The conservative wing of the Republican Party still has a lot of affection, oddly enough, for the former governor of the People’s Republic of Taxachusetts. For the third straight year, Mitt Romney beat out the likes of Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee in a poll of conservative activists.

A survey of Republicans in general, however, put Romney in third place.

Obviously polls are to be taken with a grain of salt, particularly those carried out years before they matter. Still, as a measure of party division, it’s telling that characters like Mike Huckabee, the socially conservative economic populist, and Mitt Romney, the self-styled heir to Ronald Reagan, cannot find firm ground in these various polls.

Congressional Quarterly via Political Wire:

If the Republican Party’s conservative wing had the power to choose presidential nominees, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would be the hands-down choice.

For the third straight year, activists attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) chose Romney, a candidate in the 2008 primaries, as their next presidential favorite in a straw poll.

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CNN Political Ticker:

Twenty-nine percent of Republicans questioned in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they are most likely to support Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. Right behind the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, and well within the poll’s 4.5 percent sampling error, is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Twenty-six percent of those questioned say they are most likely backing the former, and possibly future, Republican presidential candidate.

Twenty-one percent of Republicans polled say they most likely would support former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, another GOP hopeful from the last campaign who may put his hat into the ring again.

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