A Gallup poll released Wednesday shows Republicans and right-leaning Independents favor Mike Huckabee over a trio of top contenders.
While the poll does not reveal a clear front runner in the race, the former Arkansas governor is shown to be the top pick for GOP presidential nominee among 17 other potential candidates. The other two top picks were former governors Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin.
Huckabee surpassed both Romney and Palin with 18 percent support from the 1,326 Republican and Republican-leaning independent poll responders. Palin and Romney were tied at 16 percent.
By comparison, a similar poll conducted in September 2010 found that Huckabee was in third place, just under Palin and Romney with 12 percent of support. Two months later, responders ranked Huckabee as being on par with the former Alaska governor with 16 percent, while Romney remained the leader with 19 percent.
As the numbers indicate, Huckabee seems to be rising in popularity among conservatives anxiously awaiting the 2012 presidential election.
While Huckabee did not appear during this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), attendee Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, told The Christian Post he liked Huckabee as a presidential candidate.
"I think he's the one who could win, if he can get the right team," Jackson had said.
Jackson also expressed some support for Romney, but stated he would be a better vice presidential candidate.
Last month in New York City, Huckabee said that he planned to wait until late summer to announce if he would run for president. But he recently discussed his prospects in more detail during a Fox News broadcast.
In a Tuesday Fox interview with host Sean Hannity, Huckabee talked about his chances running against Barack Obama, "Here's the reality: I think he can be beat."
Huckabee continued to say, "I frankly think that I would be in a very good position to do it, because I believe that standing head-to-head with him, articulating the very clear decisive difference between our positions, would be a great contrast."
When asked Tuesday why he was talking about the election all of a sudden, Huckabee acknowledged the polls and hinted at a possible run.
"I've been leading in polls nationally, as well as in a number of key states, but another thing is ... I finished this book, I looked at it and I [said], 'You know, these ideas could help change this country.'"