While he is nearing a decision on whether to seek the presidency, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) is more popular than many other prospective candidates by at least one measure.
Thirty-seven percent of South Dakota Republicans selected Thune as their top pick among a crowded field of possible GOP candidates that included former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (12 percent), former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (12 percent), and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (10 percent), according to polling released Monday afternoon by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling. PPP surveyed 484 “usual” South Dakota GOP primary voters Jan. 28-30. There was a 4.5-point margin of error.
Not surprised that Thune is leading in his home state? You should be.
PPP reports that many prospective candidates are far less popular back home.
None of the pols tested by PPP so far break 50 percent among their home-state Republicans. Romney fared the best, with 47 percent of Bay State Republicans picking him as their favorite.
But Palin was the first choice of just 15 percent of Alaska Republicans. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty garnered 24 percent back home, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum earned 11 percent in the Keystone State, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry received 9 percent from Texas Republicans.
“South Dakota’s not going to be terribly relevant to either the Republican nomination process or the general election next year but it seems to me that a good first test for whether you’re going to be viable at the Presidential level is whether your current constituents like you and on that front Thune fares a lot better than most of the rest of the GOP potentials,” PPP pollster Tom Jensen wrote on his blog Monday afternoon.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.