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This week’s Daily Caller – ConservativeHome presidential poll confirmed what just about every poll has shown lately: Mitt Romney has jumped out ahead of the others. But it also shows that Romney isn't exactly the heartfelt favorite. The poll, conducted on the eve of last night’s New Hampshire debate, shows that when Chris Christie is added to the mix as a potential candidate, support for Romney drops.
When asked who they find to be most electable, respondents overwhelmingly selected Romney. The top results look like this:
30% - Mitt Romney
15% - Chris Christie
12% - Herman Cain
10% - Sarah Palin
8% - Michele Bachmann
8% - Tim Pawlenty
Of the people on the list, who do you think is most electable in 2012?
We continue to leave Chris Christie on our list as an important gauge on voter sentiment, since Christie has continued to poll well despite his claims that he is not running. Romney’s electability numbers would likely be higher were Christie left off.
Bachmann, who came across as poised and well-informed in the NH debate, will likely see a bounce in coming weeks, especially since she has now formally announced. As the numbers show, Cain came into the debate with high marks in voters’ minds. Those may dip after last night’s performance.
What becomes especially interesting is to turn from the question about electability to voters’ first choice for President. Leaving Christie on the list has a profound effect on Romney. Here is how respondents in our poll choose their first pick:
16% - Herman Cain
14% - Chris Christie
14% - Sarah Palin
13% - Mitt Romney
9% - Michele Bachmann
Of the people in the following list, who would be your top pick for President in 2012 (assuming he/she is running)?
We have also included Paul Ryan on the list, despite his denials of interest in running, and he turns in a respectable 7%. Without Christie and Ryan on the list, Romney’s numbers would likely jump. What is also clear is that Newt Gingrich’s disastrous start to his campaign has knocked him down from previous strong showings. And Tim Pawlenty continues to poll far below the level one might expect given his strong rollout, outbid by Rick Perry, whom we included given the recent interest in him.
We also asked respondents: Of the following people who have said they are NOT running for President in 2012, who do most wish WAS running?
While nearly 48% said they didn’t care that any of the following had dropped out, the rest responded this way:
25% - Mike Huckabee
12% - Mitch Daniels
7% - Mike Pence
6% - Haley Barbour
3% - John Thune
The poll included 751 members of the Republican Panel, assembled for ConservativeHome by YouGov, and was conducted between June 9-12, 2011.