May 4, 2011 - Ok For Romney, Huckabee But No Way For Palin, Trump, U.S. Voters Tell Quinnipiac University National Poll; No Clear Leader In Gop Presidential Pack

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By healthy margins, American voters say they would consider or be enthusiastic about backing former governors Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee for president, but 58 percent would never support Sarah Palin or Donald Trump, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

The independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University asked American voters if they are "enthusiastic" about a candidate; would consider voting for the candidate or would never vote for the candidate. Results are:
	        Enthusiastic     Would consider voting     Would never vote
Huckabee          13%                      34%                      32%
Romney            15%                      38%                      26%
Palin             15%                      24%                      58%
Trump              9%                      26%                      58%
Newt Gingrich      9%                      29%                      42%
Ron Paul          10%                      25%                      27%
Michele Bachmann   6%                      21%                      29%


"It is difficult to get a handle on the 2012 Republican race. Many contenders are not well known and many who are known are not liked, making their candidacies problematic. You could call this the 'No Way' measure," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are in the best shape. Sarah Palin and Donald Trump suffer from the reality that, as our mothers told us, 'You never get a second chance to make a first impression.'"

When Republicans and independent voters leaning Republican name their 2012 presidential primary preference, Romney gets 18 percent, with Huckabee and Palin at 15 percent each and Trump at 12 percent. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul have 5 percent each.

Two Minnesotans, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, get 4 percent each.

"This measurement is deceptive, because some who rank high have little upside due to their high negative," said Brown. "Many of the relative unknowns could have large upsides if they can get out their messages, since they will not have to erase a bad first impression. It is always easier to make a good first impression than to change an existing negative one.

"Comparing those who say they would never vote for a candidate versus those who say they would consider voting for the candidate and those who are enthusiastic is a good way to view a candidate's growth potential."

Budget, Deficit, Unemployment

Voters favor cutting unemployment over reducing the deficit 54 - 35 percent, but in another question, 47 percent say reduce unemployment while 46 percent say reduce spending.

Half of the 1,408 voters surveyed were told Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and defense comprise 60 percent of the federal budget; the other half was not told. Yet responses were similar. Voters who were told of the 60 percent figure oppose limits to entitlement growth:
  • 70 - 27 percent against limiting Medicare; 75 - 23 percent among those not told;
  • 72 - 26 percent against limiting Social Security; 72 - 24 percent among those not told;
  • 57 - 40 percent against Medicaid limits, compared to 59 - 38 percent.
Voters informed of the 60 percent figure support cuts in defense spending 54 - 43 percent, while voters not told split with 47 percent for defense cuts and 49 percent opposed.

"So much for the idea that if the public only understood the budget numbers they would be much more amenable to reductions," said Brown. "Except for defense spending."

Voters back 69 - 28 percent raising taxes on households earning $250,000 or more. They say 60 - 34 percent that Medicare should remain as is, rather than giving seniors money to buy private health insurance beginning in 2022. Gradually raising the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67 by 2033 is a good idea voters say 51 - 46 percent. But moving responsibility for Medicaid to the states is a bad idea, voters say 54 - 38 percent.

From April 26 - May 1, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,408 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. (Republican & Republican Leaners) It is a long way off but I would like to ask you some questions about the 2012 Presidential election.... If the 2012 Republican primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Gary Johnson, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, and Donald Trump, for whom would you vote?
                     REPUBLICANS......
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
Palin                15%    11%    20%
Huckabee             15     16     13
Gingrich              5      6      5
Romney               18     20     15
Daniels               5      6      4
Pawlenty              4      5      3
Paul                  5      6      4
Bachmann              4      6      1
Johnson               1      -      1
Santorum              1      2      -
Huntsman              1      1      1
Trump                12      9     15
DK/NA                15     12     19
 
TREND: (Republicans and Republican Leaners) If the 2012 Republican primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Gary Johnson, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, and Donald Trump, for whom would you vote? (*na=not asked in survey reported)
                     REPUBLICANS...
                     May 04  Nov 22
                     2011    2010
 
Palin                15      19
Huckabee             15      17
Gingrich              5      15
Romney               18      18
Daniels               5       2
Pawlenty              4       6
Bachmann              4      na
Johnson               1      na
Santorum              1      na
Paul                  5      na
Huntsman              1      na
Trump                12      na
Barbour              na       2
Thune                na       2
SMONE ELSE(VOL)      na       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)     na       1
DK/NA                15      17
 
 
8a. SPLIT SAMPLE A - Sarah Palin Turning to the November 2012 general election for President I am going to name some candidates who might run for President in 2012, and for each one I read tell me whether you ... A) Would never vote for that candidate B) Would consider voting for that candidate C) Would enthusiastically vote for that candidate D) Haven't heard enough about the candidate to say yet E) If you have never heard of someone I name, please just say so
Sarah Palin          Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
A) Never             58     24     91     58     54     61
B) Consider          24     42      2     29     29     20
C) Enthusiastically  15     31      3     10     15     15
D) Hvn't hrd enough   2      1      2      2      1      3
E) Never heard of     1      1      1      -      -      1
REFUSED               1      1      -      1      1      -
 
 
9a. SPLIT SAMPLE A - Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney          Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
A) Never             26      3     50     25     22     29
B) Consider          38     53     21     39     44     32
C) Enthusiastically  15     32      2     11     17     13
D) Hvn't hrd enough  11      5     11     15      7     14
E) Never heard of    10      6     15      9     10     11
REFUSED               1      1      -      -      -      1
 
 
10a. SPLIT SAMPLE A - Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
A) Never             42     12     72     42     43     42
B) Consider          29     53      5     31     31     26
C) Enthusiastically   9     19      2      6     12      7
D) Hvn't hrd enough  11      8     13     11      9     13
E) Never heard of     7      7      9      8      5     10
REFUSED               1      1      -      2      -      2
 
 
11a. SPLIT SAMPLE A - Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
A) Never             29      9     50     29     31     27
B) Consider          21     38      3     22     28     14
C) Enthusiastically   6     13      1      4      8      4
D) Hvn't hrd enough  17     18     13     21     13     22
E) Never heard of    27     21     33     23     20     33
REFUSED               -      -      -      -      -      0
 
 
12a. SPLIT SAMPLE A - Gary Johnson
Gary Johnson         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
A) Never              9      3     17      8     11      7
B) Consider           9     16      3      7     12      5
C) Enthusiastically   2      1      -      4      2      2
D) Hvn't hrd enough  27     30     25     26     26     28
E) Never heard of    53     50     55     55     49     57
REFUSED               -      -      -      -      -      -
 
 
8b. SPLIT SAMPLE B - Jon Huntsman Turning to the November 2012 general election for President I am going to name some candidates who might run for President in 2012, and for each one I read tell me whether you ... A) Would never vote for that candidate B) Would consider voting for that candidate C) Would enthusiastically vote for that candidate D) Haven't heard enough about the candidate to say yet E) If you have never heard of someone I name, please just say so
Jon Huntsman        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
A) Never             12      3     20     11     12     12
B) Consider          12     19     10     10     14     11
C) Enthusiastically   2      3      -      4      3      2
D) Hvn't hrd enough  24     32     17     25     24     23
E) Never heard of    49     40     53     51     46     52
REFUSED               1      2      -      -      1      -
 
 
9b. SPLIT SAMPLE B - Tim Pawlenty
Tim Pawlenty         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
A) Never             20      5     36     15     19     20
B) Consider          16     28      7     14     18     14
C) Enthusiastically   6     15      -      4     11      3
D) Hvn't hrd enough  22     23     18     29     23     21
E) Never heard of    35     25     39     37     28     41
REFUSED               1      3      -      -      1      1
 
 
10b. SPLIT SAMPLE B - Mitch Daniels
Mitch Daniels        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
A) Never             17      5     31     12     17     16
B) Consider          15     22      7     20     18     12
C) Enthusiastically   4     10      -      1      6      2
D) Hvn't hrd enough  22     27     18     25     24     20
E) Never heard of    42     34     44     42     33     50
REFUSED               1      2      -      -      1      0
 
 
11b. SPLIT SAMPLE B - Ron Paul
Ron Paul             Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
A) Never             27     11     46     25     25     29
B) Consider          25     40     12     27     32     20
C) Enthusiastically  10     17      3      9     15      5
D) Hvn't hrd enough  19     19     17     22     16     20
E) Never heard of    18     10     22     16     10     24
REFUSED               1      3      -      -      1      1
 
 
12b. SPLIT SAMPLE B - Mike Huckabee
Mike Huckabee        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
A) Never             32     10     53     29     31     32
B) Consider          34     51     18     37     37     32
C) Enthusiastically  13     28      -     14     18      9
D) Hvn't hrd enough  11      7     13     12     10     12
E) Never heard of     9      2     15      7      4     14
REFUSED               1      2      -      1      1      1
 
 
13b. SPLIT SAMPLE B - Rick Santorum
Rick Santorum        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
A) Never             22      3     40     19     23     21
B) Consider          15     31      5     13     19     12
C) Enthusiastically   4     10      1      3      8      2
D) Hvn't hrd enough  23     28     21     24     25     21
E) Never heard of    35     28     34     41     26     44
REFUSED               -      -      -      -      -      0
 
 
14b. SPLIT SAMPLE B - Donald Trump
Donald Trump         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
A) Never             58     32     81     59     55     61
B) Consider          26     44      9     28     28     25
C) Enthusiastically   9     17      2      8      9      8
D) Hvn't hrd enough   4      5      4      3      6      3
E) Never heard of     1      -      2      2      1      2
REFUSED               1      2      1      -      2      1
 
 
34a. SPLIT SAMPLE A What do you think is more important - Reducing the federal budget deficit or reducing unemployment?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Reducing deficit     35%    52%    20%    35%    38%    31%
Reducng unemplymnt   54     40     64     57     51     57
DK/NA                11      8     16      8     11     12
 
TREND: What do you think is more important, reducing the federal budget deficit or reducing unemployment?
                     May 04  Jan 18  Jul 22  Feb 11
                     2011    2011    2010    2010
 
Reducing deficit     35      31      30      23
Reducing unemploy    54      63      64      71
DK/NA                11       6       6       6
 
 
34b. SPLIT SAMPLE B What do you think is more important - Reducing federal government spending or reducing unemployment?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Reducing spending    46%    67%    24%    45%    47%    45%
Redcing unemplymnt   47     29     69     46     47     48
DK/NA                 7      4      7      9      6      7
 
 
43a. SPLIT SAMPLE A INTRO TO QUES 43a-46a About sixty percent of the federal budget goes toward defense, social security, medicare and medicaid. Please tell me whether you would support or oppose each of the following in order to reduce the federal budget deficit. Would you support or oppose - cutting the growth of spending on Medicare benefits, which is the government program which pays for health care for the elderly?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Support              27%    42%    16%    21%    33%    23%
Oppose               70     54     84     75     65     75
DK/NA                 2      4      -      4      2      2
 
 
44a. SPLIT SAMPLE A Would you support or oppose - cutting the growth of spending on Social Security benefits?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Support              26%    39%    16%    22%    31%    21%
Oppose               72     59     82     76     67     76
DK/NA                 2      2      2      2      2      2
 
 
45a. SPLIT SAMPLE A Would you support or oppose - cutting the growth of spending on Medicaid benefits, which is the government program which pays for health care for low income people?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Support              40%    59%    24%    36%    48%    33%
Oppose               57     37     74     60     49     63
DK/NA                 4      4      2      4      3      4
 
46a. SPLIT SAMPLE A Would you support or oppose - cutting defense spending?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Support              54%    40%    70%    52%    59%    50%
Oppose               43     57     28     45     39     46
DK/NA                 3      2      3      3      2      4
 
 
43b. SPLIT SAMPLE B INTRO TO QUES 43b-46b Please tell me whether you would support or oppose each of the following to in order to reduce the federal budget deficit. Would you support or oppose - cutting the growth of spending on Medicare benefits, which is the government program which pays for health care for the elderly?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Support              23%    32%    11%    28%    33%    13%
Oppose               75     65     87     70     66     84
DK/NA                 2      3      3      2      1      3
 
 
44b. SPLIT SAMPLE B Would you support or oppose - cutting the growth of spending on Social Security benefits?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Support              24%    32%    17%    25%    32%    17%
Oppose               72     65     80     73     65     79
DK/NA                 3      3      3      3      2      4
 
 
45b. SPLIT SAMPLE B Would you support or oppose - cutting the growth of spending on Medicaid benefits, which is the government program which pays for health care for low income people?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Support              38%    50%    20%    48%    42%    33%
Oppose               59     44     79     49     55     62
DK/NA                 4      5      1      4      3      4
 
 
46b. SPLIT SAMPLE B Would you support or oppose - cutting defense spending?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Support              47%    34%    53%    53%    55%    39%
Oppose               49     63     39     46     43     53
DK/NA                 5      3      8      1      2      8
 
 
47. In order to reduce the federal budget deficit do you support or oppose - raising income taxes on households making more than $250,000?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Support              69%    49%    86%    72%    64%    73%
Oppose               28     48     12     25     34     23
DK/NA                 3      4      2      3      2      4
 
 
48. I'm going to read you two statements about the future of the Medicare program. After I read both statements, please tell me which one comes closer to your own view. A) Medicare should remain as it is today, with a defined set of benefits for seniors. OR B) Medicare should be changed so that seniors who join Medicare in 2022 receive a fixed amount of money from the government each year that they can use to shop for their own private health insurance policy.
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
A) Remain as is      60%    46%    75%    57%    57%    62%
B) Should be changed 34     49     19     36     38     31
DK/NA                 6      5      6      7      6      7
 
 
49. There is a proposal to gradually increase the age of Medicare eligibility
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Good idea            51%    65%    38%    54%    58%    44%
Bad idea             46     31     58     43     39     51
DK/NA                 4      4      4      3      3      4
 
 
50. There is a proposal to overhaul Medicaid so that more of the responsibility for providing health care for low income people would shift from the federal government to the states. Supporters say this is necessary to control costs. Opponents say that such a change will hurt the poor because states might not provide the same coverage now available. Do you think that this proposal to overhaul Medicaid is a good idea or a bad idea?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Good idea            38%    60%    19%    37%    43%    34%
Bad idea             54     29     76     55     52     56
DK/NA                 8     11      5      8      6     10
 
 
51. To combat rising gasoline prices, some have urged President Obama to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the government's oil stockpile, set aside for emergencies and shortages. Some say that gasoline prices don't justify tapping the reserve at this time. Others say gas prices are high enough that the reserves should be used. Do you support or oppose releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Support              41%    43%    37%    44%    34%    47%
Oppose               54     52     57     54     63     47
DK/NA                 5      5      6      2      3      6
 
 
TREND: To combat rising gasoline prices, some have urged President Obama to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the government's oil stockpile set aside for emergencies and shortages. Some say that gasoline prices don't justify tapping the reserve at this time. Others say gas prices are high enough that the reserves should be used. Do you support or oppose releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?
                     May 04  Mar 31
                     2011    2011
 
Support              41      38%
Oppose               54      56
DK/NA                 5       6
 
 
52. How much of a problem has the price of gasoline been for you and your family lately - a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, a not too serious problem, or not a problem at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Very serious         27%    26%    25%    26%    22%    31%
Smwht serious        40     43     35     43     42     38
Not too serious      24     22     28     21     25     22
Not a problem         9      8     11      9     11      7
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      -      1
 
 
53. As a result of the recent rise in gas prices, have you - cut back significantly on your household spending or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  54%    57%    47%    58%    51%    57%
No                   45     43     52     42     49     42
DK/NA                 -      -      -      1      -      1
 
TREND: As a result of the recent rise in gas prices, have you cut back significantly on your household spending or not?
                     May 04  May 15  Jun 14  Jun 2
                     2011    2008    2007    2006
 
Yes                  54      57      48      50
No                   45      42      51      49
DK/NA                 -       1       1       1
 
 
54. As a result of the recent rise in gas prices, have you - cut back significantly on how much you drive or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  60%    64%    53%    64%    54%    66%
No                   39     35     46     35     46     33
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      1      1
 
 
TREND: As a result of the recent rise in gas prices, have you cut back significantly on how much you drive or not?
                     May 04  May 15  Jun 14  Jun 2
                     2011    2008    2007    2006
 
Yes                  60      61      58      56
No                   39      37      41      43
DK/NA                 1       2       1       1
 
 
55. As a result of gas prices, have you - changed your summer vacation plans?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  37%    43%    30%    35%    34%    38%
No                   60     56     67     60     62     58
DK/NA                 4      1      3      5      3      4
 
 
56. Who do you blame the most for the recent increase in gasoline prices; Oil producing countries, Oil companies, President Obama, Americans who drive vehicles that use a lot of gasoline or Normal supply and demand pressures?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Oil prodcg countries 21%    24%    21%    20%    20%    22%
Oil companies        40     24     55     39     37     43
Obama                15     29      2     14     18     12
American Drivers      2      2      3      2      2      3
Supply and demand    14     14     14     15     16     12
DK/NA                 8      8      6     10      8      8
 
TREND: Who do you blame the most for the recent increase in gasoline prices - oil producing countries, oil companies, President ****, Americans who drive vehicles that use a lot of gasoline or normal supply and demand pressures. (* President Bush)
                     OBAMA   BUSH..........
                     May 04  May 15  Jun 14
                     2011    2008*   2007*
 
Oil prodcg countries 21      19      11
Oil companies        40      35      43
President XXX        15      23      20
American Drivers      2       3       4
supply and demand    14      14      13
DK/NA                 8       6       9
 
 
58. Do you think Congress should try to repeal the new health care law, or should they let it stand?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Repeal               44%    80%    12%    44%    50%    39%
Let it stand         45     15     77     40     42     47
DK/NA                11      5     11     16      8     14
 
TREND: Do you think Congress should try to repeal the new health care law, or should they let it stand?
                     May 04  Jan 18
                     2011    2011
 
Should repeal it     44      48
Should let it stand  45      43
DK/NA                11       8