Rasmussen: Huckabee 29, Romney 24, Palin 18

In July it was Romney 25, Palin 24, Huck 22.

Then again, Rudy Giuliani once pulled something like 45 percent before last year’s primaries. Perspective.

These numbers reflect an improvement for Huckabee since July when the three candidates were virtually even. Huckabee’s gain appears to be Palin’s loss as Romney’s support has barely changed.

The numbers for Huckabee and Romney look even stronger when GOP voters were asked which candidate they would least like to see get the nomination. Pawlenty came on top in that category with 28%. Palin was second at 21% while 20% named Gingrich. Romney and Huckabee were in the single digits with 9% and 8% respectively…

Romney leads all prospects among voters who attend church once a month or less. Huckabee leads among more frequent churchgoers. Huckabee holds a huge lead among Evangelical Christians with Palin in second and Romney a distant third.

The person Republicans would least like to see win the nomination is … Tim Pawlenty? I thought the rap on T-Paw, at least for the moment, is that he didn’t inspire strong feelings one way or another. As for Sarahcuda, on the same day that he took the July poll, Rasmussen ran another one asking if her decision to resign would help or hurt her presidential ambitions. The split was 24/40 — and yet she was still ahead of Huckabee at the time. If it’s not her resignation that’s hurting her now, as I speculated this morning, what is? Too much Levi Johnston freak show collateral damage, maybe? I don’t think most people even know who he is.

Not to worry, says Matt Latimer. Authenticity shall triumph in the end:

Palin isn’t going away (at least not yet) because in her own way she represents what Barack Obama represented for many Democrats: someone who stands apart from the corrupt and cynical Washington system that has let true believers down. Republicans remember that Palin stood up against the crooked Republican establishment in Alaska—while out-of touch GOP senators in Washington actually applauded Alaska’s crony-in-chief, Ted “Bridge to Nowhere” Stevens, after he was booted out of office amid scandal. (The charges against Stevens were eventually dropped.)

The rank-and-file are tired of the bland phonies running the GOP. They are tired of Republican compromises that bloated spending and expanded the federal government. And they feel helpless against a team of buddies running each campaign more cynically than the last. GOP voters just might be ready to burn their village down in order to save it. You can almost hear the line now. What’s the difference between a hockey mom and Robespierre? Lipstick.

If the grand pooh-bahs of the GOP think they can find someone to push her aside, their pickings seem drearily slim. Version 2.0 of the governor affectionately known in some circles as “Mitt Rom-bot” is currently under construction. It will probably function just as lamely as the last. Poor Governor Romney. Every move the Mittster makes looks like it has first been diagrammed in a PowerPoint presentation. When commentators noted that even his hair looked too perfect, his aides mussed it up. It ended up looking perfectly disheveled. We’ve had enough inauthenticity for a while.

We’ve had enough ideological inauthenticity, but using the degree of dishevelment of Mitt Romney’s hair to measure that isn’t really a game I want to play. Palin and Huckabee might be the most personally authentic, salt-of-the-earth candidates of the bunch, but does that necessarily mean they’re less likely to get rolled by Democrats if elected? Because that’s all I care about. If Mitt can get jobs growing again between trips to the country club, good enough. Personal authenticity can be useful as a proxy for ideological authenticity, but ultimately it’s only the latter that’s important. Sometimes it feels like that’s a minority position these days.

Let’s poll this one. I’m curious to see, just for a goof, how La Liz does in the mix.

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