A recent Fox poll vividly illustrates how little support or momentum any potential Republican presidential candidate has yet acquired. This should not be viewed as a particular cause for concern for Republicans — it’s still 10 months until the Iowa caucuses and 19 months until the showdown with President Obama — but it does highlight the degree to which Republican voters seem to be hoping that other candidates will enter this crucial race.
The poll shows that George Will’s “five plausible Republican presidents on the horizon” — Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, and Haley Barbour — are the choice of fewer than one in four Republicans (23 percent), even when taken in combination. In fact, Will’s quintuplet has combined for only the same level of support as the duo of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump (also 23 percent — 12 percent for Palin, 11 percent for Trump). The comparatively high tally for Trump is perhaps the leading indicator of GOP voters’ thirst for new entrants.
According to Fox’s poll, no potential nominee has the support of even one-sixth of Republicans: Mike Huckabee leads with only 15 percent, followed by Romney (14 percent), Palin, and Trump. Moreover, the level of support for each of the top-3 has fallen since July, by between 5 (Palin) and 8 (Romney) points. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani (9 percent, down 4 points since July) and Newt Gingrich (7 percent, down 2) are the only other Republicans with even 5 percent support. Pawlenty has only 4 percent, Daniels 3, and Huntsman and Barbour 1 apiece. In short, every candidate — save Trump — is either falling off or else enjoys the support of less than 5 percent of GOP voters.
The poll did not ask respondents about Paul Ryan or Chris Christie.