Public Policy Polling has released a new poll examining the key 2012 battleground state of .... Missouri? John McCain won the state in 2008 by less than 1 percent of the vote, leading pollsters to think that the Show Me State is worth a closer look in 2012.
The new poll asked voters to choose between President Barack Obama and several of the Republicans who may run for president in 2012. It turns out that Sarah Palin is currently the only potential GOP candidate named in the poll who would lose Missouri's 11 electoral votes to Obama if the election were held today:
Mike Huckabee 49% Barack Obama 42%
Mitt Romney 47% Barack Obama 41%
New Gingrich 45% Barack Obama 44%
Barack Obama 46% Sarah Palin 43%
Given that McCain won Missouri in 2008, a decidedly Democratic year, is shouldn't be too surprising to see most of the Republicans leading Obama in the survey. What is surprising, and maybe shouldn't be, is Palin's inability to generate the same level support as the other major contenders for the GOP nomination.
What impact will the new poll have on the 2012 New Hampshire Primary? Probably very little. The consensus among most pundits is that Palin should skip New Hampshire altogether and focus on the most conservative of the early voting states, namely Iowa. So far, Palin appears to be to be heeding this sound piece of advice. The closest she's come to stepping foot in the Granite State since 2008 is a Facebook endorsement of Kelly Ayotte's successful campaign for U.S. Senate posted back in July of this year.
In this picture by Ryan McFarland, Sarah Palin demonstrates one attribute key to winning the New Hampshire Primary: Owning a winter coat.
P.S. In the process of writing this post, I learned that Missouri has three nicknames: The Show Me State, The Cave State, and The Lead State. Amazing!