The Corner

Preemptive Prez Poll

Over the weekend, I spoke at a conference of conservative college newspaper editors. (We were in San Antonio — I blogged about the visit a couple of times here.) About 130 or 140 were in attandance, representing papers from Harvard and Tufts to Illinois and UC-San Diego. At the end of my remarks on Friday night, I took a poll. Who did they prefer for the Republican nomination in 2012? I gave them a list of ten choices, asked them to make a pick even if they’re truly undecided, and took a show of hands.

The result: Mitt Romney is the clear favorite. Bobby Jindal and Tim Pawlenty were neck-and-neck for second place. The others (Mitch Daniels, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Bob McDonnell, Sarah Palin, Mike Pence, and Gen. David Petraeus) barely registered. Sarah Palin was not popular with this group.

The poll of course means very little. It was hardly scientific and 2012 is far away. But I suspect it represents something. This group is a slice of the conservative movement — younger, active, a bit intellectual. These students will assume leadership roles within it, perhaps soon. If I were a candidate, I’d want to win their support.

For what it’s worth, these results were almost identical to a similar survey I took at the Young America’s Founation conference this summer.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.