Like a pipin’ hot bowl of chicken soup on a frosty winter day, this shameless bit of traffic bait during the slowest news cycle of the year is mmm mmm good.

I know this guy’s enjoying his TV show and the chance to interview Jon Voight every other week, but if his polls are still this rosy five months from now, he’ll really have no choice but to run, right?

In the battle for the GOP presidential nomination, the survey suggests Palin may have some work to do if she throws her hat in the ring. Only 49 percent of Republicans say that they are likely to support Sen. John McCain’s running mate in 2008 for the Republican nomination in 2012.

“That’s a huge 18-point drop since December of 2008, when two-thirds of GOPers said they were likely to support Palin. It also puts her well behind potential rivals Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, and a bit behind Newt Gingrich as well,” adds Holland.

Two-thirds of Republicans questioned say they would likely support Huckabee as their nominee in 2012. The former Arkansas governor and 2008 GOP presidential candidate is considering another bid for the White House. So is another candidate from the last election, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Fifty-nine percent of Republicans say they would likely support Romney. That number drops to 54 percent for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, who is also contemplating a run for the White House.

Spend a minute skimming the crosstabs. It’s no surprise that Mitt and Huck do much better with self-described moderate Republicans than Palin does (fully 50 percent say they’re not likely at all to support her), but they actually outperform her among conservative Republicans too. Romney’s numbers are only slightly better but Huckabee’s are dramatically so — a combined 74/25 split among those who say they’re likely/not likely to support him versus a 62/37 split for Romney and a 58/41 split for Palin. To some extent that’s a product of Mitt’s and Huck’s weaknesses being less well known at this point, even to the base, than Palin’s are, but nearly all conservatives polled had some knowledge of all three. Only one percent of cons said they had no opinion of Huckabee or Romney.

The tea party numbers are fascinating too. Here’s how they break down for Palin:

And for Romney:

And for Huck:

Same counterintuitive results among self-described tea party supporters as among self-described conservatives: Huckabee leads big, followed by Romney and then Palin right behind. That stands to reason given the heavy overlap between “tea partiers” and “conservatives,” but I didn’t think it’d be quite that heavy. I guess DeMint was right that the balance within the tea party between fiscal and social conservatism isn’t as lopsided as libertarians believe. Either that, or perceptions about Palin’s qualifications and/or electability run so deep even within her own de facto base that TPers would rather roll the dice on health-care apostate Mitt Romney than on her.

In other news from the crosstabs, the number of Democrats who say Obama should be renominated stands at a robust 78 percent, more than 20 points higher than the number who answered the same way for Bill Clinton when asked this question in 1994. The next time some dopey liberal who’s angry about the public option or the estate tax starts grumbling about a primary challenge, please do laugh right in their face. Exit question one: How is a guy who managed 32 measly votes in the Hot Air mega-poll about 2012 cleaning up among tea partiers and conservatives? I realize our readership isn’t necessarily representative of the base, but it should be a little representative. Exit question two: Given that this poll makes Huckabee more likely to run and thus to split the social conservative vote with Palin, you know who these numbers really benefit? You guessed it!

Update: Not the only discouraging poll for Sarahcuda today, either.