New Poll Shows Mitt Romney With Clear Lead After Huckabee, Trump Withdrawals

In addition to the Gallup poll that Steven Taylor took note of earlier, Suffolk University is out with a new poll taken after the Huckabee and Trump announcements that appears to show Mitt Romney as the front runner:

BOSTON – With Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump declaring they are both out of the running for president of the United States, Mitt Romney has become the clear front-runner among Republican primary voters nationwide. The former governor found support from 20 percent of all likely GOP primary voters. Among voters of all parties, Romney was the closest of the Republican challengers tested to catching President Barack Obama (Obama 46 percent vs. Romney 43 percent).

In the GOP primary, Romney’s 20 percent was followed by Sarah Palin (12 percent), Newt Gingrich (9 percent), Rudy Giuliani (7 percent), Ron Paul (5 percent), Michele Bachmann (4 percent), Herman Cain (4 percent), Mitch Daniels (4 percent), Tim Pawlenty (3 percent) and Rick Santorum (3 percent), with 20 percent undecided. Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson and Buddy Roemer all received less than 1 percent.

“With Huckabee and Trump out of the race, the whole dynamic has changed,” said David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Boston’s Suffolk University. “Romney is the clear front-runner now; that’s a position he’ll have to be prepared to defend over the coming months.”

It’s still early, and the usual caveats apply, but one possibility here is that many of the Huckabee supporters are sitting on the sidelines for now and waiting to see what happens before backing a candidate,  hence that 20% undecided number.Things are likely to get much more interesting in the coming weeks.


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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Have a nice G.A. says:
  2. TG Chicago says:

    Giuliani is in fourth? Weird.

  3. I saw that Patrick, but the methodology of that poll seems screwy to say the least

  4. john personna says:

    Shorter: Nature abhors a vacuum.

  5. Neil Hudelson says:

    Rudy Giuliani (7 percent)

    More than all the candidates’ numbers, this one blows my mind. I hope Fred Thompson pulls in a few percentage points, and maybe Wendell Wilkie too.

  6. A voice from another precinct says:

    @G.A.: While poling likely self-identified conservative primary voters may show a lot about the conditions of the GOP, I’m not sure that the result shows anything other than that self-identified conservatives may not recognize what will make a candidate electable in the larger arena of the general election. Again, 11/2012 is a long way off, but right now the election is still the GOPs to lose, and they seem to be on track.

    Personally, I like Herman Cain as much as I like any of the GOP contenders available, but I liked Pat Buchanan in 1988, too, but wouldn’t have voted for him. I like a lot of people because they are principled, but wouldn’t vote for them because their principles won’t work well to meet the needs of the country. Herman Cain is just another of those. For that matter, I felt the same about Obama; turns out I was right about the not working well part and wrong about the principled part–you just never know…

  7. Rick Almeida says:


    Re: that poll linked above.

    This poll is based on an online survey conducted between May 12 and May 14. The sample size was 871 voters, drawn from a panel of 2,500 people identified as conservative Republicans and likely primary voters.

    Non-random sampling, with no information about sample selection. There’s no way to determine whether or not these results have any validity.