CNN reports:Republicans' support for Mitt Romney as their party's 2012 presidential nominee has increased significantly to 24%, compared with 17% in late May. As a result, Romney has widened his advantage over Sarah Palin in the latest update on rank-and-file Republicans' nomination preferences.These results are based on a June 8-11 USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted on the eve of a candidate debate in New Hampshire that will be the first to include some of the better-known candidates.
Romney appears to have gotten a boost in recent weeks after the official announcement of his candidacy. Gallup's prior update of May 20-24 came just after former co-leaders Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump announced they were not candidates for the nomination; that poll showed Romney and Palin in a virtual tie. Since then, Romney's support has increased and Palin's has been flat, leaving Romney with an eight-percentage-point advantage.
One day before a CNN/WMUR/New Hampshire Union Leader Republican presidential debate, a new national poll suggests that when it comes to the next election for the White House, Republicans put winning over ideological purity.
According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Sunday morning, three-quarters of Republicans and GOP leaning independent voters say they want a party nominee who can defeat President Barack Obama in 2012, even if that person doesn't agree with them on every issue. That's up seven percentage points from January.
Read full results (pdf).
Only 24 percent say that they want a candidate who agrees with them on every issue even if that person may not be able to beat Obama next year, down five points from the beginning of the year.
The poll also indicates that the two best-known potential GOP presidential hopefuls - Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani - are also the ones with the highest favorable rating among Republicans.
"That may explain why they feel they can wait before throwing their hats in the ring," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.