The 18 state level polls we released over the last week on the 2012 GOP nomination contest confirmed what we already knew- this thing is about as wide open as it could be.
Averaged across the states we looked at Mitt Romney gets 19.5%, Sarah Palin gets 17.9%, Mike Huckabee gets 17.1%, and Newt Gingrich gets 15.7%. That’s about as close as it could be among the front runners, and the fact that the biggest winner with 19.6% was someone else/undecided makes it clear that there’s plenty of room for someone outside the current top tier of potential candidates to become the GOP standard bearer.
In only 3 of the states we looked at did anyone manage to post a double digit lead- that was Romney in Connecticut, Nevada, and New Hampshire. In just 2 of them did one of the contenders manage to crack 30%- Romney in Nevada and New Hampshire. All of those things taken together point to a Republican nomination fight that is very unpredictable.