More than half of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 58%, do not express a preference when asked in an open-ended format -- with no candidates' names read -- whom they are most likely to support for the party's 2012 presidential nomination. Those who do have a preference most often mention Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann.
The July 7-10 poll result illustrates the uncertainty surrounding who the Republican challenger to President Barack Obama is likely to be in the 2012 presidential election. The high level of "no opinion" responses suggests that many Republicans are not highly engaged in the campaign to this point, and may be unclear about who is running. It also could indicate that Republicans who are familiar with the GOP field may not yet feel comfortable backing a particular candidate for the nomination.
Gallup typically reads a list of candidate names when gauging nomination preferences. In the most recent update using this closed-ended approach, Romney was the leading candidate. But even with this method, Gallup finds a fairly high degree of uncertainty, with roughly one in five Republicans not having a preference even after being read a list of the likely candidates. That is a higher percentage of "no opinion" responses than Gallup has found at comparable points in prior GOP nomination contests.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
An Open GOP Race