Former preacher and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa Repub presidential caucuses in 2008, continues to look strong there in the latest polling, even though it’s not at all clear that he will run.
The same poll, by Public Policy Polling, has little encouragement for the two Minnesotan who are pursuing White House aspirations.
In the most inclusive matchup, (based on 419 interviews with Iowa Republicans late last week) PPP found support breaking down this way:
“27% of Republicans name Huckabee as their first choice compared to 16% for [Mitt] Romney, 14% for [Donald] Trump, 9% for Newt Gingrich, 8% for Sarah Palin, 6% for Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul, and 5% for Tim Pawlenty.”
Despite his enduring strength in Iowa, Huckabee seems less likely to actual seek the 2012 Repub nomination than the others on that list (Palin also unlikely, and who knows how seriously to take Trump?). So PPP tried another version of the horserace question, leaving out Huckabee and Trump, and found…
“…In a Huckabee and Trump free field Romney leads with 25% to 15% each for Paul, Palin, and Gingrich, 10% for Bachmann and 9% for Pawlenty. If you take Palin out of the field too Romney stands at 28% to 19% for Gingrich, 16% for Paul, 15% for Bachmann, and 9% for Pawlenty.”
As always, I preach great doses of salt, even more than usual in a case like this, with the caucuses seven months away, the field unknown and the ability to screen for likely caucus participants barely notional.