PRINCETON, NJ — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is the best known and most positively rated of five possible contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Her 76% favorable rating among Republicans is higher than those for Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Bobby Jindal. Huckabee and Gingrich have similar 64% to 65% favorable ratings among Republicans, Romney has a lower 54% rating, and Jindal, less well known even to Republicans, has the lowest positive rating of the five.
None of these politicians has officially announced a bid for the 2012 Republican nomination, although Gingrich has recently indicated that he is thinking seriously about it. Still, the other four have maintained visible public profiles: Palin, Huckabee, and Romney, through media appearances and endorsing 2010 GOP candidates for Congress; and Jindal, in managing his state’s response to the Gulf oil spill. All but Jindal have political action committees that have been actively raising money in recent months. At this point, Palin, Romney, and Gingrich have similar unfavorable ratings among Republicans, while Huckabee’s and Jindal’s are slightly lower.