Presidential Derby

Polls show Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee leading the GOP field
By: Kevin Derby | Posted: March 26, 2011 3:55 AM

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Two polls released this week revealed that two rivals from the 2008 Republican presidential primaries, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, are in a close battle at the top with the rest of the field trailing. A poll from Pew had Romney at 21 percent and Huckabee right behind him with 20 percent. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin placed third with 13 percent with former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich in fourth with 11 percent. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas took fifth with 8 percent while former Gov. Tim Pawlenty came in sixth with 3 percent. Three candidates -- Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania -- tied for seventh with 2 percent … A poll from CNN had Huckabee topping the poll with 19 percent and Romney at his heels with 18 percent. Gingrich placed third with 14 percent, followed by Palin with 12 percent, billionaire Donald Trump with 10 percent and Paul once again took 8 percent … While North Carolina has trended Republican in recent years, President Barack Obama carried it in 2008 and, according to a new poll, could do so again in 2012. A new survey from Public Policy Polling, a firm with connections to prominent Democrats, showed Huckabee tied with Obama in North Carolina with each candidate taking 45 percent. While Obama had a narrow lead over Romney, beating him 44 percent to 42 percent, he did enjoy a larger margin over two other Republican hopefuls. The poll had Obama beating Gingrich 47 percent to 42 percent and routing Palin 51 percent to 40 percent …

After being criticized for a less-than-stellar announcement of an exploratory committee for the Republican presidential nomination, Gingrich continues to struggle out of the gate. Gingrich said on Wednesday that, if he were president, he would not have intervened in Libya. Gingrich quickly came under fire since, earlier in the month, he backed the establishment of a no-fly zone … Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani continues to leave the door open to making another stab at the Republican presidential nomination. Speaking in Palm Beach on Tuesday, Giuliani warned his listeners not to underestimate Obama and argued that the incumbent will beat the GOP candidate if the Republicans go too far to the right. Giuliani continued to attack Romney for backing a state health-care law during his time in office in Massachusetts … Veteran Republican activist and strategist Fred Karger filed with the FEC to run for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday. Karger has been very active in Iowa and New Hampshire, even running television ads. Karger will head up to New York later this week and then hit New Hampshire next week …

Santorum continues to focus on the early primary and caucus states, making more appearances in Iowa and New Hampshire. He’ll be speaking at the Conservative Principles Conference sponsored by U.S. Rep. Steve King in Des Moines on Saturday before hitting New Hampshire. Santorum will speak at a GOP event in Lincoln on Monday before campaigning in Laconia, Wolfeboro and Concord on Tuesday … Santorum is not the only dark horse who is heading up to the Granite State. Former Gov. Buddy Roemer of Louisiana, who already has set up an exploratory committee, hits New Hampshire later this week … One more sign that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has no intention of running for the Republican presidential nomination? Some of his key political staffers are joining the Gingrich team. Gingrich has hired Rob Johnson, who managed Perry’s re-election campaign in 2010, to be an adviser. Dave Carney, another member of Perry’s past efforts, will be heading up to New Hampshire to work for Gingrich …

Sports handicapper Wayne Allyn Root, who was former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr’s running mate in 2008 on the Libertarian ticket and is very likely to run for the party’s presidential nomination in 2012, is taking the gloves off and hammering Obama. Taking a page from several of the possible Republican candidates, this week Root slammed Obama for focusing on recreational matters ranging from golf to NCAA basketball tournament selections … Former Sheriff Richard Mack, who held office in Graham County, Ariz., and ran for governor of Utah back in 2004, has been raising his profile, speaking at tea party events in Florida and Arizona. While there has been speculation that Mack would seek the presidency in 2012 as a Constitution Party candidate, recent reports indicate that he is more interested in seeking office in Arizona and is contemplating running for the Senate seat currently held by  U.S. Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., who is not seeking a third term in 2012 ... Stewart Alexander, who ran as Brian Moore’s running mate on the 2008 Socialist Party ticket and is now seeking the Socialist Party and the Green Party nominations in 2012, has been leading efforts to impeach U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas this month.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

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4:55AM MAR 26TH 2011
With this slate of Republican Party candidates for the US Presidency, feel sorry for them and our nation. None of them measure up for the job.

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