Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who signed sweeping curbs on public unions into law this month, may be emerging as a potential 2012 Republican presidential contender, according to a poll issued on Thursday.

The phone survey by Public Policy Polling of 642 registered voters across the country on March 10-13 found that Walker's favorability among Republican voters was 55 percent positive and 11 percent negative, a spread of 44 points.

That pushed Walker ahead of other possible Republican contenders such as former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who had a 42-point spread with 58 percent positive and 16 percent negative rating, and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who polled 63 percent positive and 23 percent negative, a spread of 40 points.

The poll showed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney with a 21-point spread (47 percent positive, 26 percent negative) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 19 points (49 percent positive, 30 percent negative).

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