As the midterms fade quickly toward the status of old news — albeit good news for many Republicans — the 2012 presidential candidates will be appearing from stage right, and Rasmussen Reports finds three potential GOP nominees virtually tied at the top. The trio comprises a set of former governors: Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, who pulls 20 percent, with Sarah Palin of Alaska and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas on his heels at 19 percent apiece.
The bottleneck of potential nominees emerged from a Nov. 1 Rasmussen telephone survey
of 1,000 likely GOP primary voters that asked those polled whom they would vote for if the Republican presidential primary took place today.
Palin and Romney tied among male GOP voters, while Huckabee has a slight edge among female voters.
That is a marked change from a year ago, when likely Republican primary voters were given a choice of five potential presidential nominees, Huckabee led with 29 percent support, followed by Romney with 24 percent, and Palin, at 18.
Rounding out the list of seven candidates Rasmussen chose for the question this year, with their levels of support, are former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 13 percent, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at 6 percent, Texas Congressman Ron Paul with 5, and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels at 3 percent. Meanwhile, 7 percent prefer some other candidate, and 8 percent are undecided.
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