Gallup: PRINCETON, NJ -- Republicans' support for Mitt Romney as their party's 2012 presidential nominee has increased significantly to 24%, compared with 17% in late May. As a result, Romney has widened his advantage over Sarah Palin in the latest update on rank-and-file Republicans' nomination preferences.These results are based on a June 8-11 USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted on the eve of a candidate debate in New Hampshire that will be the first to include some of the better-known candidates.
Romney appears to have gotten a boost in recent weeks after the official announcement of his candidacy. Gallup's prior update of May 20-24 came just after former co-leaders Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump announced they were not candidates for the nomination; that poll showed Romney and Palin in a virtual tie. Since then, Romney's support has increased and Palin's has been flat, leaving Romney with an eight-percentage-point advantage. [MORE]This is rather surprising. Romney has increased his lead despite having his announcement overshadowed and his new embrace of Global Warming. I think there are two factors going on here.
First, I believe Republicans are desperate to see Obama thrown out of office in 2012 and right now they are willing to turn a blind eye to ideological impurities. Currently polls show that Romney can beat Obama. How long will this attitude will last is hard to say. It is one thing to say you will accept any Republican over Obama in the abstract, it is quite another when you actually contemplate what that means.
Second, I believe that Romney's narrative of turning around failed businesses grows more and more appealing as our economy looks like it is beyond repair. This has always been Romney's strongest argument and unless other candidates can prove equally competent on the economy, Romney will own this issue.
Despite these advantages, I do believe Romney's support is only an inch deep. I say this because the establishment is hell bent on not nominating a true conservative. If Romney falters against any of the conservatives, I do believe that the establishment will swing behind Pawlenty, Huntsman or any other moderate Republican. I do believe Romney knows this too. This is probably why he isn't taking any chances with the Iowa Straw Poll.
Tonight's debate will be very telling of how strong Romney's support is. All will be gunning for him for sure. Pawlenty looks like he ready to tangle with Mitt and it will be fascinating to see how Romney does against the strongest conservative in the field, Herman Cain.
Via: Gallup Poll
Via: The Washington Post
Via: Hot Air