2012: GOP Voters Enthusiastic About "No One"

April 21, 2011 1:19 pm ET — Kate Conway

It's pretty well accepted among progressives that the 2012 GOP presidential field is looking sparse on serious (or at least seriously viable) candidates. Turns out that, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll, Republican voters largely agree. Asked to name a candidate they feel enthusiastic about, 56 percent of Republican voters replied, "no one." No candidate hit double-digit enthusiasm, either; Mitt Romney came in at the top with a paltry nine percent of respondents' favor.

                 CBS/NYT Poll                                         

The lackluster pool has yet to spark the attention of the American public, and the New York Times reports that "[o]nly those possible contenders who regularly appear on television — or have made bids before — are well known enough to elicit significant views from their fellow Republicans."

Perhaps the Republican base's failure to provide direction for party leadership is what has prompted RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to lend legitimacy to such fringe candidates as Donald Trump, who has been on a birther-fueled tear through the media. The voters aren't convinced, though: 72 percent of registered voters say Trump isn't a serious candidate, including 57 percent of Republicans.