A new poll shows that Republicans are more likely to support a candidate who can defeat Barack Obama in 2012 than someone who is pure ideologically.
The CNN/Opinion Research poll shows that 70% of Republicans want a winner while just 29% say they would like a candidate who agrees with them on every issue. However, those same voters are divided on whom they would like to see represent the party in 2012, with Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney just percentage points apart.
It's worth remembering that polls taken a year before the first votes will be cast are mostly a matter of name recognition.
"Keep in mind that Joe Lieberman and Rudy Giuliani - both relatively famous when they decided to run for president - were ahead in polls conducted in 2003 and 2007," says (CNN Polling Director Keating) Holland. "Neither man won a single primary or caucus once the voting started."
A for the 2012 general election, the poll shows that about ¼ of Americans say they would definitely vote for President Obama, while about 1/3 said they would vote against him. That leaves about 40% of swing voters who will decide the election.