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. Typical Republican

    As a mouth-breathing idiot, they have my vote!!

    December 5, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. MikeH

    The Republicans should go over to the Afgan-Pakistan border and recruit some Taliban fundamentalists to inject some new blood into what their party is becoming.

    The REPUBLICAN party (knock of that GOP crap CNN) is going to religious extremist irrational ends. It has no use or understanding of science or scientific principles. It is turning into a medieval dark-age-type of organization. It is just a short hop from torturing suspected terrorists to torturing by inquisition suspected sinners.

    For those of you who suscribe to what the Republican party is turning into, you are not American, you're evil.

    December 5, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. EB

    She killed McCain and she'll do the same for anyone she's with in 2012. Peel back a layer or two from the onion and you'll see that she may be popular but she's not fit for public office. I say let her run, the repblican party needs to go a long way before they can win me back. They can start with a hard line against the fundamentailst god and country groups.

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

    The damage has not even left the white house, and America is enlisting some more. Well these are the people who have gained from the Bush administration and want to continue selling the turkey pakage to every one. But as Democrats we will stay united and keep fresh in our memoreis the 8 years of autrocities, and most Americans are being laid off there jobs the wil not forget the hunger pains that their children a re going through. This must be some kind of joke or ploy on the people to keep prancing around the republican part when all hell is breaking lose in America. Oh hey that wasn't 150,000.00 worth if wardrobe Sarah palin spent an additional 30,000.00 on cloths totalling 180,000.00 more money tha I make in15 years of hard work. Slap in the poor mans face. However I will be continue to campaign also , agaisnt this knightmare team.

    December 5, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Jerry Sweed

    Can you imagine Sarah Palin managing our current economic crisis?
    Tell me the Republicans are kidding?

    December 5, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Paul

    Where's the famous exorcist Bobby Jindall? He's just as big a religious cook as those two.

    December 5, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. change in America

    I hope Palin do wrong for president in 2012 so she can look like a fool on Tv again she is the weakest link in politic's... American should be ashame on saying who should run in 2012 Obama have not got sworn in yet this is disgusting..

    Let Obama get sworn in first.

    December 5, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. RiggsMD KC,Mo.

    Sarah Palin is not prepared to lead anything whatsoever that has to do with national politics. To continue to attempt to brainwash Americans in believing this woman is a formidable politician is an insult to the intelligence of the people. Huckabee is a religious man, period! Religion and Politics can only end up in Constitutional clashes, leaving this country in even more debilitating circumstances and view around the world. Right now the Republicans don't have anyone that has the chemistry it's going to take to help the people of this country. President Obama will move thru them like an overdose of laxative. Obama 2012

    December 5, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. Gary

    this is the best news I have heard since the Obama win. I am thrilled to know that if this holds true the Democcrats will have 8 full years. Palin is the best thing that has happened to the Democrats.

    December 5, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. Sandymouldin

    Another boring news about air head Palin ☻

    December 5, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. RCLGuard

    I actually fear for a Palin candidacy. She has the novelty factor. We've elected a black president and now we should elect a female president. Palin has that going for her and, we, Americans are fickle like that.

    But, man, is she a re tard.

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

    great. Obama will win handily.

    December 5, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. jordan

    John .What fear do you hear in the sounds of our voices? In case you been sleep since Nov. 3rd until today Your gal lost . Bad too. You have been saying this Dems are scared nonsense since september. Nobody is scared of the 08 loser future 2012 loser we are sick of her, not scared get that through your head you her and your kind lost. And will continue to lose.

    December 5, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Joe Acarai

    This the best news the Democrats can get. The Republican(cons) Party is done. Palin is a brainless politican with an inferior education to handle the Presidency. She is clueless.

    December 5, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Larry DuBois

    Huckabee? Palin? This is great news for Democrats far and wide. Maybe they could decide on being running mates and we'll have an all Jesus ticket!

    December 5, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. RCLGuard

    If Obama gets us out of this recession and 2 wars, the Republicans could put up Jesus and Obama would still win.

    December 5, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Bob in Toledo

    Hope they run as a team. That would be great. cuzz if they do, we're gonna see 40+ states go blue in 2012.

    December 5, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. Rob Smith III

    So four years (i.e. high school or college length) will provide Sarah Palin with the know-how to run a country? She's still lagging behind, having just proven a month or so ago that she couldn't name a newspaper that she read, much less any Supreme Court cases of historic significance. Aren't there any more prospective John Warners out there that can answer the call? I'm sick of a Republican leadership that taps its feet under lavatory stalls and squanders money from the underprivileged every day. We may not need to be forced to provide for the less fortunate but we certainly should have leaders that know how to lead...by example, of course.

    December 5, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. Bill

    A Palin/Huckabee ticket sounds great to me!
    It will give Obama the four additional years he will undoubtably need to clean up the Republican mess we are in now.

    December 5, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. jm for sc

    I would love to see Obama smash Palin in a debate. As an Obama supporter, I say, "Bring it on."

    December 5, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Chuck

    Huckabee should've been the candidate this time, but people with influence didn't think he could win so they didn't endorse him. It's their fault we're in the situation we're in. Huckabee could've won!

    December 5, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Gary

    Ones a Preacher, the other Needs a Preacher.

    December 5, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. Karen from Charlottesville

    Are Hickabee and Palin are the best the GOP can offer? I suspect they are at the top of the list because they are malleable and can be manipulated by the GOP machine. Don't forget about the entire Palin family "makeover" by the GOP. There are some people behind the scenes who want a folksy candidate out front, but you can be sure that the Cheney's of the world will be pulling the strings of these candidates. That 32% needs to put on their thinking caps.

    December 5, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. Susie from Canada

    I always surmised that Republicans were a little light in judgement!

    December 5, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. Lia

    Oh goody – that means the Democrats will win again!

    December 5, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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