North Carolina Republicans may really like Sarah Palin, but when it comes to choosing their next president they prefer Mike Huckabee.
Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, is the favorite among Tar Heel Republicans, with 27 percent of them saying they would support him, according to a new survey by Public Policy Polling, a Raleigh firm with Democratic leanings.
He beats out former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who registered 18 percent support, followed by Palin, the former Alaska governor with 16 percent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 11 percent, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty with 7 percent, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul with 6 percent,
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels with 3 percent, and South Dakota Sen. John Thune 1 percent.
Palin has a high favorability rating(72 percent) but it is not translating into votes. Republican voters also have a favorable view of Huckabee (70 percent) and Gingrich (62 percent) but less so of Romney (50 percent.)
Public Policy Polling, which has done similar GOP presidential polls in seven states has found similar results in other states: Huckabee has the momentum, Romney has problems with conservatives, and Palin's personal popularity doesn't necessarily translate into support.
The spin: “One of Palin's biggest issues right now is the disconnect between Republicans liking her and supporter her,” said pollster Tom Jensen.
The survey of 400 usual North Carolina primary voters was conducted Jan. 20 to 23 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.