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. vahe

    hhahahaha this is funny GOP is done for 18 years if they come back their only chance is if Democrats make bad moves for this country... mark my words Obama will be in white house 8 years

    December 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. Rodin

    How much support does Palin have from people with an IQ higher than their height in inches?

    December 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. N.C. Veteran

    Let's get out of the current mess before we embrace another one.

    December 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. JLH

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Another GIFT to us forward-thinking Dems! Do it Palin, do it!

    December 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. Larry

    CNN,I'm trying to decide if it's worth my time to post anything here,if I write anything that isn't full of hate and demeaning to the Republican politicians and the party ,the moderator here at CNN won't post it.And if I write anything that doesn't say that Obama is not the best thing that's ever happened,the moderator won't post it.Is this blog just for the far left,or is it just the people that CNN has moderating???

    December 5, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. JB

    There's not enough on the far right to elect either one of these losers. They'll play well to their base, but will lose moderates and independents and they certainly can't count on cross-over votes from liberals. They're way too far to the right to appeal to the middle.

    Palin isn't suited to run a state, much less a country. She's more weather girl than president.

    December 5, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. chat box

    Sarah Palin has sound record as Governor. I trust her and her exective experience. She is the REAL CHANGE for Washington.

    December 5, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Paul D

    This is just ridiculous.
    The 44th president hasn't even spent his first day in office yet and CNN's discussing Palin in 2012?? Isn't there much more important things to cover? Step it up CNN or you will become a tabloid news source along with Faux News.

    December 5, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Fabian Blache, Baton Rouge, LA


    Please advise..."talented" in what respect? I am always intrigued by the folks that ambiguously state that Sarah Palin is so "talented."

    Please...enlighten us all with a reply.

    December 5, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. G

    Ron Paul 2012!!!

    December 5, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. New England Yankee

    Be very afraid.

    How much more ridiculous can the republicans be? If they want to have a prayer, no pun intended, in 2012, they must distance themselves from this fool. Turn her into an Ice Road Trucker.

    December 5, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Navy Vet

    Why doesn't the Republican Party step in and say something? Could it be that the party thinks Palin could possibly win the nomination for POTUS? She can't even string two sentences together without going off in forty different directions and then she makes statements that do not tie in with her original thought. Its mind boggling.
    Please, CNN, lets talk about subjects with substance and intellect. Palin does not fit in either catergory.

    December 5, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |

    The pollsters need to take a holiday..we don't need them right now. The viable candidates for the Republican ticket are doing their work behind the scenes now and these two jokers that lead the polls will be afterthoughts in 2012 (see Clinton, Hillary and Guiliani, Rudolph).

    December 5, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. YUK

    there are 57 states in the US.


    December 5, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. Mike

    I am going to go to ebay and search for a deserted island

    December 5, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. KJL

    Time to start ironing the earth.........

    December 5, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. ckehne

    Such a shame. If this is all the Republicans can offer in 2012, what a mess our country would be in then. Bush has put us all in dept, and you want more?

    December 5, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. Khai

    This is hilarious. Those two chuckleheads to lead the party down another DEFEAT! Two losers representing their terrible party.

    December 5, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. Millie Bea

    The Republicans have 4 years to get their act together. They are not going to win a presidential election with Sarah Palin. Huckabee would have to start campaigning now and do it in a way that erases his failure to impress this last time. There are good, serious politicians in the Republican Party- They need to find their Obama.

    December 5, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  20. John

    There they go again bringing Church into government, they are fools. They push too many conservatives away by stealing our civil rights. Face it us or them.

    December 5, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. wilder

    This is merely further proof that the corrupt and incompetent Republican Party is now officially plummeting toward EXTINCTION. And...America STANDS UP and CHEERS!

    December 5, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Diane

    I can't even believe how stupid the republicans are who seem to love Palin. She's a clone of Bush: simple thinking processes and shallow understanding of the issues. Absolutely over her head and doesn't even understand that she's over her head. That got us where we are now, why do they want to go do it all again?

    December 5, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. Nathan,

    Palin and Huckabee. The GOP is a joke. The base of that party is clueless. Although I'm a Democrat I know there are better people in the GOP than those two. Oh I forgot, these are going to make sure gays don't marry.

    December 5, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. Alex

    As a Republican, if Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin are the best team the Republicans can come up with in 2012 or ever, then I'll do like I did this time, vote either Independent or Freedom. I do not believe religion should be dictated from the White House. It is for every man and woman to chose for themselves. We've already seen the self acclaimed "religious" group rule from the White House and look at the unbelievable mess we now find ourselves in as a nation.

    December 5, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. AdamW

    Ok. Maybe I am missing something but the economy is in the toilet and people are getting paid to conduct these idiotic polls?



    How about focusing on NOW????

    The whole GOP landscape can change in four years. Why even bother?

    December 5, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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