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

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%.