December 5th, 2008
04:12 PM ET
10 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. Ernie

    Obama had better fullfill a whole bunch of promises or he will have some tough competion in 2012. Obama has 4 years to screw up and Palin has 4 years to improve. Do not underestimate a woman.

    December 5, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. Pat

    Obviously, you people who say you are conservatives and are for Huckabee and/or Palin are "SOCIAL" conservatives, not necessarily fiscal conservatives. Right now, and probably for many years down the road, there are bigger problems than social issues to be concerned about. Our country is falling apart financially and people are losing their jobs and homes. We need brave, smart leaders to get us out of this mess. And while I usually agree with fiscal conservatism, I also understand the maxim that it takes money to make money so we may need to spend to create jobs and help people out until those jobs are available. Once people get back to work, then they will have the money to spend and help the economy even further.

    December 5, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Common Sense!!!

    Are these politicians going to play with American People's Emotion??
    Gov Palin is not ready for any level of politics. because she is shooting
    and spraying some negative words that does not mean she is going to be good leader to lead our Nation. if she is going to run in 2012
    trust me then she'll face real tough media. last time media were very
    easy on her. i also think she needs to get degree in political science.

    December 5, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Beverly, NYC

    Huckabee & Palin huh, what's the matter Joe the Plumber not available? Good luck with all that Republicans.

    December 5, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. Jack in Toledo

    Yeppy for us Republicans, let's put another losing Team together!!! What happen to lessons learned? No wonder we lost the race for the White House. Our Republican party is becoming a be disappointment. Where are the bright minds??? Yikes, We are in big trouble if we think this is the team of the future. GOP lets get out of this old numb stage and push the real GOP ideas, Not these clowns!!! bring the qualified people to the table. Please not Palin again.... God Help America..!!!!!

    December 5, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. Sarah to replace the woos Obama in 12'

    Obama will be run over by the Iranians, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban strictly because he is a woos. He'll negotiate with them and come back home like Chamberlain waving a piece of paper stating "Peace in our time."

    However. they'll take all of his woos offers and then do what they want anyway. Sarah-it will be up to you to save us from this woos in 2012.

    December 5, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. Jason in TX

    In four years nobody will care anymore about Sarah Palin, just like this political season, yea, she was unknown and that made it interesting, but after a couple months with that whiney voice and that stupid winking, it got old. She is like a new car, yea, its all cool and neat at first, then you get tired of it after awhile and want to trade it in for something new.

    December 5, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. Chuck in LA

    The GOP lost this year because they've become too focused on their rabid and intractable base. These two play to the same rabid and intractable base. Does the GOP want to lose again?

    December 5, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. keeth in california

    And neither of them will win.

    December 5, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. Hank from Atlanta

    Yeah and Jimmy was just the perfect whatever. I am amazed that the Dems really think that their "hatred" will fix everything in America.

    What a bunch of misled sheep!!

    December 5, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. J.G.

    You can not win an election with only 32% of the population. Hello?

    December 5, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  12. Steve

    I hope Palin gets the nomination. That will absolutely ensure Obama's 2nd term to clean this mess up.

    December 5, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. Dean P Valencia Ca

    They must be looking to get beaten again. America has spoken and we want solutions and leadership. We don't want politicians that inject religion and try to divide the country.

    December 5, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  14. Bob (Illinois)

    Sarah who?

    December 5, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. Sandy

    Oh, gosh I hope they are the candidates in 2012. We've got to get Barack reelected. What a joke.

    December 5, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. Robert Bauer, Sonoma County, CA

    This is great news! Both of these candidates are sure losers. Unfortunately, the Republican party has 4 years to come to its senses, and given their inclination to say and do incredibly stupid things, that's a lot of time for these two to fall out of favor.

    December 5, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. Gail

    LOL! If this is the best the GOPeepers can come up with then it's Democrats all the way for the next 30 years. LOL!!! ROFLMAO!!!!

    December 5, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. Biblvr777

    Huckabee is an excellent choice. The GOP needs to make the 2012 election a referendum on ABORTION. Only morality can save the Republican Party.

    December 5, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. Chuck in LA

    I'd rather vote for a ham sandwich than for Ron Paul, or any other Libertarian for that matter. Those guys are all theory.

    December 5, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. Bret

    Palin? Good grief, don't we already have enough problems ?

    December 5, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  21. Huckabee to be Sarah's VP in 2012

    Mike-get ready to be VP in 2012-Sarah Palin will be running the show from the Oval Office.

    December 5, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. Jason, Omaha

    OMG CNN get over it! Obama hasn't even been inaugurated yet and you're obsessing over who will run against him. Do any of your "experts" know why these two top the list? because NOBODY CARES who will run in 2012 and since these names are the most recent, freshest names, people will name them. You need to fire your political team!

    December 5, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. Hope for the future

    Here is my "No" vote already.

    December 5, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. ohio for oboma

    History is now changing to dems favorite. The dems will control the white house like the repubs once did. The dems have candidates and the repubs are now producing horror shows candidates..

    December 5, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    It's going to be who "outChristians" the other.

    "I'm more of a Christian!"

    "No! I am!"

    "No you're not!"

    "Am too!"


    Obama will crush either so no worries from me!

    December 5, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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