Gallup keeps bringing the hits. Today it has a breakdown of early Republican primary polls by the top issues among potential voters. First the qualification: Primary polls this early are poor indicators of results. At this point in 2007, Rudy Giuliani led the GOP field and Hillary Clinton had a virtual lock on the Democratic nomination. But these polls do show us something about how the candidates are viewed, and whom they appeal to.
With that said, there are some notable results here. Mitt Romney still does badly among those who social issues as the biggest issue in 2012, as does Newt Gingrich. Perhaps more surprising, Sarah Palin wins among those voters who see national security and foreign policy as the most important issue.
It is worth noting that social issues (17%) and national security (15%) were considered the number one issue for about half as many voters as government spending (35%) and business/economy (31%). There is another Palin surprise, as Gallup notes: “She performs much less well among those focused on government spending and power, despite being one of the leading public supporters of the Tea Party movement.”