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. spudmctater

    Please run Huckabee and Palin, please, please, please! This will bring us four more years of Obama! I hope Republicans keep encouraging Palin to speak out more and keep making public appearances.

    December 5, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Cheryl in Alaska

    Yes, it can be too early to talk about this stuff. We dont even know even know if she will be re-elected as Govenor. If I have anything to do with it she wont.

    December 5, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. Ed Gilbert

    Come on Sarah. You're the best thing that could possibly happen to Obama's hope for re-election.

    December 5, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. silvertrueone

    You said it all Bob from San Francicco,CA well said

    December 5, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Mike Denver Colorado

    yea! Palin and Huckabee. And the Republican Party becomes ever more irrelevant.

    December 5, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. Val, Atlanta, Ga

    It does not suprise me that she does better among GOP men, look at them, it dosn't take much for men all you have to have is good looks and the other parts that women have, thats all it takes for them you can even be stupid, dosn't matter.

    December 5, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. Monica Malin

    What about Mit Romney? And who did they poll because I sure wasn't asked. And unless we want another GOP fiasco like this time, I think we need to let Sarah run Alaska and not the Country. And Huckabee...well enough said.

    December 5, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. Jill

    Palin may be a talented flute player, but that's about it. Huckabee – nice enough guy, but people want more visible leadership. Ideology aside, while he may be capable of it, he does not exude that feeling.

    December 5, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. Gene

    Rather than concentrating on who's running 4 years from now.. why don't the repubs concentrate more on helping the next administration accomplish as much as possible. To do anything else would be treasonous

    December 5, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. PL

    Is that the best the Rup's can offer???? lololololololololololololol Dumb and Dumber

    December 5, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. CM

    This is simply irresponsible of CNN to try to make a story out of this subject before the winner of the 2008 election has even taken the oath of office. We have serious issues in this country that need to be covered by the media. This isn't one of them. Not now anyway. Please, for the sake of your viewers, leave this subject alone until 2011!

    December 5, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. Peter (CA)

    After a long day in traffic and standing in line at the post office and the department stores, what I needed more than anything was a good belly laugh.

    Thanks CNN!

    December 5, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. Ridiculous

    Some people have nothing better to do then sit around and talk about ridiculous nonsensical things. No one cares, it doesn't matter, Obama has not even taken office yet.

    December 5, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Chris from Houston, TX

    "I thought you guys believe Jesus was already elected this November?!?!"


    Nice one, Jeff from Atlanta!!

    December 5, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  15. joeb

    I have never voted for a Democrat until this year. If these two religious (?) extreme right-wing nutjobs are all the GOP has to offer, I doubt that I will vote Republican again. I am 63 years old and either the Republican party is getting senile or I am; and I don't think it is me.

    December 5, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. Ron

    You've got to be kidding. She should go back to Alaska and keep her mouth shut.

    December 5, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. Phil Smith

    Two of the most ridiculous people representing the radical right. I love this kind of comedy.

    But if Republicans want to matter int he future, they need to reinvent themselves as a socially liberal, fiscally conservative party appropriate for the 21st century rather than the previous incarnation that was more appropriate for the Dark Ages. Then, the Palins and Huckabees of the world can blather on from the stupid right wing benches, balking at the stupid left wing tree huggers on the left wing.

    Indeed, that might make for a good television show.

    December 5, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. JM

    That's GREAT! The Republican party of the white, the rich, the aged and the extremely far right have learned nothing by the Democratic party thrashing that they have received during the past two national elections. They should continue to nominate the most radical far-right conservative candidates that have them served them so well, and they will continue to lose. Evidently the RNC has not learned anything.

    December 5, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. TexasAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    Boy, that's a pretty sad future for the Republican party if these two are the best they can do.

    I guess if the Republicans want to turn their party over to the ultra-right, then that's their choice. But they might want to take some polls first and see just what percent of people who say they are Republicans are willing to support such a far ultra-right agenda.

    Maybe the Republicans need to split into TWO parties– Republicans and Fanatics.

    December 5, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. Scott NYC Independent

    Considering that at best the republican base is 1/4 of the countries registered voters this is not a concern. No President can win without the support of some democrats and mostly all independents. Neither of these two can get that vote. Just as with the primaries and the general election its Obama's to win or lose.

    December 5, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. Rachel

    I'd hope between now and 2012 the Republicans would take a good look at why they lost and foget Palin. She and Huckabee haven't quit campaigning . What world do they live in. 2012 will be Obama again.
    The Republicans had better do something different than shove the stale candidates at us again. Palin made such a spectable of herself I cannot see for the life of me why we have to keep hearing about her.
    I guess by then however, she'll need a new set of glad rags and no doubt talk them into that again. There is no cure for stupid.

    December 5, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. shelley

    A two year presidential campaign was much too long. Let's not turn this one into a four year campaign. Conducting a poll for 2012 now is just one more example of the media trying to create news rather than cover the news. No one knows what conditions w/ill be like in 2012, how well Barack Obama will acquit himself as president, and what Palin, Hukabee or anyone else will do in the next few years.

    December 5, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. kathy

    Dear God, let's hope she doesn't get on the ballot for 2012.
    I couldn't bear having to listen to her annoying voice. I would
    leave the country, you betcha, darn right.

    December 5, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  24. Kathy

    I would pick Huckabee over Palin

    December 5, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. Cami

    John, " These comments are so predictable….."I just wish she would go away?"…….."Aren't her 15 minutes up?"……."Why are we still talking about her?"……..I love hearing the sound of fear in your voices. Heheheheheeeeee"

    That's not fear you hear – it's exasperation and disgust.

    December 5, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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