December 5th, 2008
04:12 PM ET
9 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. Bill Charlotte,NC

    Who cares? Surely, they have better than this!

    December 5, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. Abyssinian Lion

    I hope that we still have a Country in 4 years.

    DubYah has dug us a big hole. I hope that Pres Obama and his team can get us back out of this mess.

    December 5, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. 3strikes

    the new slogan america will be taking up in 2012 is "nobama 'change' failed, we need republican reform and palin power"

    PALIN 2012

    December 5, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. BS not Maverick


    December 5, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. Can't wait for 01 20 09

    Don't tell me what a mouthfull Palin ? thats enough to make me barf.

    December 5, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    Huckabee, at least, is a gentleman and straight talker. He has the brains, judgment, and character for the job. Palin is a self-centered, shallow, phony wannabe who lies worse than George W. Bush. My choice would be for Huckabee! GO, Mike!

    December 5, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. Iowa Mom

    Lord help us all.

    December 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. agnes

    I think there is an inherent insanity in even talking about 2012 right now. Enough already.

    December 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. Accountability

    Nominate either one...that will ensure a Democrat in the White House through 2016.

    December 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  10. Bruce

    If this is the best the republican party can do, guess I will continue to vote democratic.

    December 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. Colin

    Remember that episode of South Park where there was an election between a giant douche and a turd sandwich?

    This is exactly like that.

    December 5, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  12. Bill

    I can see Mike and Sarah in the White House in 2012 to help us recover from the democrats.

    December 5, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. payback

    Oh yeah, two reglious nuts for president and vice president........Let's just pray all our problems away.....did'nt we have enough of that from the last president...Who said he sought advice from a higher power.....Look , where that got us?????????????????

    December 5, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. Sky is bluer in Seattle

    Thats a mouthfull but why add Palin?she is enough to make us barf .

    December 5, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  15. Cynt

    Neither is equipped to run this country, but let Palin be the choice, then that way we know for sure Obama will win again in 2012. Obama is going to win again anyway regardless of who runs against him, but she is such and idiot it would be great to see him have a landslide victory. My biggest downside to her running is I have to listen to that horrible, horrible sound of her voice, YUCK!!!. not mention she can't make a complete sentence. Moose killer, if you plan on running you better use this time to get some knowledge. LOL

    December 5, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. obama-mama

    Oh that's great. Just add more fuel to the Palin annoying fire. The republicans are a bunch of dimwits if they would really put Palin in power. That's exactly why we are screwed up now, THE RED NECK, TRAILER DWELLING, MISSING TEETH, MARRIED TO YOUR KIN REPUBLICANS......Whew....I feel much better getting that off my chest.

    December 5, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. Davis

    Lord help us all if Palin is going to be next drive of GOP bus. Bush Jr.

    December 5, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. your average girl

    once again, let's STOP TALKING ABOUT PALIN and focus on the issues in the present. the only time her name should be in the news again is 2012. It's 2008 right now, so let the past be the past.

    December 5, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. Al, NY NY

    Huckelberry AND lipstick Fido. What a pair they would make if they ran together!!! If you thought this year was a landslide, just wait. That would be the most lopsided win in the history of the US. Ghouliani would do better among independents but the thumpers, gay haters, and abortion fanatics would likely stay home. He is after all pro-choice, supports gay rights, cross-dresses, fools around on his wife, and is generally a disgusting, publicity hound

    December 5, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. Unbelievable!

    Could we please hold this historic inauguration before we start talking about Huckabee and that other twit? I mean... REALLY! In four years there will be another bright, shining star for the Republicans and both Huckabee and that dimwhit will be long since forgotten. Let's pray the nincompoot is forgotten, at least. Humm... can't think of anything else to call her, so I'll just end there.

    December 5, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  21. HouseDiva


    Is it Halloween again?

    I can imagine those two mock Christians having the nuclear codes.

    December 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. Ben

    Dear GOP:

    Please run Sarah Palin against Obama in 2012. Not only will it have tremendous comedic value, it will ensure the country doesn't get derailed again for at least another 4 years.

    Moose Chilli for everyone!

    December 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Hahahahaha! Unbelievable. Who're they going to nominate for Secretary of State, Jesus? LOL!

    December 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. bd

    Looks like we didnt learn our lesson. A populist big government conservative and a moron for my party!!!!! I will not support neither! Looks like Obama wins big in 2012.

    December 5, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. Ray Schiel

    Are these polls even necessary at this point and if so, why?

    Are there other polls that address the country's current needs rather than speculations of something that may or may not happen in the future?

    Let's focus on solving today's issues so that whoever is leading us in future can say in a triumphant tone, "Thank you, everyone, for taking the time and energy back then to get us to where we are today."

    What's important today? Let's survey and solve that first.

    December 5, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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