Rasmussen Poll: Romney Holds Slim Lead On 2012 GOP Field

Lauren Victoria Burke
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Fresh off dominating the New Hampshire straw poll over the weekend, Mitt Romney got another boost to his presidential aspirations in the form of a new national Rasmussen poll that shows the former Massachusetts Governor leading his potential competition for the GOP nomination.

In the poll, 24% of respondents went for Romney, while 19% supported Sarah Palin, and 17% said Mike Huckabee was their top choice. Newt Gingrich came in fourth at 11%, followed by Tim Pawlenty (6%), Ron Paul (4%), and Mitch Daniels (3%). An aditional 16% said they were either undecided or planned to vote for another candidate.[TPM Slideshow: Meet The 2012 GOPers: Mitt Romney]

The results are a slight improvement for Romney since Rasmussen last polled the question in November. In that survey, Romney still led the field at 20%, though Huckabee and Palin each trailed him by just one point, at 19%.

Romney is hardly the consensus front runner. Though the more well-known Republicans –Romney, Palin, Huckabee, and Gingrich — have consistently lead in primary polling, there’s a lot of fluidity in where they stand within that top tier. Two polls last week placed Huckabee well ahead of the crowd, while Palin topped a PPP survey in late November.

Further, with a year to go before the first votes are cast, there’s still plenty of time for a lesser known contender to leapfrog the current frontrunners.

The Rasmussen poll was conducted January 18 among 1,000 likely Republican voters nationwide. It has a margin of error of 3.0%

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