December 5th, 2008
04:12 PM ET
5 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. mike

    In other words, the party as a whole just set themselves up to loose again.

    December 5, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. Emily

    Why doesn't someone ask this good Christian woman why she
    champions the brutal slaughter of wolves in Alaska? Also, why
    she is pushing to have trophy hunting of Polar Bears, an endangered species made legal. She is such an evil hypocrite, too stupid to
    realize that other life forms wern't made for us to slaughter at a whim.

    If this is a Christian, I am so glad I am not.

    December 5, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. Steve

    Obama won the presidency and the citizens of our country – and the world – shouted and danced in the streets. Name ONE person in the Republican party that could ever get that kind of adoration. It ain't Sarah Palin or Mr. Huckabee. Republicans still haven't learned there lesson.

    December 5, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. Josh Maloney, Oakland, CA

    I'm not surprised that a significant number of Americans still back the uninformed, polarizing and incompetent Governor from Alaska.

    December 5, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. John

    These elections are turning into a circus.

    Brilliant Comment Gerri.

    December 5, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. GOP Campaign Strategy

    Guess they are looking to lose the 2012 election along with the 2008 one. Huckabee does play the guitar, and Sarah does hunt moose, so they will have something to start campaigning on. Their voter base,of guitar playing moose hunters is a start no matter how small it may be.. You Betcha!

    December 5, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. pam Eugene OR

    That is great news. If that is the best the GOP can come up with...a preacher and a brain dead woman the Democrats will be in power for a very long time.
    There is no middle with either of these people and they will only attract the ever shrinking Republican base.

    December 5, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. Mike Dallas

    What's her name has 4 years to flash more leg and wink at the repug men and get them to boost her popularity to the top of the ticket.

    Palin/Huckabee 2012

    Please, Please Please, let this be a prophecy that comes true!!!!

    December 5, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. MC-Atlanta

    If the Christian Right keeps a strangle Hold on the GOP , well then I guess Democrats will keep winning across the country.

    Get with the times folks...times are a' changin..

    December 5, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. Glenn in California

    Huckabee? Maybe.

    Palin? Who's going to be her running mate? Joe the Plumber? By the time 2012 rolls around, Palin is going to be the answer to a trivia question.

    Either way, if President-elect Obama does a good job, there's no chance for any Republican. It would be great to see Palin as the candidate. Obama would have a chance to sweep all 50 states, including Alaska.

    December 5, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  11. marc

    On a slow newsday there is nothing like a good laugh. Obama won because of change and pulling to the center. Extreme views like Huckelberry Hound and Sheena Queen of the Frozen Tundra are out of tune. Anyway give it a rest. Happy Holidays to all.

    December 5, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. Maggie

    Palin runs in 2012....

    I predict a Democratic electoral landslide that might put the landslide of the Reagan vs. Mondale campaign to shame (Mondale only got 13 electoral votes). The democrats might even walk away with 100% of the electoral vote in that election!

    Talk about one for the record books!

    December 5, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. Ruby

    How the hell will the GOP win the white house in 2012 if Obama does his job well (which i think he will be) in his first term? Stick to what is working for America!

    December 5, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. BongoTodd

    Sweet!!! Another Victory for the Dems...Oh Sarah what is NAFTA stand for again. Hahahahahahahah. Is Africa really a Country? Good God Sarah, just sit up in Alaska, and act like your doing something important.

    December 5, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. erik

    Palin beats Huckabee in a landslide. Afterall, Huckabee doesn't have foreign policy experience like Palin...Arkansas isn't close enough to a foreign country.

    December 5, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Joa

    I truly believe there is no new information today. Still this woman has no brain. And to make it worse she actually believe that she would be able to make a full coherent sentence coming 2012!?!?!?!? What a joke she has become. She will be remember for her looks and NO brain. Go America!

    December 5, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Erik from Real Pennsylvania

    Dear Republican Party:
    Oh, please please PLEASE run this pair as the 2012 ticket.
    Sincerely,
    The Democrats

    December 5, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. karen-phoenix

    PS: And I was a republican for over 40 years but NO MORE!!! The republican party has become the party of very uneducated right wing nuts!!!

    December 5, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. Bill

    To know Palin's future, you simply have to look at the oil commodities market. Thankfully for everyone except Alaskans, that market has collapsed and will recover extremely slowly over the next 2 years. So Palin's windfall tax checks are gone, as is painless funding for her energy production and transportation projects (which were only in the planning stages, regardless of what the campaign said). She won't make it out of her term as governor in any type of shape to run for President. She had a good 15 minutes.

    December 5, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. chris juelch

    are you kidding? Even if she can learn the many countries of North America by then, or if by some miracle she opens a geography book and concludes that Africa is not a country...................She'll still be Sarah "you betcha Joe" Palin. ......come on people, let's let this klondike rube go back to Alaska and let that be their burden. They elected her to an office, not the rest of us.

    Huckabee? man oh man.......might as well look to 2016. Huckabee/Palin or vice-versa (sic), would be another loser, even bigger than this election, which was McCain/Palin........I thought the "GOP" already voted that McCain was better than Huckabee, which proved again to be a loser. LOL. What is this, the "presidential hopeful recycling program"?

    Jesus/God '16

    LOL, bye bye, "GOP"

    December 5, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. To Jason Hoffman

    Maybe you should move there so you can truly show your support.

    December 5, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. hunter thompson

    Perfect! Music to every democrat's ears. Put her on the ticket again, so that Obama can walk into his second term.

    December 5, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. yjn

    By having either of these two on top of the ticket will make GOP the permanent minority party. GOP needs to move to the center not further to the right to be relevant.

    December 5, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. D. M. George

    Please give us a break! Who cares who is ahead in a poll for the 2012 election? One thing learned this year is that whoever is ahead now may well not be part of the picture then. Give the election thing a rest. It is time to take care of the problems now not the election in 4 years.

    December 5, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. Tom

    Huckabee/Palin 2012! Obama will get 400+ electoral votes!!!

    December 5, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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