The newest congressmen from the contentious 2010 mid-term elections haven't even been sworn in yet, but the race for the White House in 2012 is already taking center stage for many in Washington.
Recently, as Republicans of many stripes start publicly flirting with a presidential run, President Obama's advisers hinted that they will be, ending a 40-year tradition for incumbents.
Now, a new CNN poll provides some fresh data on the standing for candidates on both sides of the aisle. The poll finds that Mr. Obama's standing with Democrats for their 2012 nomination is improving, while Tea Party champion Sarah Palin has lost ground to fellow potential Republican candidates Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
The poll finds that while many Democrats were upset with Mr. Obama over his tax-cut compromise, nearly 78 percent of Democrats in the poll say they want Mr. Obama as their nominee in 2012. Only 19 percent of Democrats would prefer someone else, the lowest rating on that statistic since March.
Meanwhile, Sarah Palin has lost 18 points in Republican support in the last two years, the poll claims, with 49 percent of Republicans now saying they would be likely to support her for the nomination in 2012.Two-thirds of Republicans questioned say they would likely support Huckabee as their nominee in 2012. Fifty-nine percent of Republicans say they would likely support Romney. That number drops to 54 percent for Gingrich. The poll did not require respondents to pick just one candidate.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted December 17-19, with 1,008 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points. (You can see the full data here.)