Former U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee visits the illegal Israeli West Bank settlement outpost Givot Olam, August 18, 2009. Huckabee is on a three day visit to Israeli and the West Bank as the honored guest of the right-wing religious settler group Ateret Cohanim. He said today that he endorses Israeli settlements in the West Bank and is against the establishment of a Palestinian state. UPI/Debbie Hill | License Photo
PRINCETON, N.J., Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has the highest favorable rating among possible Republican 2012 presidential candidates, Gallup reported.
While Huckabee has the highest favorable score, Americans said former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was the most recognized, results released Monday indicated.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are also widely recognized by Republicans and have favorability numbers similar to Palin's, the poll said.
Overall, Huckabee's favorable score was the highest of the 13 potential candidates included in the survey, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said. Palin, Gingrich and Romney have similar net favorable scores.
Five of the potential candidates are relatively well known among Republicans nationwide, with Palin leading the candidates with 95 percent recognition. Huckabee, Gingrich, and Romney are recognized by between 84 percent and 87 percent of Republicans, while Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is recognized by 73 percent.
Other Republican politicians tested in the poll were Govs. Haley Barbour of Mississippi and Mitch Daniels of Indiana; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum; former Govs. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, John Huntsman of Utah and Gary Johnson of New Mexico; Indiana Rep. Mike Pence; and South Dakota Sen. John Thune.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, not included in the Gallup survey, indicated he isn't interested in running for president in 2012, and that's fine by a majority of Texans, a poll conducted for the state's major newspapers indicated. Results indicated nearly two-thirds of Texas voters oppose a Perry bid for the White House. No indication of when the poll was conducted, its survey sample or margin of error was given in two Texas newspapers.
Results for the Gallup poll were based on nationwide telephone interviews conducted with 923 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents Tuesday and Wednesday. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.