2012 Presidential Polling: Romney and Huckabee Tied in New Jersey

Bookmark and Share Public Policy Polling, a largely Democrat operation, has released New Jersey poll numbers for the evolving field of Republican presidential candidates. The survey of 400 usual Republican primary voters unites the results of several previous independent polls of Iowa and New Hampshire Republican voters which give Huckabee the lead in Iowa and Romney the lead in the Granite State. PPPs New Jersey survey has Huckabee and Romney tied at 18% each. Not too far behind them are Newt Gingrich with 15% and Sarah Palin with 14%.

The poll proves that the early energy and buzz is behind the former Massachusetts governor and former Arkansas governor but it also demonstrates that neither have a firm hold on that energy as many voters are still interested in other prospects.

A further breakdown of the poll provides Mitt Romney with additional evidence of his biggest reason for not being the clear frontrunner for the 2012 Republican nomination is his inability to consolidate the trust and support of conservatives, the G.O.P.s base. Among those New Jersey Republicans polled who consider themselves conservative, Romney finds himself with a 64% favorable to 19% unfavorable rating, a net positive of 45%. But Mike Huckabee has a net positive favorable of 58 with 70% having a favorable opinion of him and only 12% having an unfavorable opinion. Adding to the bad news for Romney among the base of the Party is the fact that both former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Republican Vice Presidential nominee and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin also have better favorable ratings among conservatives than Romney.

Romneys favorable ratings as they relate to Huckabee, Gingrich and Palin, come from New Jersey Republicans who describe themselves as moderates.

These results come on the heels of a dinner meeting that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had with Mitt Romney on Monday evening at Drumthwacket, the New Jersey Governors Mansion which Chris Chritie has chosen not to live in, but is used by the Governor for offical events.

New Jerseys Republican presidential primary will take place in March and it is a winner-take-all contest that sends 50 delegates to the Republican National Convention.

See the complete results and breakdown below:

  1. Mike Huckabee / Mitt Romney 18%
  2. Newt Gingrich 15%
  3. Sarah Palin 14%
  4. Ron Paul 8%
  5. Tim Pawlenty 4%
  6. Mitch Daniels 3%
  7. John Thune 2%
  8. Someone else/Undecided 19%

Among Conservatives

  • Mike Huckabee 21%
  • Newt Gingrich 17%
  • Sarah Palin 16%
  • Mitt Romney 14%
  • Ron Paul 5%
  • Tim Pawlenty 5%
  • Mitch Daniels 4%
  • John Thune 2%
  • Someone else/Undecided 16%

Among Moderates

  • Mitt Romney 24%
  • Mike Huckabee 13%
  • Ron Paul 12%
  • Sarah Palin 11%
  • Newt Gingrich 10%
  • Mitch Daniels 2%
  • John Thune 2%
  • Tim Pawlenty 2%
  • Someone else/Undecided 24%

Among Men

  • Mike Huckabee 20%
  • Sarah Palin 18%
  • Mitt Romney 15%
  • Newt Gingrich 14%
  • Ron Paul 9%
  • Tim Pawlenty 4%
  • Mitch Daniels 3%
  • John Thune 2%
  • Someone else/Undecided 16%

Among Women

  • Mitt Romney 23%
  • Newt Gingrich 16%
  • Mike Huckabee 16%
  • Sarah Palin 9%
  • Ron Paul 6%
  • Mitch Daniels 3%
  • Tim Pawlenty 3%
  • John Thune 2%
  • Someone else/Undecided 22%

Favorable / Unfavorable {Net}

  • Mike Huckabee 61% / 17% {+44%}
  • Mitt Romney 60% / 20% {+40%}
  • Newt Gingrich 54% / 25% {+29%}
  • Sarah Palin 58% / 33% {+25%}

Among Conservatives

  • Mike Huckabee 70% / 12% {+58%}
  • Newt Gingrich 68% / 15% {+53%}
  • Sarah Palin 72% / 21% {+51%}
  • Mitt Romney 64% / 19% {+45%}
Among Moderates
  • Mitt Romney 53% / 21% {+32%}
  • Mike Huckabee 47% / 24% {+23%}
  • Newt Gingrich 34% / 37% {-3%}
  • Sarah Palin 38% / 48% {-10%}
Among Men
  • Mike Huckabee 61% / 22% {+39%}
  • Mitt Romney 60% / 25% {+35%}
  • Sarah Palin 62% / 29% {+33%}
  • Newt Gingrich 58% / 25% {+33%}
Among Women
  • Mike Huckabee 61% / 12% {+49%}
  • Mitt Romney 61% / 14% {+47%}
  • Newt Gingrich 49% / 24% {+25%}
  • Sarah Palin 53% / 37% {+16%}

Survey of 400 usual Republican primary voters was conducted January 6-9, 2011. The margin of error is +/- 4.9 percentage points. Political ideology: 60% Conservative; 38% Moderate; 2% Liberal.

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Is Chris Christie Preparing to Endorse Mitt Romney for President?

Bookmark and Share New Jersey Governor Chris Christie hosted a Monday evening dinner meeting with a mix of advisers and GOP state Party leaders and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

A spokesman for Governor Christie would not comment on the gathering and Romney aides have not elaborated on it either. Several different sources reportedly deny that any specifics regarding an endorsement in New Jerseys Republican presidential primary were discussed.

But Romney has viewed New Jersey as fertile territory. In 2008 presidential campaign, the former Governor paid a decent amount of attention to the state as he made several trips to the Garden State and worked Republican grass root activists aggressively. At the time, his state campaign chairman was Monmouth County State Senator Joe Kyrillos, a former state Party chairman. Kyrillos most recently served as Governor Chris Christies state campaign chairman.

Over the past few years, Romney has been devoting a great deal of time and making an equally great amount of financial contributions to the campaign efforts of many high level and targeted Republicans. In 2009 he took sides in Chris Christies gubernatorial primary and endorsed the then U.S. District Attorney over his opponent Steve Lonegan.

Now, it looks like Romney is beginning to try to collect on his generous devotion of time and money by seeking the endorsements of those he supported since he ended his pursuit of the 2008 presidential nomination. That year, John McCain received the bulk of New Jerseys Republican establishments support, including that of the State GOP Chairman. The states Governor at the time was Democrat Jon Corzine and he was busy backing Barack Obama. Obama wound up winning New Jerseys Democrat Primary and on the Republican side McCain won with 55% of the vote with Romney coming in a distant second with 28% of the vote.

This time around, Chris Christie reigns supreme and with his high national profile and popularity, the Christie endorsement is one which any candidate for President would relish and not just for the delegate count that he could bring to them from Jersey. For Romney, having Chris Christie return the favor of an endorsement will be a prominent conservative feather to stick in his hat, a feather that Romney is going to a need lot of he wants to make past New Hampshire.

Meanwhile, in the South, Newt Gingrich received an endorsement of his own.

Georgia Governor and Gingrich friend, Nathan Deal respond to reporters questions about Gingrich by saying that if Newt ran for the Republican for the Republican presidential nomination, he would endorse him.

With 29 states now controlled by Republican governors, they will all play pivotal roles in the Republican presidential nominating process. Some like Christie though may play a bigger role than others.

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