Just released today is The Des Moines Register’s poll of people’s opinion of 2012 GOP Presidential prospects.  This poll measured likeability and name recognition, not whether people would vote for them or not.

Not much change from last iowa Poll for Romney or Palin.

The winner of “they like me” sweepstakes is… former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.  He had 62% favorability, 26% unfavorability, and 12% were unsure.

Considering the Iowa Poll of the Gubernatorial Race was off, perhaps they ended up surveying more people in the Branstad camp who would likely lean toward Romney since they are more center than right, but then again they also were overwhelmingly in favor of voting on a marriage amendment.  So the whole poll was kind of hinky. While they care about that perhaps they care more about fiscal issues, and Romney is former business – they like that.  Who cares if he has been a little schizophrenic regarding his fiscal and social conservatism.

He’s got great hair though, and he’s been running for President since John McCain won the nomination.  Forget about the diaster called RomneyCare in his state, focus on the hair.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has a 58% favorability rating, 39% unfavorable rating, and 3% unsure.  The 39% unfavorable again doesn’t surprise me since I think this poll was Romney lover heavy (again basing this on the inaccurate Gubernatorial primary poll).  Since this poll was done before her endorsement of Governor Terry Branstad we don’t know yet the potential impact on her popularity. 

Some say her endorsement is a sign she’s running.  I think she would have been more invested if that were so and would have endorsed in at least one of the three GOP Congressional District primaries.  Perhaps she’ll be more invested in the general election races or perhaps she isn’t running.  Vander Plaats supporters say her endorsement of Branstad will hurt her chances in 2012.  I think voters in South Carolina would disagree, however with her endorsement of likely GOP Gubernatorial nominee Nikki Haley.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich was third in popularity with 56% having a favorable view of him, 33% unfavorable, and 11% are unsure.  He was in Des Moines just last month, and will be coming back in July for Iowa Renewal Project’s Pastors’ Policy Briefing.  This is the same event Governor Mike Huckabee did back in 2007.

Interesting.  He seems to be in great shape.  Some wondered about his political future when he endorsed liberal Republican Dede Scovafazza in the New York 23 Congressional District special election.  He seems to have survived that.  Which makes me think that Palin’s endorsement here won’t cause her any long-term harm if does get in and runs a solid campaign here.

Other possible Presidential prospects Senator John Thune of South Dakota was unknown to 71% of the people surveyed.  Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels was unknown to 80%.  The first surprise of this poll (beyond the love affair with Romney’s hair) was that 53% of Republicans said unknown about Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.  He’s visited the state a couple of times recently, though he (to my knowledge) didn’t really get involved in any of the races either.  All three have some work to do if they plan run in 2012.

The other surprise was the omissions, why would you not poll favorability of 2008 Iowa Caucus winner, former Governor Mike Huckabee?  Also Texas Congressman Ron Paul was missing from this poll, then they didn’t poll on former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum who has made a couple of recent trips to Iowa.

This makes this poll incomplete, and since it’s only 2010 not a good indicator of how the 2012 Caucuses could pan out.  Not very helpful

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