Majority of Conservatives Find Romney, Gingrich ‘Acceptable’

By | January 10, 2012 | 1:15 PM EST

Newt Gingrich, left, and Mitt Romney, Republicans vying for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. (AP Photo)

( According to a Gallup survey Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are the only two Republican presidential candidates that are “acceptable” as a Republican presidential nominee to a majority of conservative voters.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, were the only two candidates that received more than 50 percent in the survey, conducted Jan. 5-8. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) barely missed the mark, with 50 percent of respondents saying he was “acceptable.”

Romney led the poll with 59 percent of conservatives saying he would be an acceptable Republican presidential nominee. Gingrich same in second with 51 percent and Santorum was third with 50 percent.

Forty-one percent of conservative Republicans said Texas Gov. Rick Perry was “acceptable” as the GOP nominee, while 25 percent said Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was acceptable, and 19 percent said former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman would be an acceptable nominee.

Romney was the overwhelming favorite of moderate/liberal Republicans, earning an identical 59 percent acceptability rating from them. Gingrich was a distant second, earning the “acceptable” rating from moderate/liberal Republicans.

Paul and Santorum tied among moderate/liberal Republicans with 35 percent labeling them acceptable, while Perry was acceptable to 29 percent of moderate/liberal Republicans, and Huntsman was acceptable to only 25 percent.