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Liberals Want Sarah Palin to Be 2012 GOP Nominee, Survey Says

In this June 29, 2010 file photo, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks to the crowd at the P.U.R.E. Ministries in Duluth, Ga. Palin has put her money where her mouth is, contributing at least $87,500 to candidates she's endorsed in the last few months. AP

If former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin decides to jump into the 2012 presidential race, liberals would be thrilled, an unofficial poll released today shows.

In a straw poll of attendees at the Netroots Nation conference in Las Vegas over the weekend, 48 percent of respondents said they'd like to see Palin as the Republican Party's 2012 nominee. Rep. Ron Paul came in a distant second, at 11 percent. Ten percent voted for Rick Santorum, 9 percent for Mitt Romney and 8 percent for Newt Gingrich. Seven percent chose Tim Pawlenty, while 5 percent said Mike Huckabee, and 1 percent said Rep. Mike Pence.

One name not on the list was Sen. John Thune of South Dakota. While he may not be on everyone's radar for 2012, DNC executive director Jennifer O'Malley Dillon said at the Netroots conference this weekend that Thune was the potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate who scares her the most. "John Thune is somebody that I have nightmares about," O'Malley Dillon said. "He has his head down and is doing some policy stuff."

More than 300 conference goers participated in the Netroots straw poll.

While some liberals have expressed dissatisfaction with President Obama and Democrats over the past year, those surveyed in the straw poll gave the president a strong approval rating of 84 percent. Sixty-eight percent named health care reform Mr. Obama's top accomplishment so far. Another 13 percent said the stimulus act was most important.

Nearly three-quarters said job creation should be the top priority for Congress and the president. Fifty-three percent said the economy is in a serious, long term decline, while another 33 percent said the economy will correct itself. When asked whether there should be more government investment, or cuts to government spending and taxes, in order to create jobs, 93 percent said more investment.

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