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Poll Shows Romney And Palin As Front-Runners For GOP Nod In 2012

Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin have the strongest support among potential candidates for the Republican party's presidential nomination in 2012, according to the results of a Gallup poll released on Thursday, with strong showings also turned in by Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich.

The poll of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents showed that 19 percent support Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, while 16 percent support Palin, the former governor of Alaska and the GOP's vice presidential nominee in 2008.

Former Arkansas Governor Huckabee and former House Speaker Gingrich received the support of 12 percent and 9 percent, respectively, while Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., also has a notable following and is supported by 7 percent of those surveyed.

Less well known candidates such as Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., received less than 5 percent support.

Gallup noted that better-known candidates such as Romney and Palin tend to perform better in early tests of support for presidential nominations.

At the same time, the group said that Republicans have historically nominated the early front-runner as the party's presidential candidate.

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