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. Gayle

    Stop already. Enough please

    December 5, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. John

    This is one of the best endorsements Obama could get. This is the Republican way of saying we don't want the office. Maybe they have learned.

    We do need a true conservative party, absent the religious extremists, to help this country get back on the right track. We need the Republican party to repair itself and get back to being a serious party that has something positive to offer America. Palin and Huckabee have nothing to offer or they would have been viable this time.

    December 5, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Neal

    Great. Just shows that Republicans are regressing to ultra religious and ultra conservative types that turn off the moderates and independents that they desperately need to win. They just can't re-invent themselves. Just like trying to sell McCain as an agent of change. It will be great having a 2 term Obama presidency.

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

    Why does anyone car?

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

    I suppose you just "forgot" about Ron Paul huh? This is typical MSM censorship/propaganda for your corporate masters. Everytime I hear the phrase "free press" in this country it makes me want to puke!

    December 5, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. Allen, Jacksonville, Florida

    Yeah, and in 2006, we thought Rudy Giuliani was a sure bet for the GOP ticket.

    Newsweek's 2004 "How He Did It" issue (following the general election), didn't even mention Obama as a 2008 hopeful.

    December 5, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Mike the amazed

    I guess with all the budget cuts, the mental institutions must have released a number of patients who just happened to be polled on Palin and Huckabee.

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

    Go Palin.. I love you but women hates you because you are cute and sexy.

    December 5, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. Jim

    So 32% would support Palin and that is a statistical tie to Huckabee. It is also a statistical tie to the 28 or so % of people that thought Bush was doing a good job as president. That says an awful lot right there of who those people are.

    December 5, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. P. D.

    This is a joke right? Palin? Sure, Huckabee seems like a decent guy, I admire him, but I will never vote for a candidate who is so religious. As for Palin, the woman cannot string ONE intelligible sentence together. She is like a bad rash that won't go away.

    December 5, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    OMG, this has to stop. As to all the potential "wanna be's" the so-called "unknown", Jindal, has a better shot than any of the rest of those right wing nuts. Rudy Guiliani is SO last millenium, let it go, Mr. Noun-Verb-9/11, and Palin, well, please. Huckabee is at least a person one could listen to without having one's intelligence go down a peg or two with every syllable spoken. Any way you cut it, folks, with such people on the roster, Obama is GUARANTEED a second term!

    December 5, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. Louis

    THIS IS THE BEST THE REPUBLICANS CAN FIND? Out of all the Republicans in the country, these are the top two? After 8 years of Bush, most Americans are sick of born-again, holy-roller, dogmatic leaders. Time for America to wake up and lead with intelligent and pragmatic solutions.

    December 5, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Todd

    For those of you Republicans who think us Dems are "afraid" of Sarah Palin running agagin..... Are you delusional??! Nice way to twist that around. I don't want to see her again because she has nothing to offer and I think her ego needs to stop being fed. On the other side, to echo most people's comments, bring her on! Obama will be a shoe-in in 2012 if she runs again! I love it!

    December 5, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. NYC Native

    God help us!

    December 5, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Robert Wooller Bradford England UK

    Well, she wouldn't get my vote if I could vote. Her career is dead in national politics. Surely her huge loss with McCain proved that. She ought to retire from office, become unemployed and leave the Democrats and good Republicans to clear the mess up right wing Republicans like her have caused.

    Save the animals she has killed in Alaska.

    December 5, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Frank

    well that should seal the fate of the Republican party once and for all. Two Creationists directing the country? I think not. I hope the rest of the country is ready for anti-Christian backlash. I fior one think my Athestic prayers have been answered.

    December 5, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. jack debrot, new york, new york

    to the tune of "aquarius": "oh this is the age of oba-a-ma; oh ma-a-ma----" yea – the 'bama was born in a manger on another planet and has come to earth on the space ship of the "ancient mariners" to make all the geniuses who have written their comments here happy and all the simple people who cleave to their guns and religion will learn to love the 'bama and drink kool aid too. and he will visit with the republicans and they will dispute with him no longer and he will visit the nations and they will hail him as great and the 'bama will not let the united states fight any other country unless all the world agreed that we should (not like that nasty bush) and the world will be a better place – la la la.

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

    Huckabee would be a fine candidate. He would have given Obama a much tougher fight than McCain did. However, there is no way that Sarah Palin would be a credible national candidate. The fact that the Republican party would even consider this shows how deep their problems are. Because Obama is so popular, intelligent, confident and presidential, the American voters definitely made the correct choice this time. The Republicans have left him the worst mess that any new President has had to contend with so if he helps the country turn around, solves many of the problems and restores your reputation around the world, then it would take somebody with incredible depth to beat him. She would have to do quite a make-over to even be in his league.

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

    Palin and Huckabee as the frontrunners for the GOP in 2012? Obama just got his second term!

    Ever notice that any time a Republican gets elected, the intellectually bankrupt trickle-down Reaganomics and War-For-A-Better-Economy tactics they try and enact leaves the country in shambles?

    December 5, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. Surafel Melaku

    Let's hope she will get the Russian story straight this time. She has to catch up big time to run 2012. Not only Sarah even Huk. has to do a lot more with Obama holding Joe – Clinton – Richardson on his team. It is unthinkable to see Obama lose if he run again 2012.

    December 5, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. Jim, Addison, Tx

    2 Creationists on one ticket? I can't think of a better way of alienating the rest of the world from us than throwing some pre-Enlightenist thinking in the White House. America is now going to be run by Sunday school teachers and religious zealots?

    December 5, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. Armando

    The only one who can win and is good is Ron Paul. That is it.

    December 5, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. Michelle, PA

    ...And one year before the 2008 election, everybody thought the republican nomination would come down to Guiliani and Romney – while Hillary was a shoo-in for the Dems. Funny how things can change ina relatively short time. Here's a thought: How about waiting until the new president is sworn in before starting the next Presidential campaign?

    December 5, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. Charles L. Shaw, Liverpool, NY

    Yawn, the GOP is history, old ideas, wrong solutions.
    Let's give Barack a chance to create his changes, though I see very little differances in his solutions.

    December 5, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. mel from ohio

    GREAT!!! The Dems should walk away with a win if those two top the list!!!

    December 5, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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