With the 2010 elections now behind us, the political world is already shifting to discuss what will happen with the 2012 presidential race. While President Obama is weak right now, one thing that could save him would be if Republicans nominate a dud to challenge him. Right now, while various candidates have their constituencies, there isn’t one candidate who really gets a broad spectrum of Republican voters fired up. Sarah Palin has her intense supporters, but Hunter Baker’s post yesterday is reflective of the doubts many conservatives have about her as a presidential candidate. Mitt Romney has RomneyCare. Mike Huckabee is distrusted by economic and to some extent national security conservatives, not to mention his problem with pardoning criminals. Newt Gingrich has lots of personal baggage. Tim Pawlenty is seen as too dull, and though he’s positioned himself as more of a conservative in the past few years, his earlier reputation for being more liberal (such as one-time support for cap and trade) will hurt him.
A new CNN poll of the Republican field reflects this — Mike Huckabee leads the pack with 21 percent support, Mitt Romney is at 20 percent support, Sarah Palin is at 14 percent and Newt Gingrich is at 12 percent. The rest of the field is in the single digits.
In a head to head race vs. Obama, Huckabee leads 52 percent to 44 percent, Romney leads 50 percent to 45 percent, Gingrich trails 49 percent to 47 percent, and Obama leads Palin 52 percent to 44 percent.