- The Washington Times - Monday, August 16, 2010

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee leads the field of potential GOP presidential candidates in Iowa, the state that will provide the first real test of the 2012 campaign, according to a poll released Monday by theIowaRepublican.com.

Mr. Huckabee received  22 percent of the vote and was followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who received 18 percent — similar to the results of the 2008 Iowa caucus in which the two rivals finished first and second. 

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich finished third with 14 percent, followed by Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor,  who received 11 percent.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul received 5 percent of the vote. Potential dark horses in the race — Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and South Dakota Sen. John Thune — each received 1 percent. 

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s received less than 1 percent. 

Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Pawlenty and Mr. Santorum have already visited the state, which traditionally holds the country’s first caucus in presidential races. 

The state’s Republican Party also conducts a straw poll, a vote at a fundraising dinner that often trims the field of candidates. The next poll is set for August 2011.

The poll commissioned by theIowaRepublican.com surveyed 399 likely GOP voters and has a margin or error of plus-or-minus 4.9 percentage points. 

The poll also found 23 percent of those surveyed were undecided, which the website said “leaves plenty of room and plenty of time for other contenders like Pawlenty or Santorum to emerge.”