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33% of GOP Voters Hope Palin Isn’t 2012 Nominee

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin remains a top favorite of Republican voters, but she’s also the front-runner they least want to see get the GOP’s 2012 presidential nomination.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 81% of Likely GOP Primary Voters have a favorable opinion of Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts and an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. Seventy-nine percent (79%) share a favorable opinion of Palin, the party’s 2008 vice presidential nominee, and 77% express positive feelings about another 2008 contender, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

These findings include 44% with Very Favorable opinions of Palin and Huckabee and 38% who feel that way about Romney. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Still, one-in-three likely primary voters (33%) say Palin is the frontrunner they would least like to see nominated. Twenty-three percent (23%) feel that way about former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Fifteen percent (15%) say Romney is their least favorite of the leading candidates and 13% say the same of Huckabee.

This echoes findings from a survey in July 2009 when Palin was second only to Romney as the presidential candidate Republican voters said they’ll vote for in 2012 state GOP primaries but was also, along with Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, one of two candidates they least hoped wins the nomination. 

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The survey of 1,000 Likely GOP Primary Voters was conducted on January 18, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. Likely GOP Primary Voters include both Republicans and unaffiliated voters likely to vote in a GOP Primary. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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