Polls mixed on whether the GOP has room for more candidates

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By Alexis Levinson

Normally, by mid-August the presidential field would be set. But the 2012 cycle is anything but normal: Rick Perry entered the race this weekend, and he may not be the last. Paul Ryan is reportedly pondering a run. Sarah Palin’s bus tour is up and running again. Rudy Giuliani has said he’ll make a decision by September. And Karl Rove is suggesting Chris Christie could still be a welcome addition.

Polling, too, suggests that several of those possible candidates could have an impact on the race.

In the Daily Caller/ConservativeHome tracking poll, Chris Christie has sat at or near the top of the pack since the beginning. In June, before he was removed from the poll, 15.2 percent of likely Republican primary voters said he was the most electable candidate, outperforming everyone except for Mitt Romney. And 14 percent named Christie their top choice for president, tying him with Sarah Palin, behind Herman Cain, but ahead of Mitt Romney. (RELATED: Who has the best job-growth record)

Paul Ryan was less of a powerhouse but performed well for someone whose name had not been discussed often as a presidential hopeful. In June, before he too was eliminated from polling contention, 6.5 percent named him as their top choice. That put Ryan near the bottom of the pack, but still above declared candidates John Huntsman, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich.

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