(Photo: AP Images / Alex Brandon)
Not all Republicans, let alone Americans, will recognize the names Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain. But among those that do, a surprising number have intensely positive feelings for the two potential GOP presidential nominees, a new Gallup poll shows.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who has yet to officially declare her candidacy, has 58 percent name recognition among Republicans and a 21 positive intensity score. By comparison, former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin has a 96 percent name recognition within her political party, but only a score of 14 for positive intensity.
Palin leads the pack of potential GOP presidential candidates in terms of name recognition, followed by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (84 percent), former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (83 percent), and Texas Congressman Ron Paul (76 percent).
Bachmann beat all the potential candidates who had higher name recognition in the positive intensity category.
But perhaps what is more startling are the numbers for political newcomer Herman Cain, former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. Cain has among the lowest name recognition out of the 11 potential candidates listed, but garnered the highest positive intensity score at 24 percent.
“One-quarter of those familiar with Cain have a strongly favorable view, and only one percent have a strongly unfavorable view,” noted Gallup.
“The challenge for Bachmann and Cain will be to maintain their strongly positive positioning as they become more widely known.”
Romney has a positive intensity score of 14; Gingrich, 13; and Paul, 11.
Gallup highlighted that none of the top three GOP names had the positive intensity of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who scored 25.
Huckabee, however, has opted out of running for president in 2012. He said last weekend during his Fox News TV show that even though “all the factors say go, but my heart says no.”
“I know for now, my answer is clear and firm, I will not seek the Republican nomination for president this year,” said Huckabee, who was consistently the frontrunner in polls for GOP presidential candidates.
Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump also pulled out of the race. He announced on Monday that he has decided to not run for the presidency because he realized that “running for public office cannot be done half-heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion, and I am not ready to leave the private sector.”
Ed Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman and adviser to President George W. Bush, commented to The Associated Press, “It does look like on the Republican side there is more demand than supply for potential nominees.”