A recent state-wide poll conducted by Public Policy Polling shows the race for the Republican primary for President in Florida “completely up in the air.”
18% – Mitt Romney
18% – Mike Huckabee
18% – Newt Gingrich
15% – Sarah Palin
07% – Michele Bachmann
06% – Ron Paul
06% – Tim Pawlenty
03% - Haley Barbour
Romney, who received 31% of the vote in the 2008 Florida primary, has lost a lot of ground which may prove difficult to recapture for the former governor of Massachusetts.
The PPP poll also sampled for the candidates’ favor-ability rating in The Sunshine State:
81% – Mike Huckabee
73% – Newt Gingrich
71% – Sarah Palin
60% – Ron Paul
59% – Mitt Romney
Floridians like Huckabee. A lot. They just don’t want him to be their president.
But the biggest surprise – or perhaps not – is that one version of the poll showed some actual clarity, while at the same time revealing just how weak the current field of Republican dreamers really are. Apparently, when PPP added former Florida governor Jeb Bush into the mix of possible candidates, a whopping 30% said they would choose Jeb over the rest of the field by at least a 2-to-1 margin.
That says a lot about staying power of the popularity of Jeb, widely considered to be the smartest of the Bush boys. It also says even more about Republican’s chances of reclaiming the White House in 2012: they don’t have one. Especially if their best chance is to try to sell America on a third installment of the Bush family dynasty to a population still reeling from the fall-out of Dubya’s leadership (or lack thereof, depending on your perspective).
But Bush has repeatedly squashed any rumors of a possible run for the Oval Office, so this particular part of the poll, while entertaining as heck, is irrelevant.
Much like Mitt Romney, apparently.
- Mark Christopher