More and more, it looks like Mitt Romney holds the most weighty combination of popularity and staying power in the 2012 Republican presidential primary.
The race is now led by Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, and Romney, according to the latest national polls. No other candidate really reaches into the top tier. Here's a list of results from three recent major polls:
Gallup, April 15-20 Huckabee 16% Trump 16% Romney 13% Palin 10% Paul 6%ABC/Washington Post, April 14-17 Romney 16% Trump 8% Huckabee 6% Palin 5% Paul 2%CNN, April 9-10 Huckabee 19% Trump 19% Palin 12% Gingrich 11% Romney 11%
Romney's average places him clearly in the top three, well ahead of Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul. There is separation in the 2012 race, and the top tier of Trump, Huckabee, and Romney enjoys much better numbers than the rest of the field.
State by state, Romney performs well, though no major firms have published Iowa or New Hampshire polls since Trump's arrival on the 2012 scene.
In Iowa, American Research Group shows Romney placing a close second to Huckabee. In New Hampshire, a new Dartmouth poll shows Romney vastly outperforming other Republicans in head-to-head matchups with President Obama. Romney handily leads the GOP field in Florida, according to Suffolk University and Mason-Dixon.