New 2012 GOP Face: Texan Rick Perry

The Washington Whispers Poll has discovered a new Republican 2012 contender.

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The Washington Whispers Poll has discovered a new Republican 2012 contender: Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Considered a very long shot by GOP pundits and political analysts, nearly one in three of those in our poll chose Perry as the sitting governor most suited to challenger President Obama.

By getting 29 percent to choose him, the two-term Perry shows that he could be a force in the upcoming Republican primaries, though it also suggests that voters aren't satisfied with the more established GOP names in the 2012 field. [See political cartoons about the 2012 Republican presidential field.]

The poll was also good news for New Jersey Chris Christie and Indiana Sen. Mitch Daniels, Christie won 27 percent, Daniels 22 percent, as the governors ready to run against Obama.

But our Synovate eNation Internet poll was more bad news for Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who's planning to run for president. As in other polls, Barbour came in last in the Whispers poll, taking just 10 percent. Even little-known South Carolina first-term Gov. Nikki Haley beat him with 12 percent.

Governors are back on top of the Republican presidential heap as voters look for a 2012 nominee. Which sitting governor is best suited to challenge President Obama?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry 29%

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 27%

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels 22%

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley 12%

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour 10%

Source: The Synovate eNation Internet poll was conducted March 25-29 among 1,000 nationally representative households by global market research firm Synovate.

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