With the Republican field for the 2012 presidential nomination still in flux, the two major candidates who ran for president in 2008 -- Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee -- receive the most backing among GOP voters nationally.
Romney garners the support of 19 percent of Republicans and Huckabee 17 percent, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday. The next group of candidates is bunched together: Sarah Palin at nine percent, Donald Trump at eight percent, and Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul receive seven percent a piece.
Earlier this month, Huckabee was at 15 percent among Republican voters, Romney 14 percent, Palin 12 percent, Trump 11 percent and Gingrich 7 percent (April 3-5).
Among voters who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement, Huckabee (19 percent) and Romney (17 percent) are still the top two choices, followed by Palin (10 percent) and Trump (10 percent). No other contenders receive double-digit support.
Overall, voters have mixed feelings about Trump’s entrance on the political stage. Setting aside whether they would support Trump in an election, 47 percent like his straight talk and the message he sends to the world, while the same amount -- 47 percent -- don’t like his style. Among Republicans, 66 percent like Trump’s straight talk; that increases to 80 percent among Tea Partiers.
By a wide 24 percentage-point margin, more voters have a negative than a positive view of Trump (33 percent favorable and 57 percent unfavorable). Republicans, however, are more likely to have a favorable (46 percent) than an unfavorable (41percent) opinion of Trump. Some 53 percent of voters have a favorable view of Barack Obama, and 44 percent unfavorable.
Would voters be proud to have the outspoken businessman and reality television star in the White House? In a word, no. While 33 percent would be at least somewhat proud if Trump were their president, most -- 62 percent -- would not. By comparison, the results are almost the exact opposite for Obama: 65 percent are proud to have him as their president and 33 percent aren’t.
Nearly half of voters would feel proud to have a President Huckabee (47 percent proud, 38 percent not) or a President Romney (46 percent proud, 39 percent not).
After raising questions about Obama’s birth certificate and hiring investigators to look into it, Trump is taking credit for Obama releasing a copy of his “long-form” birth certificate Wednesday. The poll asked voters, setting aside how they felt about where Obama was born, has the president been trying to hide something about his upbringing and his past? Some 33 percent say yes, Obama is trying to hide something, while a 61 percent majority says no, he isn’t.
The poll was taken Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, so some interviews were conducted before and some were after the president released his birth certificate.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 911 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from April 25 to April 27. For the total sample, it has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Mike Huckabee is the host of “Huckabee” on Fox News Channel, and Sarah Palin is a Fox News contributor.