In a hypothetical campaign matchup, 47% of all voters would like to see President Obama reelected in 2012 while 37% support a generic Republican candidate. Who that candidate will be is still very much in question at this early stage of the slow-starting GOP presidential primary campaign. Among possible candidates for the nomination, four receive support from more than 10% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters: Mitt Romney (21%), Mike Huckabee (20%), Sarah Palin (13%) and Newt Gingrich (11%). With 8% support, Ron Paul separates himself from the remainder of lower-tier candidates, among which Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Rick Santorum, Haley Barbour and Chris Christie all receive support in the low single digits. Romney and Huckabee are first or second among Republicans, independents who lean Republican, conservatives, Tea Party supporters, men, women and among all age groups. There is little separation between the two amid any of these demographic groups. Romney does outpace Huckabee 27% to 16% among voters with more than $75,000 in family income, though. And Huckabee continues to have a strong base of support among evangelical Protestants, who support him over Romney by a 29%-to-15% margin. Huckabee also fares well with Catholics (who support him 27% to 16% over Romney) and all Republicans who attend church weekly (30% to Romney’s 17%). Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.