover), and he says despite huge amounts of money which poured in from the Federal Government and a great rate from Medicare the state is facing a 4 Billion dollar deficit. Sixty percent of which is caused by their Healthcare program. All medical pricing has gone up and there is no end to the problems the State Healthcare system is causing. This is why states rights are so important. Fifty experimental stations, the one that gets it right the rest will follow. But no, now we take a failed Healthcare program from Massachusetts and apply it to the whole country, which will pull us all down. I don’t know what people see in Romney, a man who snickers at other people’s ideas, aka Ron Paul and the debates. With the problems this country faces these candidates for President shouldn’t be snickering at anyone’s ideas. The only “true” change and refreshing ideas I see coming from any of these candidates is from Ron Paul. Eleven percent at this stage with a very volatile electorate could be a very strong position.

Doug Wead said...

I think the numbers for Ron Paul are significant. He is the only one who offers a totally different path. The only one who can give a good reason not to go to war in foreign countries. His army of committed activists could pull a surprise coup at the Iowa Cavalcade.

Anonymous said...

"Ron Paul has written several books. I haven't read them, but I would think that they explain his positions."

Uh, you could read the #1 New York Times bestseller "The Revolution" by Ron Paul.

Donn3336 said...

If you want to see how the special interest money gets to Washington and our Congress people check out The special interests don't even bother with Ron Paul because they know it will get them no place. Check out the others and see where their money comes from. Integrety does count, unless you are so taken in by what the news media projects or how the political parties work. There are only a few like Ron Paul and none so honest. People open you eyes. Oh and he gave $100,000 of his office and expense money back to the government. He does things like this every year just because it is right.

TCE said...

Ron Paul actually won Nevada. Sue Lowden actually stole the election for McCain.

Also, Paulites didn't censure Lindsey Graham, local Republican parties did for his support of Cap-and-Trade.

He is a true Conservative, and the rest running are Neo-Cons who would have been Democrats 50 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Again the liberal pollsters at PPP place Palin last.However that is a good thing.She has the tougher road being a woman and the furthest from the elites and from the beltway.I suspect Huckabee in the primaries will withdraw even if he runs.He will be hammered by Romney for all those clemencies.Meanwhile Palin will be at the back of the pack attacking only Obama.Thats her style.She does not care about anything other than attacking Obama.She doesnt care even if she wins or loses as long as she is on a stage attacking Obama.People will see the 2 at the top attacking each other and notice Palin going after only Obama.In the debates she will ignore the others and attack only Obama.See she does not forget what his pals did to her in her state.She has conly one goal to attack Obama.Thats why she is the most dangerous of the 3,she is the dark horse that just might suprise everyone.I do not think in her mind it would matter win or lose. As long as she is on TV attacking Obama.

Tall Katastrophe said...

I am predicting right now that Rep. Paul Ryan will be on the republican ticket in 2012. He is so articulate, grounded, and genuine.

Doctor Jones said...


"I am predicting right now that Rep. Paul Ryan will be on the republican ticket in 2012. He is so articulate, grounded, and genuine."

And he also voted for the TARP bank bailouts and has yet to apologize for it. The man has a degree in economics and calls himself a fiscal conservative he should have known better. For me, as a conservative, that should be a career ending vote.

Anonymous said...

I will only comment by clarifying that the United States spends more year-to-year on military and defense than all the other nation's of the world combined (approximately 500 billion or more per year). Taxed enough already??? Taxes are kind of irrelevant when the two-headed one-party system-monster spends like a teenager on spring break with your parents credit card to fund their warfare-welfare state... Any candidate besides Ron Paul will continue the perpetual military-keynesian agenda of the neo-conservatives GOP influence and America will go bankrupt. (and the majority of democrats are nation-builders and interventionists, therefore impotent when it comes to ending the war and occupation). History shows us that today's empires are tomorrow's ashes. So is America the exception?

Donn3336 said...

I feel real change coming. You don't teach your kids how to handle money by buying their way out of trouble. They just come back for more. Same for society, all the welfare programs just make people more dependent. Which is quite obviously what the socialists want. The middle class majority is tired of paying the price. When you think about it all this Heathcare Bill does is raise taxes, they might call it premiums but the only way through the Supreme Court is calling it tax. If they get two years into collecting our money and fine it unconstitutional will we get our money back. Don't count on it. Are they going to put this money in a lock box like Social Security?
The middle class both Dems and Repubs will see the BS. Have faith Ron Paul isn't perfect but the only way you can solve some of these problems is at the local and state level. One size does not fit all. I'm betting on common sense and Ron Paul.

Anonymous said...

About Ron Paul

In your heart you think hes smart, but in your guts you know hes nuts :)

Tom L said...

Actually, it's more like this:

Ron Paul: In your head you think he's nuts, but in your heart (or what's left of it) you know he's right.


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