WASHINGTON, April 21 (UPI) -- Real estate developer and TV personality Donald Trump is the most visible possible Republican presidential candidate, a poll of U.S. adults indicated.
Trump was named by 26 percent of U.S. adults surveyed as the GOP presidential prospect they'd "heard most about," the Pew Research Center's News Interest Index indicated.
He was followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 9 percent, 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 4 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 2 percent and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty both at 1 percent, the poll said.
Among Republicans, Trump was known by 39 percent, followed by Romney at 12 percent, Palin at 4 percent, Huckabee at 3 percent and Gingrich and Pawlenty each at 1 percent.
Twenty-three percent of Democrats and 25 percent of independents said they'd heard most about Trump, the poll indicated.
Fifty-three percent of all respondents could not name anyone when asked which GOP candidate they'd heard most about, the poll indicated. The figure was 38 percent among Republicans, 61 percent among Democrats and 50 percent among independents.
The 2012 race was overshadowed by the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, rising oil and gasoline prices and Washington's budget deficit and national debt debate, a separate Pew analysis indicated.
The deficit debate accounted for 31 percent of all U.S. news coverage -- more than any other major topic -- and 14 percent of news interest, while the presidential race accounted for 2 percent of coverage and 4 percent of interest, Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism analysis indicated.
Rising oil and gas prices accounted for 1 percent of coverage and 22 percent of interest.
The News Interest Index survey polled a nationally representative sample of 1,015 continental U.S. adults April 14-17. The margin of sampling error was 4 percentage points for the overall population, 7.5 points for Republicans, 7 points for Democrats and 6.5 points for independents.
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