Statewide polls show former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin gaining on fellow former Govs. Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee in a potential matchup of 2012 GOP presidential candidates. Palin now leads in Texas, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Main among likely votes in the Republican Party primary election, according to a Public Policy Polling survey
, and is gaining in Minnesota and the critical state of Florida.
Both Huckabee and Romney have consistently polled better than Palin in previous state-by-state surveys, but Romney’s lead is less lofty than it had been in previous polling. “We're finding more and more as we do these polls that when new folks are added into the mix it tends to hurt Romney more than anyone else,” said pollster Tom Jensen.
“His support is less solid than Palin's and Huckabee's, so even though he looks like a very nominal front runner at this point, he's also the candidate most likely to see his support collapse as things heat up.”
A Rasmussen Reports survey conducted last week showed Palin, whom many believe to be the best chance for bringing together social and tea party conservatives within the fractured GOP base, with an approval rating of 82 percent among Republican voters. Her strength in Texas and West Virginia most likely would hurt Huckabee in the South where, if Huckabee decides not to run, his support would go to Palin.
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