December 5th, 2008
04:12 PM ET
7 years ago

Huckabee and Palin top early 2012 list

Poll suggests Gov. Sarah Palin is a 2012 presidential hopeful.
Poll suggests Gov. Sarah Palin is a 2012 presidential hopeful.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama is still more than six weeks from White House, and the next Iowa caucuses are more than three years away — so naturally, it’s time to start talking 2012, as a new national poll suggests that Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee top the list of potential 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls.

In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey out Friday that serves as an early measure of potential support for the next GOP presidential nomination, Huckabee tops the list. Thirty-four percent of Republicans and independent voters who lean towards the GOP say they are very likely to support the former Arkansas governor if he were to become their party’s nominee in 2012. Huckabee surprised many by winning this year's Republican caucuses in Iowa and seven other contests before ending his run in March.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain's running mate in this year's election, draws nearly as much support: 32 percent of those polled said they would get behind a Palin nomination. And with the survey's sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 points, Palin and Huckabee are statistically tied.

The survey is an early measure of possible support, not a horse race snapshot.

“It might come as a surprise to some that Palin does better than Huckabee among GOP men but that Huckabee beats Palin among Republican women,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Palin's strength is also concentrated among older Republicans, but Huckabee may have a slight edge among conservative Republicans."

Among voters who consider themselves born again or evangelical, Huckabee draws more support than Palin, with a 9 point edge. Meanwhile, Palin holds a 7-point advantage among non-born again or evangelical voters.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is in third place in the poll, with 28 percent of those questioned saying they are very likely to suport him as the GOP nominee in 2012.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich draws roughly the same level of support as Romney, at 27 percent. In 2007, Gingrich flirted with making a run for the Republican presidential nomination, but decided against jumping into the race.

Twenty-three percent of those polled say they would be very likely to support Rudy Giuliani if he decides to run again. The former New York City mayor was the national frontrunner in many polls in late 2007, before performing poorly in the early primaries and caucuses. He dropped out of the race for the White House in late January.

Louisana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who's considered a rising star in the GOP, draws support from 19 percent of those surveyed, and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist 7 percent.

“Jindal and Crist are relative unknowns. The fact that they get much less support than the others is likely a function of name recognition rather than a true measure of their potential base of support," says Holland.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Monday and Tuesday, with 460 Republicans and independent voters who lean Republican questioned by telephone.

Filed under: 2012
soundoff (868 Responses)
  1. Sarah B

    I believe Palin will be aroung a long time. She is newsworthy. an attraction, and has lots of sex appeal. That sells! She could have gone to 6 more schools, and it would not have made any difference. As long as she stays in Alaska, no harm done. In the meantime, there is a country to run, which happens to be in a world of trouble. Pray we get through 2009 before planning for 2012.

    December 5, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  2. Brenda

    why and the heck are we talking about 2012 when Obama hasn't even took office yet. What the heck is the facination with Palin. Can you even in your wildest nightmare picture this lady in charge of our country. Yikes!

    December 5, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  3. Phil in Ca

    Dumb and Dumber thanks RNC.

    December 5, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  4. Change - Yeah Left!

    I adore Sarah, however, she's not where the RNC needs to go.

    I agree with almost all of her stances – but then I'm a woman who doesn't belive that I need to be a feminist. I don't believe that we need to kill our babies (I was raped and had my child and gave it up for adoption when I was 21, so NO excuses).

    As much as I think she would be a good leader, the majority of the country belittles her and won't support her so no, I don't think Sarah should run – which is a pity, because she has MORE experience than the Osama Obama bin Obamanation that is going to destroy America.

    December 6, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  5. mikee

    To clifford;
    Obama got a majority of the smart voters and don't believe Zogby because they are the FOX news of polling. They edit polls and video. I bet they don't have a video of Mc Pallin voters.

    December 6, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. howIroll

    In 1976 the Dems mocked the Repubs who claimed Reagan would be their standard bearer in 2000. He totally flubbed debates that year. Dems and moderate Republicans said, "he's too stupid, he doesn't know anything about foreign policy," etc. But he had something no other GOP candidate did...CHARISMA. And he learned over the next 4 years, wrote a book, appeared on talk shows, etc. Who was laughing in 1980?

    Palin does have charisma....she has a lot of work to do but if she studies up and gets herself on sunday talk shows, she's got the personality to draw people in.

    December 6, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. Bill

    CW "I caught part of Barbara Walter's interview with Tina Fey last night. She seemed to think that her impersanation of Sarah Palin did'nt hurt her at all. I disagree. I did not see the whole thing, but I wonder if Barbara asked if she was a Democrat? I wonder if Tina would like a try at Michelle Obama? Any one think she'd do it? I don't think so!"

    Fey is physically similar to Palin and she quoted her WORD FOR WORD.
    When Palin's OWN WORDS can be used to mock her with such hilarious results then the problem is with Palin not Tina Fey!

    December 6, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
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