Sarah Palin Ascendant? Maybe. Still A Factor? You Betcha.

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Gallup has new numbers out today, testing the 2012 GOP waters. Polls this early in an election cycle are in no way predictive of eventual results, but they are telling for other reasons. At the very least, we now know that Sarah Palin’s up-and-quit spectacle of the last couple weeks has not hurt her much among GOP voters.

As the pollsters explain:

While Palin trails [Mitt] Romney in the current candidate preference test, she leads both him and [Mike] Huckabee in terms of their respective favorable ratings among Republicans. Currently, 72% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have a favorable opinion of Palin, compared with 56% for Romney and 59% for Huckabee. But her lead on this measure largely reflects the fact that she is better known than the two former governors, given the substantially lower “no opinion” figures for her.