UPDATE at 2:48pm: Allahpundit chimes in:
Question: If both Romney and Palin announce that they’re running, does Huck drop out and play kingmaker instead? He’d have an outside shot to win a head-to-head race with Romney on the strength of the “anyone but Mitt” vote from evangelicals and “true conservatives.”
Hey! I’m an Evangelical (well, a Christian who goes to a non-denominational church at least) and a “true Conservative,” and I’m for Romney! Many of my friends are as well, and none of them have ever said that they wouldn’t vote for Romney based off of his being a Mormon.
Rasmussen also had Romney ahead in a poll they took on July 6th, which had him with 25% of the vote. Palin came in second with 24%, Huckabee had 22%, and Gingrich had 14%. Both Pawlenty and Barbour polled 1%.
Here are the results from the new Gallup poll, conducted from July 10-12:
- Mitt Romney: 26%
- Sarah Palin: 21%
- Mike Huckabee: 19%
- Newt Gingrich: 14%
- Tim Pawlenty: 3%
- Haley Barbour: 2%
Comparing it with the Rasmussen poll, Romney gains a point, Palin and Huckabee lose three, Gingrich stays the same, and Pawlenty and Barbour remain irrelevant.
But here’s where the data gets really important:
No real surprises here. Among Republicans, Sarah Palin remains the most popular and unpopular candidate. And as you can see, virtually everyone on the Right has an opinion about her.
That’s not the case for Romney and Huckabee, who are both liked and disliked about equally, with many on the Right not having an opinion either way. Whether that’s a positive or negative for them remains to be seen.
Moving on to what all Americans think about the leading three candidates:
Palin’s numbers are about what’d you expect, and while having 43% approval isn’t shabby, you don’t want that to be accompanied with 45% disapproval. That’s why Huckabee has to be feeling pretty good about these numbers. He rivals Palin in popularity among all voters, but his unfavorables are 22 points lower. Granted, there are many who have “no opinion,” so it’s somewhat unfair to compare, but looking at the numbers we’re given, he polls well.
It’s hard to get a proper context on Romney’s numbers (which by themselves are pretty good) until you look at this next graphic:
In five months, Romney has improved his image dramatically. While his favorables are up just three points, his unfavorables have dropped 17 points. That’s HUGE. He still needs to get his favorables up, but as long as he keeps giving foreign policy speeches at the Heritage Foundation or appearing on Meet The Press to knock the Stimulus package, he will. Especially if the economy keeps dragging.