“PPP’s first national poll looking at the Republican Presidential race since Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump announced they wouldn’t run finds Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin in a tie at the top with 16% each. Tim Pawlenty at 13% and Herman Cain at 12% are also in double digits with Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul each at 9%, and Jon Huntsman at 4% rounding out the field.

“Romney’s support is built on moderate and center right Republicans, while Palin’s winning the most conservative faction of the party. With moderates Romney’s at 26% with only Pawlenty at 15% also reaching double digits and Palin in third at 8%. With ‘somewhat conservative’ voters Romney likewise leads with 19% to 15% each for Pawlenty and Palin. But with voters identifying as ‘very conservative’ Romney finds himself well back in 5th place at 11% with Palin leading the way at 20%, followed by Cain at 15%, Bachmann at 13%, and Pawlenty at 12%.”

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“‘In my opinion, any mandate coming from government is not a good thing, so obviously … there will be more the explanation coming from former governor, Romney, on his support for government mandates,’ Palin told reporters today. When a reporter followed up that Romney has distinguished his state mandate from the federal one President Obama signed into law in 2010, Palin responded that even state mandates are problematic.

“‘He makes a good argument there that it does. States rights and authority and responsibility allowed in our states makes more sense than a big centralized government telling us what to do,’ she said. ‘However, even on a state level and even a local level, mandates coming from a governing body, it’s tough for a lot of us independent Americans to accept, because we have great faith in the private sectors and our own families … and our own businessmen and women making decisions for ourselves. Not any level of government telling us what to do.'”

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(Berman) what do you make of her visit do you think she’s trying to step on your toes?

Mitt Romney: Oh no. She’s on a nationwide tour if you will a rally behind a very legitimate concern, the government is too big spending too much the president has failed that’s a message that all of the republicans who are looking at this presidential race will be taking forward. She’s a person of great energy and passion she does a great job for our party in creating greater interest and conviction that we can change the current president and put someone in that can get this country growing.

(Berman) so you think it’s a coincidence she’s here today?

Mitt Romney: I think it is, yes.

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“In fact, if he personally would be offended by me stepping foot in a state that he is in, I wouldn’t do it.”