Donald Trump has been putting himself out there over the last few weeks, and Republican voters are liking what they see. The Donald is tied with Mike Huckabee for second place in a field of nine possible contenders in a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll of Republican primary voters. The two men were the choice of 17% of those surveyed. Mitt Romney is in first place with 21%, while Newt Gingrich has 11% and Sarah Palin 10%. Tim Pawlenty, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Haley Barbour all have single-figure support.
Trump "may be a punchline, but when he talks about the way to solve our problems he makes a lot of sense to the average guy out there,” notes a conservative Texas Republican. “I don’t know if people can get over him being the butt of every joke, but for me, he can be serious when it’s time to make real decisions." A narrower poll, scratching Trump, Huckabee, Palin, and Santorum from the list, gave Romney a 20-point lead over Gingrich.