“No Opinion” Is The Most Popular Choice Among The GOP’s 2012 Candidates

Obama may be in trouble in 2012, but Republicans are still searching for that candidate who can unite the party.

Washington (CNN) – As the Republican presidential primary race continues its slow march out of the gate, a new poll suggests likely GOP voters are significantly less satisfied with the potential field of contenders than they were four years ago.

Less than 50 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents give positive marks to the still-in-flux GOP presidential field, down markedly from 2008 when nearly two-thirds said they were happy with that cycle’s crop of candidates, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

And in another sign no potential candidate has yet to register momentum within the party, only former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney scored in the double digits (16 percent) when likely Republican voters were asked who they would support in the primaries and caucuses. The answer “no opinion” by contrast was the response of 33 percent of respondents, while an additional 12 percent said flatly “no one.”

After “no opinion,” Mitt Romney and “no one” comes Donald Trump at 8%, and then Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin tied at 6%.

Putting a positive spin on it, you could say the race is wide open. Put I’m not sure how much of a positive spin you can put on this.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • SigFan

    Of those who have announced so far only Herman Cain has a strong appeal to me. The rest, even Trump, are simply retreads and will not be the person to bring about the kind of unity the Republicans need to win. While I think all of those that are currently in the field have some merits, too many of them also have too much baggage to gain the kind of support that will be needed to push Obama out.

    • Neiman

      Cain is not known on the national stage. Name familiarity and comfort level are key factors.

      • SigFan

        I agree – though I think that Cain will gain more attention as time passes. Like you, I do like Paul Ryan, but he hasn’t officially entered the fray to my knowledge.

        • Neiman

          We agree on both counts and I don’t think Ryan will run.

      • Lianne

        Neither Clinton nor Obama were known on the national stage before being elected. The democrats might be unto something about the magic of the unknown.

        • Neiman

          Maybe you are right, but from the very first there has been something about Cain that tells me he cannot go the distance. I don’t know how to explain it other than he does not seem to generate “Star” quality and that is absolutely critical in any national campaign, by a populace that grew up with the movie/rock stars as candidates; and while we would like to think the people would vote for the man with the best ideas/policies, the man with the best credentials, I think most of America are far to shallow to vote based solely on substance and ability, they want to be entertained and fall in love with the candidate. While it started much earlier to some degree, I saw that up close with JFK and it was only because of Vietnam that Nixon was elected and Carter because of Nixon and then it turned again to Reagan the ultimate star. Bush was supposed to reflect some of Reagan’s glory and then Billy Jeff, Bush to a lessor degree because he seemed handsome and human, then Lord Obama.

          Cain does not look young, hip, no rock star and while he can speak well, understands the issues and has solid conservative credentials IMO it is not enough. If you want to be right then Cain may be your man, if you want to win back the White House – sorry, I don’t see it happening with Cain.

          • Lianne

            The core of the problem is that republicans and conservatives are who they are. The democrat party ‘creates’ a persona and it is sold to America by the media. Clinton and Obama are two shining examples. Now, I am not saying Republicans are pure; they are politicans after all. But,we don’t take everything at face value. It is not in our nature. We may need a bigger than life figure to get rid of Obama. I am open to many choices right now. I am not discounting anyone.

  • Neiman

    Without a solid leader the party will not unite and Obama gets his second term in a cake walk, better the devil you know will be the response.

    This is the problem in my opinion: Beyond my usual list of personal charisma and communication skills in this media era, having no big skeletons (sandals) in the closet, the candidate most of us are looking for has to have solid conservative credentials and values (yes, unimpeachable moral/family values too), that candidate must be willing to defend limited government, deficit/debt reductions and not sound like a heartless loon in the process. Which is why I am leaning towards Ryan, he has all the conservative credentials, the knowledge, the ability to communicate and offer solid economic policies in human terms, he has the looks and the charisma, what I do not know is what skeletons he has lurking in his closet.

  • Baron Guard

    Herman Cain is definitely my man. What absolutely baffles me is how ANY one who calls themselves a Republican or a Conservative could possibly support the (potential) candidacy of Donald Trump. If one reads up on the guy, he is quite literally a LIBERAL DEMOCRAT masquerading as a Conservative.

    • Lianne

      He has changed from pro-choice to pro-life and Allen West has said he would be Trump’s running mate. Can you hear the meekness in my voice?

    • Neiman

      If it were lying Trump the business man or lying Obama the Marxist?

      I agree about Trump, but he will not wear well with America – such enormous egos never do.

    • borborygmi

      Trump is the stealth candidate put in place by the DNC. He will keep everything mucked up and even if he wins the DNC wins. Sneaky. As he pursues the birther agenda he will maximize the extreme right thus painting the Republicans in kind while minimizing the Independants pushing them over to the Dems. GOP kiss your hineys goodbye. No one can out showboat Mr. Showboat. Thank you Donald.

  • Jamermorrow

    I know so many conservatives that have got turned off by the Republican party. It is hard to look at these people’s voting records and vote for them. Republicans almost need a non politician with no voting record to run.

  • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

    Please Sarah, talk some more in front of the camera, unscripted. Please! Go for it Sarah!! Your sheep need a shepherd.

    • Jamermorrow

      From your point of view it would be great if Palin go the nomination because she would get owned in the election and debates.

      • borborygmi

        The fact the The Don will speak his mind should scare the hell out of candidates in a debate. He might be able to get people off of generalities and get something more specific. This could be a really fun year. Now if they could get Beck, Rushbo, Hannity, Levin and OReilly to moderate….
        I guess that wouldn’t work those egos in the same room would suck all the air out.

        • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

          O M G!
          Can you just imagine Donny, Michele, Mama Grisly, Newt and Alan Keys slugging it out month after primary month?

          Huck will look semi sane by default.

          I’m a birther.
          No! I’m the true birther.
          No, I’m a birther you’re not a birther.
          You’re no birther, I’m a birther.

          • borborygmi

            Yep how to out conservative the other conservatives. Poor Michelle just had the conservative rug pulled out by the guy who looks like he wears a rug.

          • borborygmi

            Trump will just tell them all to STFU and threaten them with private investigators digging through their garbage. They all better have there birth certificates ready.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            I would never hire a Muslim
            Well I won’t let a Muslim work in Politics
            Yeah but I don’t think Muslims are a true religion so they should be denied tax exempt status!
            Muslims are all terrorists who want to instill Sharia law and I will have none of that when I am elected president

            *cheers and standing ovations*

            Oh, it’s going to be good!!

          • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

            Like nothing we’ve ever seen before.

          • borborygmi

            “Can you just imagine Donny, Michele, Mama Grisly, Newt and Alan Keys slugging it out month after primary month?”
            Thats just the warm up act…….. Then Ron Paul takes the stage……….Half of them drop a load in their shorts FOX News can’t understand how Rob Paul wins the straw poll. Hannity sits there looking as if someone just peed in his coffee…. Beck is over here drawing circles….. It is going to be fun.

      • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

        I think Palin can stick to the talking points in debate, it’s going off script that throws her. When a reporter goes where debates don’t is when shell unravel, without information to scour or enough hand space to provide her answers.

        • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

          Huh. Unlike Obama. Nice to have two teleprompters instead of having to rely on hand-space. You’re too funny.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Flamer, please show me where Obama has ever melted down as Sarah Palin had during an interview. Surely there are dozens to select from, no?

            We certainly have more than enough screeching and melting down from Palin to last more than a lifetime.

            You big dope.

          • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

            You poopy person.

          • robert108

            So, you’re comparing obama to a woman? Sounds about right.

  • borborygmi

    I wander if they all come out on the stage for the debate in one of those clown cars…..They keep piling out.1,2,3,…..7,,9,,,10 debaters except for Trump , he is driven onto stage, nice stretch limo, lights music from Rocky../…..

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