Sarah Palin Beats Mitt Romney on Social Issues, but Falters on Other Points in Recent Poll

Sarah Palin is favored over Mitt Romney by Republicans most concerned about social issues, a new Gallup poll finds.

But the former Alaska governor is not as popular as Romney among Republicans who care more about government spending, the economy, and national security. The new poll, conducted May 20-24, shows that Romney appeals to Republicans across the board while Palin’s support is concentrated only among the party’s social conservatives.

Palin and Romney are the top two leaders of the wide-open 2012 Republican presidential field.

According to Gallup, Palin received 23 percent of the support from Republicans who care most about social issues and moral values, compared to Romney’s 18 percent. But she either had lower or equal support than the former Massachusetts governor on government spending and power (11 percent vs. 17 percent), business and the economy (14 percent v. 16 percent), and national security and foreign policy (18 percent v. 18 percent).

Notably, Republicans who care the most about government spending and power make up the largest part of the GOP, at 36 percent. While social conservatives make up only 15 percent of the party.

“These data suggest that Romney does well among Republicans in all four issue segments, but doesn’t have unusually strong appeal in any,” Gallup analysts commented.

They also noted that Palin, who already appealed to social conservatives, likely further benefited from the departure of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who recently announced he will not seek the GOP presidential nomination.

Thus far, only Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum have formally declared or formed an exploratory committee to win the GOP nomination.

Palin, who has the highest name recognition among those listed in GOP, appears to be flirting with running for president but has yet to make it official. Two recent developments – the release of a new full-length documentary on her, “The Undefeated,” and her national bus tour beginning this weekend – have political pundits speculating whether she will soon announce a presidential bid.

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