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Plurality picks Romney as strongest GOP pick

A plurality of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll say former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would be the strongest Republican candidate in a 2012 race against President Barack Obama.

With the Republicans’ success at the polls in the midterm elections, speculation about the upcoming race and the 2012 GOP presidential nomination has intensified. So far, no leading candidate officially has announced his or her intention to seek the Republican nod.

When asked to choose among a field of potential candidates, 21 percent selected Romney. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was favored by 15 percent of respondents.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin garnered 9 percent of the vote. And 8 percent picked former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Romney also led a recent national Gallup poll of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, with 19 percent. Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee each received 16 percent. In the RBJ poll, 6 percent picked Huckabee as the strongest candidate.

More than 665 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted Nov. 15 and 16.

In your opinion, who would be the strongest Republican presidential candidate in 2012?
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: 21% 
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: 15% 
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin: 9% 
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani: 8% 
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia: 7% 
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: 6% 
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal: 6% 
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: 5% 
Rep. Ron Paul of Texas: 5% 
Sen.-elect Marco Rubio of Florida: 4% 
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty: 4% 
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels: 3% 
Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina: 2% 
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina: 2% 
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour: 1% 
Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania: 1% 
Indiana Rep. Mike Pence: 1% 
South Dakota Sen. John Thune: 1% 

Here are some comments from readers:

This country needs a leader who has experience at leading and knowledge of economic principles. Romney has both.
—Robert Zinnecker, Penfield

I picked Huckabee for this poll, but I also like Ron Paul. We need positive leadership, something the GOP hasn’t had since Ronald Reagan.
—Vinny Dallo, New York Life

Sarah Palin, just for the comic relief during the debates.
—Michael Verrastro, Mossien Associates Architects

Christie appears to be the non-traditional politician the Republicans need to rally behind to cement what was started this past election as being the party for common sense and real reform!
—Peter Short, J.J. Short Associates Inc.

Why didn’t you mention Gov. Rick Perry of Texas? He is a current governor in a state with an unemployment rate lower than the national average, a low tax structure, a strong economy, a pro-business environment, and he is intimately familiar with the problems facing our national borders. He seems to be a fiscal conservative and moderate on social issues. Too many of your candidates either have baggage from their previous lives in politics or don’t have the experience in governing. There is a new breeze blowing. Catch it.
—Dave Iadanza, Farmington

Surely the answer in the current political climate is “the one with the most money”?
—Richard Stevenson, co-founder and CEO, CobbleSoft International Ltd.

Ron Paul would be the best candidate for president for 2012 from either party. We need an independent-thinking president who does not have any allegiances to either party, and Ron Paul exhibits this quality. Just think about how much better New York State would be today if Tom Golisano had been elected governor or how much better shape the United States would be in today if Ross Perot had been elected president. Ron Paul is made from the same mold as these two other fine men.
—David Belcher, LeRoy

McCain would be better than any of these choices.
—Joanne Greene-Blose, the Project Solvers of America Inc.

Whoever gets chosen (hopefully Newt), where were all of these good candidates two years ago when we needed them?
—Daniel Mossien, architect

The Republicans need to focus on getting and grooming good candidates for 2012. There are good people out there, and they need to start speaking up and getting to know the public, quickly.
—Peter Caines, Penfield

Yikes—the evil of many lessers!
—Rob Bick

I was hoping retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal would throw his hat in the ring. His comments about Obama not being prepared for a high-level strategy session (that got him retired) would be a good way to start the debate about presidential qualifications. Then compare leadership qualifications; talk about commitment, honor, sacrifice, integrity and service to our country. Then throw in Obama’s track record on honoring the Constitution, and you would have our next president!
—Lou Romano

Chris Christie took on the entrenched Democrats in New Jersey and won. He’s winning over more people, too. We could use a strong dose of Christie’s pay-as-you-go philosophy, backed by strong implementation.
—Clifford Jacobson, WebHomeUSA.com

Paul Ryan.
—Devon Michaels, Chili

None of the above. I suggest Mickey Mouse.
—B. Nolan

Come on people! Ask again in the spring of 2012. Any number of these people will fall or rise sure as the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening. Except in Alaska when it barely sets in the summer and barely rises in the winter. That may have implications for Sarah Palin but not as a presidential qualification.
—Jim Weisbeck, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

(c) 2010 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.

One comment

  1. Romney? Seriously? This country needs a leader, and Ron Paul has stepped up to the plate and batted it out of the park. Ron Paul is all over the news all the time stating the same things he has said for years, and he is right.

    Ron Paul is the man that we need at the helm of this country. He has far more experience and knowledge than Romney, Palin, and Christie put together. On top of that, he respects the Constitution this country was founded on and won”t step all over it like our current and former President have.

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