Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee sits atop a tightly packed field for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, a new poll said Wednesday.

Huckabee scored a slight lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in a new Gallup Poll. The three of them, in some variation or another, have led other polls testing Republicans' preference for the party's nominee in 2012.


Eighteen percent of Republicans said they would support Huckabee to get the GOP nod, while 16 percent backed Romney and 16 percent would prefer Palin.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) would draw 9 percent, Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) would get 5 percent, Rep. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannBoehner says he voted for Trump, didn't push back on election claims because he's retired Boehner: Trump 'stepped all over their loyalty' by lying to followers Boehner finally calls it as he sees it MORE (Minn.) would get 4 percent; former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty checks in at 3 percent, as do Govs. Haley Barbour (Miss.) and Mitch Daniels (Ind.). Two percent would back former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.).

This was the first time Bachmann was included, as well as former Utah governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (R), who received support from 1 percent of Republicans. Fourteen percent of Republicans said "none" or had no opinion.

Huckabee performs particularly well among self-identified "conservatives," drawing support from 21 percent. Romney, meanwhile, fares well with college graduates (22 percent). The top four candidates receive similar levels of support from Tea Party members as they do from Republicans as a whole.

The overall poll shows little movement in candidates' numbers for the most part, reflecting the fact that the campaign for the White House has barely gotten under way.

Romney was down three points from Gallup's mid-November poll, and Huckabee was up two points. Gingrich, meanwhile, dropped from 13 percent in mid-November to 9 percent this month.

The poll, conducted Feb. 18 to 20, has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.