Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney are running neck and neck in a poll of potential 2012 GOP presidential candidates. The three former governors were the only potential nominees to poll in the double digits among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Huckabee leads the field with 21 percent, followed by Palin with 19 percent and Romney with 17 percent. The second tier includes former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 9 percent and Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., with 8 percent, the poll of 425 Republicans and GOP-leaning independents showed. The rest of the potential GOP field received the support of 3 percent or less.
Huckabee and Palin are fighting on the same battleground. Of families with incomes of $50,000 or less, Huckabee grabs 26 percent of the support to Palin’s 25 percent. Of whites without a college degree, the numbers reverse with Palin at 26 percent and Huckabee at 25 percent.
Romney is the choice of the more affluent and college educated. Some 30 percent of those with a college degree prefer Romney as the nominee, as do 29 percent of those making over $50,000, and 30 percent of whites with a college degree.
Of self-described conservatives, the numbers break down as 19 percent for Huckabee, 16 percent for Romney, 14 percent for Palin, and 11 percent for Gingrich and Christie. Among “very conservative” voters and white evangelical Protestants, Huckabee is the clear leader with 21 percent and 29 percent respectively, the telephone poll conducted Jan. 13 to 16 showed.
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