Poll: Former Sen. Talent holds edge among GOP contenders

New poll numbers from the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling show former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) as the top choice among Missouri Republicans to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in 2012. 

Talent led the way among Republican voters in the state with 53 percent to Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder's 26 percent. 

The lone Republican to have already jumped into the race, former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman, was third, with just 17 percent. 

Talent is weighing a bid for his old seat after McCaskill ousted him in 2006, but he has yet to announce his intentions. Republicans in the state don't expect him to make an official decision before the end of the year. 

While the poll suggests Talent has a major edge should he decide to run, his lead is more the result of name ID than anything else. 

The poll found 68 percent of Republicans were familiar enough with Talent to offer an opinion, while just 38 percent said the same of Steelman.