Rasmussen Poll: Romney Holds Slim Lead On 2012 GOP Field

Lauren Victoria Burke

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%