Politics

What's In A Name?

Gov. Mitt Romney (AP Photo)

Gov. Mitt Romney (AP Photo)

A new Gallup poll out Tuesday suggests a clear pattern among 2012 GOP presidential candidates and potential candidates - the stronger the name recognition, the more hearty the support.

The new numbers indicate that Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich are the three best-known candidates, and coincidentally -- or not -- they also top the list of Republicans' preferences.

Palin led the field in name recognition at 96 percent, followed closely by Gingrich and Romney at 84 percent and 83 percent, respectively.

But when it came to the candidate voters would choose -- Romney led the way with 20 percent.

Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann are the only other potential candidates with name recognition above 50, and they were also next in line in terms of Republican support.

However it was Herman Cain, despite a lack of name recognition, who generated the highest level of enthusiasm at 24 percent.

The remaining six candidates polled all struggled with name recognition. Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Mitch Daniels, Cain, Jon Huntsman and Gary Johnson all failed to crack the 50 percent plateau in terms of name recognition.

The poll comes on the heels of both Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump decisions not to pursue the White House.