Another national presidential horserace poll now shows a surge by Donald Trump, with the real estate mogul tied for first with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee among Republicans surveyed.
According to the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey, Trump and Huckabee are the first choice of 19 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin coming in at third with 12 percent.
But the one trait those three top-runners – making up exactly 50% of the first choice candidates of those polled - have in common? They all seem much less likely than other GOP competitors to actually mount a run for president.
While Trump could certainly deploy his news-cycle monopolizing publicity if he decided to run, the requirement that candidates publish a lengthy financial disclosure statement could preclude the business magnate from participating in the race.
Huckabee, who enjoyed a meteoric rise to national prominence during the 2008 election, would have to give up a lucrative television presence to run again in 2012. (Huckabee has reportedly been meeting with potential financial donors, although he has made clear that he will not make a decision on a run until this summer – far later than most of the more well-organized candidates in the race.)
And Palin, who has taken a much less high-profile role in recent months, appears to have made few formal moves towards a run so far. Additionally, her perch as a top conservative female candidate has been increasingly occupied by Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. (Bachmann stood at five percent in the CNN survey.)
According to the CNN poll, regardless of whether they support her, 53 percent of Republicans say they would like to see Palin run while 47 percent would prefer she sit the 2012 contest out. The numbers are similar for Trump, whom 56 percent of GOP-affiliated respondents would like to see run, compared to 43 percent who would rather see the coiffed tycoon stay in the private sector.
More than seven in 10 Republicans would like to see Huckabee run.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who announced the formation of an exploratory committee yesterday, had the support of 11 percent of the poll’s GOP respondents, as did former House Spekaer Newt Gingrich.