GOP Liked McCain Way More Than This Year's Field
Poll: Only about a third would vote 'enthusiastically' for Romney, Santorum
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2012 8:47 AM CDT
Mitt Romney arrives for a campaign stop at William Jewell College on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 in Liberty, Mo.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – Believe it or not, Republicans are not terribly excited about their presidential candidates. A new Gallup poll found that only 35% would vote "enthusiastically" for Mitt Romney, with an essentially identical 34% saying the same for Rick Santorum. To put those numbers in perspective, during the 2008 primaries, 47% were enthusiastic about John McCain. Romney's number back then was the exact same 35% it is today.

Newt Gingrich stands as the candidate Republicans are least enthusiastic about, with 28%. In all three cases, around 40% say they'll vote for the candidates but "mainly as a vote against Barack Obama," and at least 19% say they'll either stay home or vote for Obama. Republicans are still more enthusiastic about voting in general this year, pollster Frank Newport writes, but at the moment they "don't appear to have an active candidate in sight whom they are excited to get behind."