Newt Could Be GOP's 2012 Sleeper Candidate

Former speaker does well in SRLC straw poll
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2010 10:50 AM CDT
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich addresses the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Thursday, April 8, 2010.   (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
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(Newser) – A straw poll at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference shows Mike Huckabee's chances for the 2012 presidential nomination to be slim at best. Gingrich came in fourth to Huckabee's fifth among first-choice picks, but came in first in second-choice preferences—a result that illustrates his broad appeal among conservatives. The strident opposition evoked by his fiercest rivals, Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, has Tom Schaller calling Gingrich the "GOP's 2012 sleeper candidate."

But Gingrich has problems, too—the highest unfavorable ratings among Republicans of any of the primary front-runners and only a modestly better reputation among the general population, Nate Silver writes on

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