POLITICS

Palin Is Most Popular GOP Figure, Romney Comes In Second: Poll

07/25/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sarah Palin is the most popular figure in the GOP, according to a Pew Research Center poll released on Wednesday.

The poll surveyed leading GOP politicians' favorability among both Republicans and the general public. Palin took the lead in terms of popularity within the party, with 73% of Republicans giving her a favorable rating.

Among the general public, however, Palin was found to be a particularly polarizing figure. The Alaska governor's rating among all voters was split nearly in half: 45% favorable versus 44% unfavorable.

According to the poll, Mitt Romney is the second-most popular GOP figure. He received a 57% favorability rating among Republicans and among the general public, a 40% rating. Overall, Romney's ratings are an improvement over last year on nearly every front, meaning he's gotten more popular since his presidential bid ended.

The other GOP figures in the survey did not fare as well as Palin and Romney. Newt Gingrich had a 55% favorability rating among Republicans and a 22% unfavorable rating. Michael Steele, meanwhile, had only a 28% favorability rating. A full 58% of Republicans said they do not know enough about the RNC chairman to register an opinion.

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