The poll includes the names you would suspect. Mitt Romney (unfortunately) leads the pack with 19%, followed by Sarah Palin at 16, Mike Huckabee at 12, and Newt Gingrich at 9 percent. Ron Paul got 5th place, ahead of both Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
But Matt Lewis at Politics Daily noted something astonishing in the Gallup Poll findings. According to Gallup:
In addition to the 12 named candidates, 1 percent of respondents volunteered the name of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Christie, in his first year as governor of the state, has become a prominent GOP figure, though he is not expected to run for president in 2012.
Wow. That’s just amazing. You give people 12 choices and they say, “Nah, got someone better in mind.” Have to admit, I agree with them. Chris Christie is the real deal.
I imagine the pollsters will start to include Governor Christie when they ask next time.