Rasmussen: Romney, Huckabee crushing Palin head to head among Republican likely voters

C’mon. You know I had to.

Among likely Republican primary voters, Palin now trails former Arkansas governor-turned-Fox-TV-host Mike Huckabee by 20 points – 55% to 35%.

When her opponent is ex-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Palin loses by 15 – 52% to 37%…

Twenty-one percent (21%) of primary voters also say Palin is the GOP candidate they would least like to see win the party’s presidential nomination. Just nine percent (9%) say the same of Romney, and eight percent (8%) feel that way about Huckabee…

Suggesting that Romney’s Mormon faith may still be a problem among some Christian conservatives, Palin leads him by 14 points – 52% to 38% – among GOP primary voters who describe themselves as Evangelical Christians. But Romney beats Palin by 26 points among other Protestants – 58% to 32% – and holds similar winning margins among Catholic voters and those of other faiths.

My suspicion, especially in light of that 21 percent figure, is that this is mainly a measure of Palin vs. Anyone But Palin and has little to do with Huck or Mitt on their own merits. Polls of Romney’s and Huckabee’s approval show that upwards of 30 percent are undecided about them versus just 10 percent for Sarahcuda. In a match-up between “I don’t know him” and “I don’t like her,” no surprise that the undecideds are going to break for the former — which is good news for Palin, since the gap’s bound to narrow as the public becomes more acquainted with the bad points of her competition. What is surprising, and what may puncture my theory, is that this is a poll of likely Republican primary voters, not the general public. It stands to reason that they’re more familiar with Romney and Huckabee than the average joe and it confounds the conventional wisdom that they’re not better disposed to Palin, who’s supposed to be the darling of the shrunken Republican base. How to read this, then? As proof that Huck and Mitt are still relatively unknown even among GOP primary voters? Or as proof that the party’s tent is actually bigger than people think?

While we’re talking Sarahcuda, Conservatives 4 Palin has a smart post about how she’s using new media to get her message out unfiltered by the media prism. Anita Dunn’s taking flak today from the right for supposedly saying that Team Barry used the Internet last year to “control” the media, but C4P is right: What she meant was that the media can’t be trusted to deliver a candidate’s message just the way he/she wants it, so the only option is to “control” them by putting the message out to the public through direct online communications. Palin’s learned that lesson better than her competitors. So far.

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