I had to post it, just because one of my guilty pleasures in blogging is the entertaining groaning in the comments whenever there’s a poll showing Huck doing well.

Can you feel the momentum?

The poll shows that the 2012 contest is going to begin right where the 2008 Iowa Caucuses left off, with Mike Huckabee leading Mitt Romney. Huckabee comes out on top of the poll garnering 22 percent, Romney finishes second with 18 percent, and Newt Gingrich finishes surprisingly well with 14 percent in third place. Sarah Palin finishes a disappointing fourth with 11 percent. Texas Congressman Ron Paul garnered 5 percent, while Pawlenty, and South Dakota Senator John Thune each received 1 percent…

If there is a surprise in the poll, it’s the strength of Newt Gingrich. Gingrich has been a frequent visitor to Iowa over the past decade. He has headlined events for the Republican Party of Iowa, various political candidates, and held activist workshops across the state. His affection for and understanding of Iowa will definitely be an asset should he seek the Republican nomination…

Sarah Palin became an instant celebrity after being named John McCain’s running mate in 2008. Palin’s brand of common sense conservatism should play well with Iowa caucuses goers, but she has yet to make her presence known in the state. People tend to either love Palin or hate her, so she is sure to garner a lot of attention in Iowa if she does decide to run.

It’s true that she hasn’t spent as much time there as Newt, but she did stop by during her book tour and weighed into the gubernatorial race by endorsing Terry Branstad at the eleventh hour. (In fact, one theory holds that her Branstad endorsement has alienated some of the GOP base in Iowa. He was the RINO in the primary, you may recall, whereas Bob Vander Plaats, who was backed by Huckabee, was the “true conservative.”) No doubt she’ll get a bounce if she swings by the state fair this week or schedules a few speeches there in the fall, but as WaPo says, a poll like this is mainly a test of name recognition — in which case, notwithstanding Huck’s caucus win in 2008, the former VP nominee and current media mega-celebrity should be right near the top. What happened?

The good news for Palinistas is that, per PPP’s latest, she’s right in the thick of it nationally and is viewed more favorably by Republicans than any other candidate. The bad news is that Doug Mataconis is right: Since she’s likely to have trouble in New Hampshire, winning Iowa is practically a must. Otherwise the “Palin is underperforming” narrative will congeal quickly and it’ll be do or die in South Carolina. Then again, like as Mataconis notes, the same is true for Huck too. Exit question: 2012 — best primaries ever?