Eyes are now turning to the 2012 election, even before those who won in the Nov. 2 election have even been sworn in.
According to a poll of 400 "usual Republican primary voters" by Public Policy Polling from Dec. 3-6, and based solely on name recognition of the candidates, Michigan Republicans say former Michigan Gov. John Engler is the best candidate to take on Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2012.
Republicans also picked native son and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, along with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, as having the best chance in a re-election bid by President Barack Obama.
After Engler, who the pollster said is unlikely to seek the Senate seat in 2012, U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra is the leader followed by Attorney General Mike Cox to run against Stabenow.
Republicans were asked to choose between Engler, Hoekstra, Cox, Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, and U.S. Rep. Candace Miller.
Likely primary voters picked Engler followed by Hoekstra, Cox, Land, Miller, Rogers and McCotter.
To run against Obama, Republicans were asked to pick between Romney, Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty and John Thune.
Republicans equally picked Romney and Huckabee followed by Palin, Gingrich and Paul.
The survey by the North Carolina-based pollster had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.
Contact Charles Crumm at 248-745-4649, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @crummc and on Facebook. Keep up with Gov.-elect Rick Snyder at snyderwatch.blogspot.com.