Gallup: Huckabee Leads 2012 GOP Field, Palin Loses Ground For First Time

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For the second straight month, Mike Huckabee topped Gallup’s poll of the 2012 Republican presidential primary. Meanwhile, for the first time, support for a potential Sarah Palin candidacy shrank.

Nineteen percent of self-identified Republican adults nationwide chose Huckabee, who led a crowded slate of potential candidates. Mitt Romney came in second at 15%, followed by Palin (12%), Newt Gingrich (10%), Ron Paul (6%), and Michele Bachmann (5%).

In addition, 4% of respondents said Mitch Daniels was their first choice, while 3% backed Tim Pawlenty, and 2% chose Haley Barbour, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, and Gary Johnson. Donald Trump garnered 1%.Huckabee has increased his standing in each of Gallup’s polls since last September, when 12% of respondents backed the former Arkansas governor. In November, his support rose to 14%, and it ticked up again, to 18%, last month.

Meanwhile, Palin lost support for the first time since Gallup began polling the 2012 field. She had held steady at 16% in the three previous surveys.

The Gallup poll was conducted March 18-22 among 1,000 Republican adults nationwide. It has a margin of error of 4.0%.

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