Christie, Gingrich, Daniels and Romney Top New Jersey Presidential Straw Poll

Bookmark and Share At a gathering of Republican candidates, campaign managers, staffers and grass root activists, White House 2012 and Building the New Majority sponsored New Jerseys first Republican presidential straw poll for the 2012 election and the winner was their own Governor, Chris Christie.

Of the 196 voters who participated, 19.8% named Governor Christie their first choice for the Republican presidential nomination. Coming in second was former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich with 12.5%, followed by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney with 9.4% each, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee 7.3%, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush 6.3%, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty 5.2%, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin tied at 4.2%.

The Garden State Republican Presidential Straw Poll consisted of 25 of the most often mentioned names and likely contenders in the emerging Republican field. Due to the large size of the still developing field and the likelihood that some, if not many of those names on the ballot may not run, or may not make it to the New Jersey primary, unlike most traditional straw polls, the White House 2012/BTNM ballot also asked New Jersey Republicans who their second choice for President was. The big winner here was Mitt Romney who was the second choice of 20.8% of voters. This conclusion is quite important given the fact that Governor Christie has repeatedly denied any interest in running for President in 2012.

Following Romney in this second choice category was Sarah Palin, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, each with 8.3%, Mike Huckabee 6.3% and Mitch Daniels 5.2%.

Click here to read raw numbers

A third question on the ballot asked voters to describe their place on the ideological scale within the Republican Party. None of the respondents described themselves as liberal but 75%, or 144 of the participating voters called themselves conservative, and the remaining 48 (25%), described themselves of moderate.

Among self described conservatives, a majority of 15.3% named Chris Christie as their first choice for the presidential nomination and 23.6% of them named Mitt Romney as their second choice for the nomination. As for moderates 33.3% of them also declared Christie to be their first choice but their second choice for the nomination was Rudy Giuliani who took that position with 25% of the vote from moderates.

See complete results below this post

The poll was conducted by White House 2012 and Building the New Majority amongNew Jersey Republicans who participated ina recent seminar sponsored by Building the New Majority and the Family PolicyCouncil that took place in Parsippany, New Jersey.

While these results are by no means a sure sign of how the New Jersey Republican presidential primary will turnout less than a year from now, it does offer a good glimpse at where the energies and enthusiasm of the activist base of the states G.O.P. lie. These results demonstrate to me, that at this stage in the game, if Chris Christie is true to his word about not running for the nomination, Mitt Romney looks good in New Jersey. Romney worked the Republican base and Party activists pretty well in 2008, and while minds are by no means made up yet, his efforts of the last campaign for president are giving him a slight advantage in New Jersey in the coming election.

As indicated by the numbers, the results were influenced by a largely conservative vote, but a strong conservative influence is likely to dominate New Jersey’s actual presidential primary. How much has yet to be seen.

The Raw Numbers

Who is your FIRST CHOICE for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination?

Who is yourSECOND CHOICE for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination?

Do you consider yourself to be a liberal, a moderate, or conservative Republican?

  1. Conservative 144 75%
  2. Moderate 48 25%
  3. Liberal 0 0

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