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. Joseph

    When will the Right learn they can' t nominate religious extremists and expect to win the Presidency? Huckabee and Palin have no better chance of being elected than Jesse Jackson did coming from the left.

    To win the presidency, you must be somewhat of a moderate. The two clowns are NOT moderates.

    December 5, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. jean brandt

    Sarah Palin – the gift that keeps on giving – to the Democrats. Palin has shown, over and over again, that she prefers style over substance, so it's a sure bet that she won't be any smarter four years from now.

    December 5, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  3. Jill

    Which one has a larger margin among comedians surveyed?

    December 5, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. wwf

    If those two are the best that the Republican Party have to offer, they should save their money and wait until 2016. Palin with a ged and how many years to get through Junior College? Sorry Huck, the majority of people are not ready for your bible thumping. On the issues alone? That would be a no brainer. The Huckster!

    December 5, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. Brian C

    Can't you already see his strategy... I can't stand this guy. He knows many IRAQ vets will be coming back in the next 2,3,4 years. He relentlessly has bagged the government for the obvious problems we all forsee with this "bailing out" of people because he knows at that time he can say as he is saying right now "see, we shoudl have put that money where it needed to go, the vets"...

    I hate people who support something so they can make a situation mold to there benefit when the time is right... it's insincere. Plus... the guy preaches too much!

    December 5, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. karen-phoenix

    Huckabee's not to bad. Educated man. BUT NO PALIN!!!! She is soooo uneducated and she allowed her kids to all be high school drop outs!!!! NOT a good example for families who NEED to educated their children. Obama is the perfect example–both he and his wife who put themselves through to Masters Degree and believes in true Family Values!!!

    December 5, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. lynn

    Palling around with Palin = Obama /Biden 2012.

    December 5, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Charlie

    Character counts; Gov.Palin has it, Obama hasn't .

    December 5, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. Gail

    PJ December 5th, 2008 3:41 pm ET

    Raeford NC – Can you give me one example of Sarah Palin using common sense? I'm really curious as to how people of your mentality envision things. Seriously. I need to find out why she is such a sensation to some people.

    She's such a sensation to those kind of people because they think with their head instead of their brain.

    Thank God 68% of the population think differently!

    Obama is YOUR next POTUS!!! Hip Hip Horray!

    December 5, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. sandee in Portland

    It's interesting that more men would vote for Palin than women; just goes to show you that us women don't want just any old woman in office, only the intelligent, well qualified ones

    December 5, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Franky

    Me personally, I like the Huckster. It is ironic that Gov Palin does well with men(is it really a surprise?) whle the Huckster does well with women. Pretty interesting separation, based on this of course. But if it came down to the Huckster or Palin, I would personally choose the Huckster over her.

    December 5, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. Joe-Wilmington, DE Democratic Party members cheer wildly at the continuing stupidity of Republican right-wingers!

    December 5, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. Geoff Calver

    Are we kidding around here? Mike Huckabee??? And Sarah Palin, who single-handedly destroyed John McCain's campaign??? How about Mitt Romney, a man who actually knows his way around the economy and who isn't a socially uber-conservative nutjob?

    December 5, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. Frustrated with the Coverage

    Look guys. Can we let the current President-elect get inaugurated before the flurry of 2012 speculation? It is unreasonable hype.

    December 5, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  15. Kelcie

    I am an Independent and I actually quite like Huckabee. Unless someone else comes forward, he may be the Republicans best shot.

    December 5, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. Common Sense!!!

    George Bush made America from Super Power to broken America.
    if Palin becomes President then she'll make America 3rd world country. then all 3rd world country will laugh at us.

    December 5, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. no fear

    let's just hope the collective margin of intellect widens in the next four years.
    Huckabee, maybe.
    Palin? Categorically, no.

    December 5, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. Chris

    Is it me or does the GOP put more spin on elections than the DNC?

    The GOP clearly think this election was "stolen" from them... but if they had won, it would have been a victory.

    December 5, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. Stephanie from FL

    Hah! If this country actually votes for yet another incompetent Republican to head the GOP, then I only hope that they get what's coming. Ridiculous, to think that an Evangelical or brainless twit could come even close to becoming our country's greatest leader, especially with such a fantastic man like Obama running for the opposing party.

    2009-2012 will mark four great years for America. We can only hope that the chance to continue a legacy of true change and hope for us will be extended for another four.

    Obama '08 and '12. 🙂

    December 5, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. John

    Palin is radical and divisive and worst..ignorant. Africa is a continent sweepee. Take some foreign leadership courses and then we can talk. Repbulican"s have made ignorance a virtue, so long as you say he right words.


    Huckaby is likable, but not Presidential.

    I voted for Bush1, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush, OBAMA.

    I've never lost. I'm bellweather. No lie.

    December 5, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  21. James

    If you truly believe that Bush and the Republicans are solely responsible for everything that is going wrong with the economy you are either ignorant or stupid and either way have no business calling Palin or Huckabee stupid.

    December 5, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  22. karen-phoenix

    PS: AND I WAS a republican for over 40 years but NO MORE!!!! It's become the party of uneducated right wing nuts and skinheads!

    December 5, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. RSB

    I just heard what the RNC spent on Palin in a two month period for hair and make up. Shows where their priorities are. Republicans should be so angry that their contributions were used this way. That doesn't count what she spent on clothing. Again, priorities. No wonder they lost.
    Wouldn't mind Huckabee but please find someone else to run with him.

    December 5, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  24. Mari

    @ RAEFORD IN NC........ dude, we ALREADY tried the "folksy, ah-chucks" president! WE DO NOT WANT ANOTHER BUSH!


    IF she were a Democrat the far-right-family-values crowd would have CRUCIFIED PALIN FOR ABANDONING HER FAMILY FOR HER AMBITIONS!

    December 5, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Jack in cali

    Yikes! Please not either of them. Aren't there other qualified republicans out there that can invigorate the party?? The moral vote happened in 2004 and we see where that got us; don't let it happen in 2012!

    December 5, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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