Rasmussen Poll: Trump 19%, Romney 17%, Huckabee 15%

Posted: April 28, 2011 by The STR in NEWS & LOCAL NEWS
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2012 Republican Presidential Candidates - GOP ...

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Republican primary voters at this early stage of the game now give billionaire developer Donald Trump the edge over presumptive favorites Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee in the race to be the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2012.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters finds Trump with 19% support, just ahead of the former governors, Massachusetts’ Romney at 17% and Arkansas’ Huckabee with 15%. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich are tied for fourth place with nine percent (9%) each, closely followed by Texas Congressman Ron Paul at eight percent (8%). Rounding out the list are former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (5%) and Mitch Daniels, the current governor of Indiana, at three percent (3%). Five percent (5%) like some other candidate, and 11% are undecided when presented with this list of candidates.

In January, before Trump began making noises about seeking the GOP nomination, Romney led the pack among likely primary voters with 24% support, followed by Palin (19%), Huckabee (17%) and Gingrich (11%).

But polls this early in the process really don’t tell much more than who has the highest name recognition, Washington Examiner political analyst Michael Barone points out in a new column assessing Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour’s decision not to seek the Republican nomination. “Voters will know far more about the Republican nominee in fall 2012 than they know now about any contender,” he explains.

It’s interesting to note that John McCain never led any national polling on the 2008 GOP nomination until Rasmussen Reports showed him ahead on December 31, 2007.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely GOP Primary Voters was conducted on April 26, 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.

Not much has changed in the dynamics of the overall presidential race so far this year. President Obama leads Trump by a 49% to 34% margin. But no matter which of the top current contenders is the GOP nominee, the president earns between 42% and 49% of the vote. This suggests, as is typically the case when an incumbent seeks reelection, that the race is still shaping up as a referendum on the president.

Trump leads among male GOP primary voters, while female voters prefer Romney as their first choice.

Similarly, Republican voters favor Trump, but unaffiliated voters who are likely to vote in GOP primaries like Romney best.

Trump is the top choice of likely primary voters who are Tea Party members with 22% support, compared to 16% support among non-members. Romney is the top choice of those who are not members of the grass roots movement.

Huckabee runs strongest among primary voters who are Evangelical Christians with 23% support. Romney leads among other Protestants and is tied with Trump among Catholic voters. Trump has a slight edge among likely primary voters of other faiths.

The nationally-known businessman and reality TV star leads among most income groups, too. He’s also ahead among married voters and those with children in the home.

Recognizing that some of the bigger names talked about may not actually enter the race or be successful in the early going, Rasmussen Reports will release additional data tomorrow showing different possible match-ups.

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