Mike Huckabee may be picking up steam heading into the 2012 presidential primary, as a new poll finds him well ahead of the other potential challengers just two months after he placed fourth in the same survey. It’s the second poll this week to find the former Arkansas governor leading the GOP field.
In the poll, 24% of Republican voters said Huckabee was their top choice for the party nod. Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney trailed by 10 points each at 14%, while Newt Gingrich trailed further behind at 11%. Tim Pawlenty led the second-tier candidates at 8%, followed by Ron Paul (7%), Mitch Daniels (4%), and John Thune (1%.)
Huckabee’s support has grown eight points since PPP last polled the question in November. At that time, Palin led the pack at 21%, with Gingrich and Romney close behind at 19% and 18% respectively.While Huckabee has surged in the poll, support for Palin and Gingrich has dropped off considerably. Gingrich’s support has fallen by eight points since November, while Palin’s has fallen by seven.
Meanwhile, Pawlenty inched up four points in the poll, edging past Ron Paul. Pawlenty, a former governor of Minnesota, usually polls in the low single digits, but he’s currently on a national book tour that is raising his profile.
Earlier this week, an ABC-Washington Post poll also found Huckabee in the lead, though by a much slimmer margin. In that poll, 21% of respondents said Huckabee was their guy, while 19% supported Palin and 17% supported Romney.
The PPP poll was conducted January 14-16 among 515 Republican voters. It has a margin of error of 4.3%.