Right Wing News 2012 Political Poll Results And Analysis

Yesterday, I polled RWN’s readers on the following question:

If the 2012 Republican primary were today, which of these candidates would you vote for?

The results were a surprise, not because of who came in first, but because of the huge margin and how weak the rest of the field turned out to be in comparison to the front runner:

1) Sarah Palin: 46% (284 votes)
2) Dick Cheney: 8% (52 votes)
3) Bobby Jindal: 8% (51 votes)
4) Mitt Romney: 7% (45 votes)
5) Rick Santorum: 4% (25 votes)
6) Ron Paul: 3% (24 votes)
7) Tim Pawlenty: 3% (24 votes)
8) Newt Gingrich: 3% (23 votes)
9) Haley Barbour: 2% (17 votes)
10) Mike Pence: 2% (14 votes)
11) Rudy Guiliani: 2% (14 votes)
12) Mike Huckabee: 2% (13 votes)
13) Jeb Bush: 1% (12 votes)
14) John Thune: 1% (8 votes)
15) Lou Dobbs: 0% (0 votes)

Quick thoughts:

* Sarah Palin is the biggest political rock star in the Republican Party.:  She fires up the base and her book tour and Facebook assault on Barack Obama have been a huge success. She certainly has more work to do on her image, but were she to run, she would be a force to be reckoned with.

* Bobby Jindal’s stock seems to have really plunged after one weak TV performance. This time last year, he would have probably pulled three times as many votes.

* Going into 2012, Mitt Romney is probably going to be the choice of the establishment. His weakness isn’t a total shocker, since he is not a man who fires up conservatives, but it is a bit of a surprise to see that he didn’t even get into double digits.

* Rick Santorum? I like him, but an incumbent who lost by 17 points to a charisma-free empty suit like Bob Casey, Jr. doesn’t have the chops to be a presidential nominee.

* Dick Cheney will be 71 in 2012 and has heart problems. Ron Paul? He’ll be 77 in 2012. Ehr…no.

* Pawlenty, Thune, and Barbour’s poor showings may have more to do with weak name recognition than their actual quality as candidates. If they choose to run, they’ll have plenty of time to introduce themselves to the base.

* Newt’s in 8th place? That Dede Scozzafava endorsement turned out to be one hell of a mistake.

* People do know a little bit more about Pence. The fact that he’s drawing 2% on a conservative blog despite his fiscal conservative credentials is a strong signal that he simply may not have the charisma to run for the top slot — and perhaps also an indication that people haven’t forgotten his backdoor amnesty plan.

* Rudy and Huckabee ran in 2008 and many conservatives branded both men as RINOs. Huckabee has been more politically active than Rudy since then, but he seems to have done little to: turn around his image with the base.

* Jeb Bush’s name certainly does get mentioned surprisingly often when 2012 candidates come up. I say surprisingly, because even I might vote for a third party if another member of the Bush clan were to run as the GOP’s presidential candidate — so, I’m glad to see that there is so little enthusiasm for him as a 2012 nominee.

* Lou Dobbs. 0. Wow. Seldom in politics do you see someone get exactly the amount of support that he deserves; so this is a rare event.

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