Romney Leads Republicans in Nevada, Huckabee Leads Iowa in Second Poll

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 11, 2011   |   6:40PM   |   Carson City, NV

Mitt Romney leads the potential Republican presidential candidates in a new Nevada poll while the second poll in recent days shows Mike Huckabee ahead in Iowa.

When it comes to the Republican Presidential contest in Nevada, the site of one of the early battles, which Romney won in 2008 handily because of the large percentage of Mormon voters, Romney leads again. He remains well out ahead of the pack with 31% to 19% for Sarah Palin, 18% for Newt Gingrich, and 14% for Mike Huckabee.

The PPP institute, which conducted the poll, says it is good news for Romney, who has not polled well in other state sin which it has conducted polling of the potential candidates seeking the GOP nod to take on pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

“Although Romney has on the whole performed poorly in our 2012 GOP polling of late, it is at least an encouraging sign for him that two of the places where he does do well are the key early states of Nevada and New Hampshire. He’s had a double digit lead every time we’ve looked at the Republican field in this state,” it said of Nevada.

Nevada is also the rare state where Romney draws his strength from conservatives while Palin attracts moderates as Palin’s 22 percent of moderates is about the same level of support as Romney’s 25, but her support with conservatives lags Romney’s on a 34-17 point margin. Newt Gingrich picks up the support of 20 percent of moderates in Nevada.

Meanwhile, in Iowa, Huckabee continues his lead found in a previous poll the other day.

The PPP survey shows him getting 30 percent of the vote compared with 18 percent of Romney, who finished second to Huckabee in 2008. Huckabee won Iowa in 2008 with 34 percent of support from delegates to 25 percent for Romney.

Palin came in third in the PPP survey with 15 percent compared to 13 percent for Gingrich and 6 percent for Ron Paul.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty had the support of 4 percent while 3 percent backed South Dakota Sen. John Thune and 1 percent supported Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.

“In addition to coming out first on the first choice question, Huckabee would also seem to have the most room to grow his support in Iowa. 19% say he’s their second choice to 13% for Palin, 12% for Gingrich, and just 9% for Romney,” the firm said. “If any of the other first tier candidates were to end up not running Huckabee would be the beneficiary.”

Among Gingrich voters he’s the second choice by a 31-14 margin over Romney. Among Palin voters he’s the second choice by a 42-18 margin over Gingrich. And among Romney voters he’s the second choice by a 29-19 margin over Gingrich. The big winner if Huckabee doesn’t end up making the race would be Palin- she’s the second choice of 26% of his voters followed by 16% for Romney.

“The two folks who probably have the most room for concern at this point are Romney and Palin. Romney’s running seven points behind his level of support from 2008 and appears to have little room for growing his support. He has to find a way to deal with a Republican Party that ideologically is moving away from him- for instance with voters who consider themselves to be members of the Tea Party he is in a tie for fourth at 9% with Ron Paul, well behind the rest of the crew,” the firm said.

“For Palin the big question- here and elsewhere- is who’s going to decide to support you later who doesn’t already support you now? She has near complete name recognition and most people have strong feelings about her already one way or the other that she doesn’t seem likely to change. Her key to success in Iowa may be for Huckabee not to run,” it added.