A new poll released Tuesday shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney continues to lead the pack for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the National Journal reports.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who was once seen as a potential party standardbearer, has dropped to a ranking of ninth by party insiders, the poll found.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty came in second behind Romney, according to the special National Journal Political Insiders Poll.
The top five contenders for the GOP nomination included Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
While Romney is seen as having the experience and fundraising advantage, he also has some major challenges to overcome.
“Romney still has fundamental advantages no one else has going into this race even with carryover questions from 2008,” one Republican Insider polled said.
Another said: “Probably the shakiest GOP front-runner in modern history, but it’s still his to lose.”
Pawlenty is seen as the candidate with the least political baggage of the 2012 contenders.
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