Most of these new numbers from Gallup are about what we would expect — a figure like Sarah Palin probably has very high favorable ratings among some Republicans and very high unfavorables among others. One might expect Huckabee to score a little lower, as he rankled some fiscal conservatives during his 2008 bid, but in this type of poll, I’ll bet his all-around likability carries him a long way. As we would expect, this early in the cycle, big and bold personalities are leading the field and the lesser-known technocrats are far behind. That’s nothing for them to worry about… yet.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee leads the field of possible GOP presidential candidates in “positive intensity” among Republicans nationwide with a score of +25 among Republicans who are familiar with him, followed by Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota with a score of +20. Huckabee is recognized by 87% of Republicans, compared with Bachmann’s 52%. A number of other possible Republican presidential candidates trail these two in Positive Intensity Scores, including Sarah Palin, who is the best known of the group.
These findings are based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted between Feb. 28 and March 13 with more than 1,500 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationwide rating each of 12 potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates. Gallup now tracks these candidates’ images on a daily basis, and will report aggregated results on Gallup.com on a weekly basis.
Gallup asks Republicans whether they recognize each potential candidate and, for each one they recognize, whether they have a strongly favorable, favorable, unfavorable, or strongly unfavorable opinion of that person. Gallup calculates a “Positive Intensity Score” for each person rated, based on the difference between strongly favorable and strongly unfavorable opinions among those who are familiar with him or her. This score provides an indication of the intensity of support among a candidate’s base of followers at any given point in the campaign.