Birther Boost? Donald Trump Tops GOP Field In Latest Presidential Poll
The results of the CNN poll showed Huckabee and Trump tied with 19 percent of the vote. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin finished third in the poll with 12 percent, while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney were both tied at fourth with 11 percent apiece.
"The Donald" nearly doubled his support from a month ago in the CNN poll, when just 10 percent of respondents said they supported his candidacy. Huckabee's percentage points remained unchanged from the previous month when the same poll was conducted. In that span of time, Romney dropped seven percentage points in the poll.
"Are Republicans switching from Romney to Trump? Some are, but it's a lot more complicated than that, as you would expect with 11 potential hats in the ring," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Only one in five Trump supporters say that Romney would be their second choice. It looks like Trump pulls as much support from Gingrich and Palin as from Romney, and Romney's support would go down even if Trump were not in the list of potential candidates."
Still, the news wasn't all good for Trump. Just 56 percent of respondents said they would like Trump to run for president, compared with 72 percent who support a Huckabee candidacy and 66 percent who want Romney in the race. "More than four in ten Republicans say they would not like to see Trump toss his hat in the ring," said Holland.
According to CNN, a contributing factor in Trump's rise in the polls may be his numerous appearances in the national media recently. Trump has been in the national spotlight in the past month because of his questioning over whether President Obama was born in the United States.
"If Trump is rising in the polls because of the amount of air time he has gotten, it would be difficult to tell whether his gains are due to what he is saying or simply due to his increased visibility. In a field of more than a dozen potential candidates, all air time is good air time," said Holland.
Trump has said he will decide by June whether to run, while Huckabee has said he will wait and make his decision later in the year. Romney just announced yesterday that he will form a presidential exploratory committee.