One in four Republicans say Mitt Romney is their top choice for the 2012 presidential nomination -- giving him a slight lead over Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday.
Of all the Republicans and Republican-leaning respondents polled, 26 percent favored Romney as the nominee while 21 percent preferred Palin. Nineteen percent favored former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and 14 percent chose former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
While Palin trailed the former Massachusetts governor slightly in presidential preference, the majority of Republicans polled had a more favorable opinion of the Alaska governor than they did of any other GOP candidate.
Seventy-two percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have a favorable opinion of Palin -- compared with 56 percent for Romney and 59 percent for Huckabee, the poll found.
The poll -- conducted July 10-12, 2009 -- surveyed 455 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. The maximum margin of sampling error is +/- 5 percentage points.