Real estate mogul and reality television star Donald Trump moved to second place in a poll of Republican primary voters' preference for their 2012 presidential nominee.
Seventeen percent of GOP primary voters would like to see Trump, the bombastic host of "The Apprentice" on NBC, win the presidential nomination in 2012, according to a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday.
That level of support places Trump in second place in the 2012 field, tied with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who also checked in at 17 percent.
Only former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney eclipsed Trump and Huckabee; 21 percent of Republicans would like to see him snag the nomination.
The higher level of support is certainly somewhat of a coup for Trump. His candidacy has been generally regarded by most media outlets as more of a publicity stunt than a serious bid for the White House.
Still, Trump has maintained he's seriously thinking about running and will make a final decision in June.
In the meanwhile, Trump has sent an adviser to Iowa to scout out support in the key state, and he's increased his media profile, using it as of late to voice suspicions about President Obama's birthplace. Trump also spoke earlier this year at CPAC, a traditional cattle call for possible candidates.
Others in the poll trailed Romney, Trump and Huckabee.
Eleven percent of Republicans want former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as their nominee, followed by 10 percent for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, 6 percent for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, 5 percent for Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), 3 percent for former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) and 1 percent for Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.