Iowa leads the presidential race with a star poll this year and the first caucus vote of the 2012 Republican presidential primary early next year.
Another new survey, a national one produced by Gallup, shows Huckabee enjoys a better name ID and is more well-liked than other potential Republican presidential hopefuls.
Last time around, Huckabee finished in first place with a surprising victory over his better-funded and better recognized opponents. Should he run again, he now enjoys a 99% name recognition in the state and will likely have a better fundraising apparatus in place to make himself a viable contender in the Midwest state that is home to a large contingent of pro-life and conservative Republican voters.
The poll found former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who shifted to a pro-life position before the 2008 presidential election, in second place with the support of 19 percent of Iowa Republicans.
Sarah Palin, the pro-life former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, holds the third spot with the support of 11% while pro-life former House Speaker Newt Gingrich comes in fourth with 8 percent.
The big gainer in the poll is pro-life former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who appears to be the first of the candidates with little name recognition lower in the polls to make a break towards the top tier. He receives 4 percent support from Iowa GOP voters after spending considerable time in the state.
Pawlenty, who served two terms as governor in the state to the north of Iowa, has just a 64 percent name recognition — whereas Romney, Palin and Gingrich have almost a 100% name ID. That gives him a chance to continue to improve his standing in the state as his name recognition increases.
The new poll shows former candidate and current congressman Ron Paul with 3 percent, pro-life Rep. Michelle Bachmann, also of Minnesota, with 2 percent, and both pro-life Rep. Mike Pence and pro-life Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour with one percent each.
The poll also looked at the second choice of Iowa GOP voters and Huckabee received 36 percent to 28 percent for Romney, 22 percent for Palin, 19 percent for Gingrich and 7 percent for Pawlenty. Paul got 6 percent, Bachmann 5 percent and Pence and pro-life South Dakota Sen. John Thune received two percent apiece.
Paul’s name ID among Iowa Republicans was 89 percent and Pawlenty came in 5th in name identification. Bachmann came in at 60 percent, pro-life former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum received 58 percent, Barbour 52 percent, Thune 43 percent, Pence 38 percent, pro-life businessman Herman Cain 20 percent, and New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson received 13 percent.
Looking at the national Gallup survey of Republicans, Huckabee has a net-favorability rating of 30 percent when subtracting the percentage of voters with a negative view of him from the percentage with a positive view.
Gingrich has a 24 percent net favorable rating while Romney has a 23 percent one and Palin has a 22 percent net favorable.
Pence, former China ambassador John Huntsman, Paul, Santorum and Thune all have net ratings in the teens.
The Gallup survey also showed the top tier of Huckabee, Romney, Palin and Gingrich enjoying much higher name identification than the rest of the potential field — making it appear any polling data released now will show results based on name identification rather than strong support.
The bad news in the new national survey of Republicans for Gingrich and Palin are the high negative numbers both potential presidential candidate have among Republicans, and voters of all political stripes. That makes it less likely they will capture the Republican nomination and bodes poorly for their general election prospects against pro-abortion President Barack Obama.
Among GOP voters, 8 percent say they strongly disfavor her while just 1 percent say the same about Huckabee.
The Gallup poll was conducted Jan. 4-5 among 923 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents interviewed by telephone. The Neighborhood research survey was conducted January 3-8 in Iowa.