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. Name

    Might as well not waste your time or money because Obama is in for at least 8. If this country can elect a complete moron twice then we better responsible enough to actually reelect someone with competency and intelligence.

    Palin and Huckabee both are worthless, disgusting people.

    December 5, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. bill

    It looks like the Republicans have an incurable case of "shoot yourself in the foot syndrome."

    Absolutely unbelievable choices after what happened to them in this year's election.

    Don't they have any conception about the separation of church and state in choosing these wackos?

    December 5, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Paul Wall in Dallas

    Great News! Palin and/or Huckabee in 2012.

    Obama 2012 (landslide)

    December 5, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. Veronica

    Not at all suprised that Huckabee does better with Republican women than Palin - no right minded woman would want her to be their role model nor commander in chief.

    December 5, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. Dave in Boston

    They're so out of touch that they don't even realize how out of touch they are. Yeah, GOP...keep pushing the pendulum to the right. Don't learn ANYTHING from the historic kick in the tuchas you got last week, just go FULL SPEED AHEAD with right-wing orthodoxy. You won't be happy until it's just you and few hardcore loyalists, huh?

    December 5, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. Gordon NJ

    With votes mentioned here adding up to 168% something is rotten in statistics-land. The people who determined these results need to explain how the votes were counted, since it's clear some must have voted for more than one candidate. And her I thought Republicans only had problems with science.

    December 5, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. Jon, Louisiana

    Bobby Jindal only talks issues and has ideas, statistics and formulas to get things done. He's not your regular politician. I attended a town hall meeting of his this past week. After he brought the crowd up to date on the Nat'l, State and local front, he stood on the podium and greeted everyone in the room one on one to hear their issues. Most politicians work the crowd shaking hands with only the Big Shots. Personally I don't want him to run for President til he terms out here. He's a smart cookie and all business. He's doing a great job here, find somebody else.

    December 5, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. Brendan

    I will no longer be a Republican if that happens. Actually the Republicans will no longer be republicans if that happens.

    December 5, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. Get it together Repubs

    Congratulation in advance BO and JOE for winning the 2012 election.

    December 5, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Mike

    Bobbly Jindal – Huckabee 2012 would be better.

    December 5, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. Matt

    Clearly Ron Paul is a much more qualified candidate than any of these two. Let's hope for the R3volution to hit the White House come 2012. Ron Paul '12!!!

    December 5, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. joeb

    To Jason: Surely you are joking! One of the reasons that this country is in the shape it is in is because of our devout love of Israel and the Jews. Read that however you want to.

    December 5, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. Cori from Colorado

    CNN, why do you keep insisting, and giving media coverage to old caribou from Alaska? Please stop!

    December 5, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. Ben

    More ridiculous anti-Huckabee media bias. The headline puts Palin first even though she was second in the poll. They include a picture of Palin but not Huckabee. Clearly they want Palin to be the face of the conservative movement because they know she is a loser.

    December 5, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. Pat Green (CA)

    It would be a slam dunk in Obama's favor! I hope she does run, maybe it will take so much out of her that she'd refuse to ever run again!

    December 5, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. Dan

    I think it's great. The blind leading the deaf !

    December 5, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. Matthew

    We're going to have to start a new party. Huckabee? Are you freaking kidding me? We're up against a party who thinks we can reason with an enemy which has been fighting the same war for 13 centuries and we're going to throw Palin and Huck at them? Thankfully the party will eventually take what we give them, which is going to be Eric Cantor, Romney and Jindal.

    How depressing.

    December 5, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. Stacey


    I'm Sarah Palin and I approve these four messages!

    December 5, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. Necie

    C'mon....... Is Palin the Best the GOP has to offer? I like Huckabee and I find it hard to believe that she will be on his level within the next 3 years.
    Doesn't matter anyway...Obama 2012

    December 5, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    The Republicans are aware of the current crisis in America, right? Maybe they should set aside their ambitions and focus on helping our new president find a solution. Greed isn't very becoming.

    December 5, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Elizabeth in Texas

    Yay, two looney birds. I think I'm going to barf.

    December 5, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  22. cjr

    both of these folks are a bubble off of plumb – as my granddaddy used to say – sarah is a cartoon character – no common sense and Mike is a really funny guy until he starts talking religion and then he gets really creepy. Talks about modifying the constitution -etc. where do these folks come from!

    but not to worry obama will win in 2012!

    December 5, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. Sandy

    Americans are so stupid.....The US is on it way to collapsing and all we can think about is 2012! UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 5, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Ryan George

    If the Republicans really want to run Sarah Palin in the 2012 election, let's hope she picks Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly as her running mate.

    What a joke!

    December 5, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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