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May 25, 2011

Palin, Pawlenty Stand to Gain with Others Dropping Out

Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich formally threw their hats in the ring for the Republican nomination for the 2012 election while Mike Huckabee and Mitch Daniels recently bowed out.

Daniels cited family concerns in his decision not to run. "On matters affecting us all, our family constitution gives a veto to the women’s caucus, and there is no override provision,” Daniels said. “Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties. I love my country; I love my family more."

Despite strong poll numbers, Huckabee’s victory in the Iowa caucuses in 2008, and calls for him to run, Huckabee said he could not run without confidence that he was doing it with “God's full blessing.”

"I don't expect everyone to understand this, but I am a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ. And that relationship is far more important to me than any political office. For me, the discussion and decision is not a political one, not a financial one. It's not even a practical one. It's a spiritual one,” Huckabee said.

Huckabee was polling well among GOP voters, particularly evangelicals and social conservatives who are key in early primary states like Iowa and South Carolina. A poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press suggests that Sarah Palin would be the most likely to scoop up Huckabee's support, if she ran. In March, Pew asked GOP voters who they wanted in the presidential race. Huckabee received 20 percent support among Republican voters. He did even better (29 percent) among evangelicals in the GOP.

The Pew poll also asked who voters second pick was. By using Huckabee supporters second pick, the poll finds that support for Sarah Palin is the most likely to increase. With Huckabee out of the race, support for Palin could increase from 13 to 19 percent. Support for other candidates also increased but not more than the margin of error; the increases could be due to chance.

Palin's support increases even more among evangelicals. Originally, with Huckabee in the field of candidates, Palin was tied with Mitt Romney for second. Each received around 15 percent among these voters. With Huckabee gone, Palin is the top-choice among evangelicals in the GOP with 25 percent support and Romney's support barely increased. Palin did not receive the same support among mainline Protestants, where Huckabee's support spread evenly across all candidates. Because the number of evangelicals in the poll is small (182), the jump in support for Palin should be taken with some caution.

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Of course, Palin is not officially a candidate for the Republican nomination, and many insiders do not consider her a likely candidate. Instead, supporters who like Palin may find tea party favorite Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) to their liking. Bachmann is a kind of mini-Palin. Both share many beliefs, and both find support among both religious conservatives and tea party activists.

Bachmann is expected to do better with Huckabee gone, at least to political insiders.  The latest National Journal's Political Insiders Poll finds that political operatives predict that Bachmann, Romney, and Pawlenty as the most likely to do better with Huckabee out. 

According to the poll, a plurality of both Democratic and Republican political operatives see Pawlenty most likely to gain from Huckabee's exit. Pawlenty is similar to Huckabee in both tone and ideology. Like Huckabee, Pawlenty is an evangelical. Indeed, the former Minnesota governor attends the church pastored by National Association of Evangelicals president Leith Anderson. Pawlenty has yet to show that he has strong support among GOP voters, often polling in the single-digits in polls. 

 

Editor's Note: The Pew Research Center for People and the Press (Pew) provided Christianity Today with a religious breakdown of questions from the poll. However, CT is responsible for all analysis and interpretation of the results. Pew identifies evangelicals as white, non-Hispanic Protestants who described themselves as "born-again or evangelical." Around 18 percent of Americans are evangelicals by this definition. The margin of error for each religious group is larger than for the sample as a whole. The results are descriptive; religious differences could be due to partisanship, ideology, income, or other factors.

Comments

If the beltway GOP will be the one choose a 2012 republican nominee, it will assure Obama's re-election.

Christian Brothers and Sisters,

Before we start getting all excited about Sarah Palin, let's not forget she has proven herself to be a quitter, and our country simply deserves someone better. Tim Pawlenty will try to court Iowa christian conservatives but the man has no substance. He is an empty-suit professional politician much like Mitt Romney, except for the fact that he is not a Mormon like Romney.

Ron Paul is a protestant with deep religious convictions (much like many of the Founding Fathers), is 100% Pro-Life (having delivered 4,000 babies as a doctor), has been married to the same woman for 53 years, and is running for president to Restore America's freedom and prosperity for all of us and the coming generations of people. Ron Paul is a man who should appeal to anyone who calls himself/herself a christian conservative.

Sarah selflessly resigned when the frivolous ethics suits cost Alaskans over a million dollars and in effect shut the executive branch of the government in Alaska down.

Sarh made the proper decision to put Alaskans first knowing that it could end her career.

Servant of the people.

She will make an excellent President and has the courage and executive experience to do an immensely better job than O has.

With the news of Bannon's movie "The Undefeated" opening in Iowa, along with the confirmation that the Palins have purchased the house in Scottsdale, AZ, it is obvious she is running.

She will also be a pro-life, humble, and Christian alternative for Gov. Huckabee's supporters.

Game on!

"The pundits are wrong. Conventional wisdom is wrong. Sarah Palin's decision to step down as Alaska governor was a brilliant move." -- Willie Brown, Democrat and ex-speaker of the California State Assembly on July 12, 2009.

And Willie KNOWS what he is talking about as he is one of the shrewdest most effective politicians CA ever had.

Insiders, inshmiders.

"Insiders" thought Presley was best suited to drive a truck; Marilyn Monroe's talents would be as a secretary; the Beattles music ( in 1961) belonged to a bygone era; the atomic bomb was a scientific impossibiity;
no one would pay to hear actors talk, and Secretariat could not run a mile and a quarter.

A few observations:

Raymond, could you please come back with an original criticism of Palin and resist the temptation to judge people who do not live up to whatever arbitrary standards you believe should be applied by the rest of us?

Sapwolf: After a meeting with Palin, Bill Clinton, who knows a thing or two about politics warned the left--everyone actually--not to underestimate Palin and declared she had "formidable" political instincts.

It astonishes me that people who never even ran for dogcatcher or homeroom president so easily dismiss Clinton and rely on their emotions, which they actually believe represent absolute truth rather than their own biases and prejusdices.

Either way, there's no way Obama's going to lose. I hope the Republican nominee is Palin because then he'll win over 400 electoral votes.

If Sarah even so much as runs for presidency - let alone becomes one... well says the saying "only in America". Hey I think a woman president would be nice too - but perhaps someone who is well educated, understands the political landscape outside the US (she is indicative of typical American parochialism ), preferably someone who can locate well known nations on a map, some one who believes in the bible is fine - just not a loony fundamentalist would be nice.
I just don't get it. Obama has a name that sounds Muslim = evil. A little more progressive = evil (I am not saying I agree with all his views or policies as a conservative Christian). Meanwhile Palin just affrims her rightwinged American Christian beliefs (not the adjective) and she has a serious chance. Sometimes the US is more medieval than it realises.