Donald Trump Leads 2012 GOP Field
Posted: April 15, 2011
The billionaire real estate mogul has taken a rather shocking nine-point lead in a national poll of the hypothetical Republican presidential field, according to a new survey by Public Policy Polling.
Trump leads with 26 percent, followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (17 percent), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (15 percent) and ex-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (11 percent). [Check out a roundup of political cartoons on the 2012 GOP candidates.]
Rounding out the bottom of the list were former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (8 percent), Texas Rep. Ron Paul (5 percent), Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann (4 percent) and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (4 percent).
Trump, whose potential candidacy has for weeks had many pundits snickering, has ridden his loud but debunked concern that President Obama wasn't born in America to the top of the GOP heap. [Vote now: Is Trump's birtherism just a stunt?]
Some believe that Trump fares so well simply because he enjoys much better name recognition than the other candidates.
Other critics speculate he is using his presidential bid for publicity, which the 64-year-old television host denies.
"The fact is a lot of people in the polls don't vote for me because they think I'm just having a good time," Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Thursday. "They think that I'm promoting 'Celebrity Apprentice,' which I'm absolutely not." [Vote now: Will Trump seriously run for president?]
Trump said he'd make a decision about a White House bid by the summer, when his show wraps.