Poll shows Huckabee most popular GOP presidential candidate

14:47, January 11, 2011      

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U.S. Republican Presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee delivers his morning speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington Feb. 9, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

by Matthew Rusling

While the 2012 U.S. presidential elections are still two years away, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is so far the frontrunner among potential Republican candidates.

Huckabee scored highest on favorability among Republicans nationwide, at 30 percent, in a pool of potential GOP candidates for 2012, according to a Gallup poll released on Monday.

Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich came in second, at 24 percent, followed by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, with 23 percent. Then came 2008 vice presidential candidate and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, with 22 percent.

But while the Arkansas governor beat Palin in the popularity category, Palin remains the most recognized of the group of 13 potential GOP candidates, with 95 percent of respondents saying they recognized her name. Huckabee scored the second highest in that category, with 87 percent.

Gingrich and Romney are also widely recognized by Republicans, each with 84 percent on recognition, according to Gallup.
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