When Asked Who Should Run, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney Lead the Pack Among Republicans for the 2012 Republican Nomination

    New York, N.Y. – February 8, 2011 – While it may seem like the last presidential race just ended, the truth is the 2012 one is well underway. At the moment, the primary race is focusing on the 2012 Republican nomination and while no one has officially launched their campaign, many people have already begun working to make Iowa and New Hampshire almost their home states.

    Among a group of 10 Republicans who have been talked about as possible candidates, 4 rise to the top among all adults. Almost one-quarter of all adults Say Mitt Romney (23%) and Mike Huckabee (23%) should run for the nomination while one in five say it should be Sarah Palin (21%) and Rudy Giuliani (21%). Just over one in ten Americans say Newt Gingrich (13%) should run and smaller numbers say Tim Pawlenty (9%), Michele Bachmann (6%), Rick Santorum (5%), Haley Barbour (5%) and Mitch Daniels (4%) should run. Reflective of the early state of this race, two in five Americans (43%) are not sure who should run for the Republican nomination.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,566 adults surveyed online between January 17 and 24, 2011 by Harris Interactive®.

    Those who should run by party

    Looking at who Republicans think should run for 2012, almost two in five (39%) believe Mike Huckabee should run while over one-third (35%) say Mitt Romney should run. Three in ten Republicans (31%) believe Sarah Palin should run for the 2012 Republican nomination and one-quarter think Rudy Giuliani (25%) and Newt Gingrich (23%) each should run for the nomination. Fewer Republicans believe Tim Pawlenty (15%), Michele Bachmann (10%), Rick Santorum (10%), Haley Barbour (8%) and Mitch Daniels (5%) should run while 25% of Republicans are not sure.

    Among Independents, three names top the list as one-quarter believe Mitt Romney (26%), Mike Huckabee (25%) and Rudy Giuliani (24%) should run for the nomination. Over half of Democrats (52%) say they are not sure who should run for the Republican presidential nomination.

    Those who should run by ideology

    Among Conservatives, three are on top for who should run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Over one-third of Conservatives (36%) believe Mike Huckabee should run, while three in ten say Mitt Romney (31%) and Sarah Palin (31%) should run. A bit further down, just under one-quarter of Conservatives (23%) say Newt Gingrich should run while one in five (20%) say Rudy Giuliani should run. Further down the list for Conservatives are Tim Pawlenty (16%), Michele Bachmann (11%), Rick Santorum (10%), Haley Barbour (7%), and Mitch Daniels (5%). Three in ten Conservatives (30%) say they are not sure who of these 10 should run for the nomination.

    Among Moderates, one in five say Rudy Giuliani (22%) and Mitt Romney (21%) should run. Among Liberals, however, they may be looking at who they would like to see Barack Obama run against as almost one-quarter of them (23%) say they would like to see Sarah Palin run for the nomination.

    So what?

    The Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary are each just one year away. In that time some of the names on this list will decide not to run. Some will decide to dip their toes in the presidential race waters a bit more seriously before deciding the water is too hot or cold. Others will make it all the way to these early states. One of them may make it all the way. But, there are also names not on this list. So far, Ambassador Jon Huntsman has resigned his ambassadorship to potentially explore the presidential waters and others may make a decision in the upcoming weeks or months. A lot will change in the four seasons between now and next January.

     

    TABLE 1

    REPUBLICANS RUNNING IN 2012

    Of the following people, who do you think should run for the Republican 2012 Presidential nomination?

    Base: All adults

    Total

    Political Party

    Political Philosophy

    Moderate Independent

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Conservative

    Moderate

    Liberal

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Mitt Romney

    23

    35

    15

    26

    31

    21

    16

    25

    Mike Huckabee

    23

    39

    13

    25

    36

    19

    11

    23

    Sarah Palin

    21

    31

    17

    18

    31

    13

    23

    14

    Rudy Giuliani

    21

    25

    17

    24

    20

    22

    18

    27

    Newt Gingrich

    13

    23

    5

    15

    23

    9

    5

    13

    Tim Pawlenty

    9

    15

    4

    12

    16

    7

    5

    9

    Michele Bachmann

    6

    10

    3

    7

    11

    3

    6

    6

    Rick Santorum

    5

    10

    2

    7

    10

    3

    4

    4

    Haley Barbour

    5

    8

    2

    6

    7

    4

    3

    5

    Mitch Daniels

    4

    5

    2

    5

    5

    3

    2

    4

    Not sure

    43

    25

    52

    40

    30

    48

    49

    40

    Note: Multiple responses accepted

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States January 17 and 24, 2011 among 2,566 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

    All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

     

    These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

    The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

    J39369

    Q1235

    The Harris Poll ® #17, February 8, 2011

    By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll, Public Relations and Youth Research, Harris Interactive

    About Harris Interactive

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