NPR logo Poll: Trump, Huckabee Tied For First In GOP Horserace; Romney Third

Poll: Trump, Huckabee Tied For First In GOP Horserace; Romney Third

Donald Trump. Mary Altaffer/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Mary Altaffer/AP

Donald Trump.

Mary Altaffer/AP

In a poll that likely doesn't tell us much about how the contest for the Republican presidential nomination will turn out but may speak volumes about how voters perceive the current candidate field, Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee were tied for the lead of oft-mentioned GOP possibilities.

The CNN/Opinion Research poll found both men, the famous real-estate developer and the former Arkansas governor and Fox News personality, tied at 19 percent.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is often thought of as the frontrunner for the nomination and announced Monday that he has formed an exploratory committee, came in third place at 11 percent.

The poll results likely have more to do with name recognition than anything else. Huckabee is known not only for his Fox News appearances but his 2008 presidential run in which he did very well early but receded as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) went on to win the nomination.

Trump has gotten much attention of late for arguably becoming the leading spokesperson for the anti-Obama "birther" conspiracy. That has helped give him a fresh jolt since his "Apprentice" TV series, on the air since 2004, is getting fairly long in the tooth.

If Trump really gains traction, that could threaten Romney on a few levels. Not only would someone with star power rival the charisma-challenged former governor for the nomination but Trump could neutralize what Romney views as his competitive advantage, his business experience.

An interesting finding in the poll was that there's a lot of resistance in the party to the idea of the developer with the big personality becoming in the GOP nominee.

An excerpt:

"More than four in ten Republicans say they would not like to see Trump toss his hat in the ring," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.