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. Jon in Connecticut

    Can the media please stop talking about Sarah Palin and the displaced Republican party – they LOST – get over it – and why are we wasting time speaking about her wardrobe and the others when Obama won by 8-9 million votes and an electoral college blow out? End the madness now, stop talking about Sarah Palin (let her govern Alaska and their declining economy with less oil royalties pouring in now for their residents while the rest of subsidized that for years) and don't bring her name or the rest of that bunch up again until January 2012.

    December 5, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. Clare Cammack

    Oh MY GOSH!!!!!! What is the attraction to Sarah Palin? I though America was smarter than that. She thinks she can see Russia from her house, she allowed herself to be pranked by two very cagy DJ's from Canada, didn't know Africa was a continent and refused to answer the questions at the debate and openly told the moderator she was going to talk about what she wanted to talk about. So, does that give everyone enough information that the woman needs a lot of training and I am not so sure there is enough time to do it. Let's keep Sarah Palin and her journalism major in Alaska!

    December 5, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. Robin


    December 5, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. Mike

    Hey CNN, note to self:


    Obama hasn't even taken office yet and you're already guessing at who's going to run in 2012? Give it up. Stop with the speculation and start reporting the news. You know, the business you're supposed to be in.

    December 5, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. curious

    Ron Paul is the only Republican with a message.

    December 5, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. doru radu

    So far she showed some results. Her presence in Georgia scored better than Bill CLinton or the famous Al Gore's support for Deocratic Martin. And I am wondering why?

    December 5, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. TJ Johnson

    I like Gov Huckabee and I think he is a fine man and administrator; however, the people of our country that ridicule men of Christian values will never support him or anyone like him. His example puts too many of us to guilt and shame since so many of our people no longer believe God.

    December 5, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. Adam Artis

    Will the media ever get tired of talking about Caribou Barbie.Give us a break.The only way she gets on the ticket is if President-elect Obama does such a great job that the Republicans decide to offer up this incomprehensibly incompetent woman as fish bait while serious Republicans get ready for 2016.Ever hear of Charlie Crist,Bobbie Jindal, Mitt Romney,Jeb Bush.Although I think Bobbie Jindal might be a little to "not like us" for conservative Republicans.The only reason Palin is frightening is because,this is the country that elected,Richard Nixon twice,George Bush twice,Anything I suppose is possible,anything.

    December 5, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. CW

    I caught part of Barbara Walter's interview with Tina Fey last night. She seemed to think that her impersanation of Sarah Palin did'nt hurt her at all. I disagree. I did not see the whole thing, but I wonder if Barbara asked if she was a Democrat? I wonder if Tina would like a try at Michelle Obama? Any one think she'd do it? I don't think so!

    December 5, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. Sam

    That's great news. Huckabee could be the next Reagan IMO.

    December 5, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. suzyku

    If they top the GOP poll then the Republicans are still clueless and hopeless! All the better for us Democrats!!

    December 5, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. proudliberal

    huck would be best for republicans. but, as a liberal independent, i doubt i would vote for any republicans ever again.

    December 5, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. MikeH

    CNN, why are you letting Republican-biased moderators censor commnents on the ticker?

    Any old right-wing extremist hack can post drivel, but you lleave thoughtful intelligent responses in 'awaiting moderation' limbo.

    Are you afraid of the people waking up to the utter economic destruction the Republican party has inflicted on America?

    December 5, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  14. PHS in RI

    If this is the best the GOP can come up with then Obama's second term is guarenteed.

    December 5, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  15. Maureen

    ohhhhhh myyyyyy godddddddddddddddddddd – say it isn't so!!!!

    December 5, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. paul (staunch Moderate)

    Oh, brother... Palin would be a total repeat of GWB, mangled English and all! But if this is the direction the Rep Party wants to go – God Bless them.

    December 5, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. Alier

    Obama can win again if not joke

    December 5, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. carol

    Oh my lord, what a formidable pair they will make Sarah will be out there rabble rousing again and Huckabee can be forgiving her sins as she goes along!!!
    I guess there will be a place for her old sidekicks, Joe the plumber and Cowboy there's a team you can believe in!!!

    December 5, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. Cori from Colorado

    CNN, please stop giving coverage to these people. Palin lost, and for good reason, and if she runs in 2012, she will lose again. She doesn't get it, no one wants a religious lunatic to run the country. She irritates millions of people with her incessant abuse of the English language, and she knows nothing, she's a moron. Let's move on.

    December 5, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Ms. GA

    Can Obama get into office first?

    December 5, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Patrick of Honolulu

    My favorite is "ohio for oboma" below. "Relection" for this oboma dude is apparently now sealed. It's emotional illiterates like this that give the left such a weak platform on which to stand when insulting the intelligence of Republicans, Palin, conservatives ... whatever. Tip – if you're a moron, stay silent. Just try not to speak. We'll all be better off.

    December 5, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. Judith from Florida

    The Alaskans are wondering who is running the Gov's office,Palin or her 1st dude

    December 5, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. LISA

    WHO CARES!!!!!!!!

    December 5, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Steve

    Palin is a MILF – Moron I'd Like to Forget........................ FADE AWAY ALREADY!

    December 5, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. Truth

    You conservatives think we're afraid of Sarah Palin because she will win?

    We're afraid you are so dumb as to let her near the nukes and nothing else.

    December 5, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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