A new poll among WND readers shows former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas the leading choices to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, with some fresh political faces, including two blacks, very close behind.
The unscientific survey asked the question, "Who's your choice for Republican presidential nominee in 2012?"
With more than 2,500 people taking part in the WND poll, Palin topped the list of 26 named potential candidates, collecting 289 votes and 11 percent of the total at posting time, with Paul also at 11 percent, gathering 278 votes.
Though she hasn't declared whether she'll run for the White House, Palin noted on her Facebook page yesterday that "2012 can't come soon enough."
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She labeled President Obama "The $4-Per-Gallon President," taking the commander in chief to task for allowing gasoline prices to surge.
"His war on domestic oil and gas exploration and production has caused us pain at the pump, endangered our already sluggish economic recovery, and threatened our national security," Palin said. "Energy is the building block of our economy. The president is purposely weakening that building block and weakening our country."
Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Allen West and Herman Cain are among the top vote-getters in today's WND poll asking, "Who's your choice for Republican presidential nominee in 2012?" Click the image to see the entire list of results.
Two possible contenders were close to the frontrunners in the survey.
Rep. Allen West of Florida and former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain each collected 10 percent.
In his WND column this week, Cain sounded like a presidential candidate, stating, "After a jam-packed week of nearly 20 speaking and listening events in Texas, Iowa and New Hampshire, I hear a consistent message from people. They are so concerned about the lack of leadership in the White House and Congress that they are now scared for our future."
He said, "People are also sick of this budget nonsense going on in Washington," and concluded that citizens "are viewed as sheeple. The sheeple are starving for leadership. As a man named John put it during an in-home New Hampshire event last week, November 2012 will be the 'end of an error.'"
Coming in behind the top four names was the response, "I have no idea right now," which was in a virtual tie at 8 percent with Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
In seventh place with 7 percent of the vote was Marco Rubio, the newly elected U.S. senator from Florida, who earned high praise from talk-radio giant Rush Limbaugh yesterday, who took note of Rubio's objection to the budgetary gamesmanship taking place in Washington.
"Marco Rubio says, 'What is this continuing resolution crap? I didn't come in here to fund the government every two to three weeks,'" Limbaugh paraphrased on his program. "I wish the guy would run for president."
Tied for eighth place with 5 percent each are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – who has claimed he could defeat Obama in 2012 but has no interest in running – and billionaire developer Donald Trump, who recently slammed the Obama White House for ignoring his offer to build a $100 million ballroom at no cost to taxpayers.
Rep. Allen West, R-Fla.
"Whether I'm a Republican or an independent or a Democrat, they never got back to me," Trump lamented. "If I was a Republican, they should do it anyway. They should say 'Trump's gonna give us $100 million, he's gonna build a ballroom, it's gonna be magnificent!' And why wouldn't they get back to me? That's the problem with this country. It's like no common sense."
What may be surprising to some is how low some very well-known names placed in the WND poll.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, for example, collected just 4 percent, finishing just ahead of former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and the unnamed response of "I'm desperately hoping another name comes along," all taking 3 percent.
Former Govs. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, both of whom ran unsuccessfully for the 2008 Republican nomination, were far down the list at just 2 percent.
Rand Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Bobby Jindal, Mitch Daniels, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Gen. David Petraeus were near the bottom of the survey each collecting 1 percent.
Failing to register even a single percentage point were Haley Barbour, John Thune, Bob McDonnell, Scott Brown and Lindsey Graham.
Reacting to the results, one online comment from "TreyJ" noted, "I find it hilarious the top four vote-getters on this poll, are the top four that would be impossible to get elected on this list. You all do realize that it takes more than [tea-party] votes to win an election. What is the use of having someone getting 100 percent of the far-right vote if you end up losing?"
Another commenter was not too particular concerning which Republican gets the nomination, stating: ""Anyone, as long as they try Obama for high treason."