December 5th, 2008
04:12 PM ET
6 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. Sabreen60

    I sure hope so. Democrats could not hope for a better pair

    December 5, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. Karen, Arkansas

    Please CNN now more coverage for the ignorant woman from Alaska! We here in the lower 48 are sick to death of her!!!

    December 5, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. MsBingo

    Keep shifting farther to the right and help seal the deal on Obama's re-election!

    December 5, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. cochise313

    obama is probably going to crush anyone of them in 2012. if he does a good job like i think he is it will be a fool's mission to run against him.

    December 5, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Justin, ny

    "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"

    This doesn't come as a surprise at all – most intelligent women realize what a farce Palin's VP candidacy was and how dangerously unqualified she is, and most republican men don't care if she's qualified because they think she's "hot". None of this is meant to be sexist, its just the way it is

    – a liberal guy.

    December 5, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. Quick

    Uhm, how are either of those candidates expected to win?

    They are far too right to attract independents and people in the middle which are needed to win.

    If they put either of those people forward, Obama easily has a 2 term presidency.

    December 5, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    PLEASE MAKE THIS WOMEN GO AWAY. NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD CHOSE EITHER ONE OF THEM. I AGREE WITH OTHERS WHEN THEY SHE HAS HAD HER 15 MINUTES OF FAME. SHE NEEDS TO GO BAK TO ALASKA AND STAY THERE.

    December 5, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. BeefyDaddy

    As a Dem, all I can say is: Please let it be Barbie

    December 5, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. Sean P. Seattle, WA

    Palin, or Huckabee to run against OBAMA...HAHAHA SURE and as a Democrat PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL I'll Start Working on my 2012 Obama/Biden VICTORY Signs NOW. HAHAHA the GOP is a JOKE if they run these two Candidates.

    I will Show that the Religious Fanatic Right still controls the GOP and that is the same thing THE VOTERS said NO To this Election. When will the Republicans and GOP Learn....More of the Same will not win...EVER AGAIN. UNTIL the GOP LEARNS from their mistakes they'll NEVER BE a serious Party again and Palin and Huckabee to top the list just PROVE THAT VERY THING.

    AHHHHH....Reign in the 100 years plus of Democrat rule. Good times are hear again Good Times are here again.

    December 5, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. republican for life

    This sounds like a great ticket Palin/Huckabee

    December 5, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. Sean P. Seattle, WA

    I meant IT will show the religious ranatics still control the GOP and Republicans and they still won't have learned their lesson.

    Sorry for the typo

    December 5, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. AEK

    Curious that on the day the final total that President-elect Obama raised for the 2008 campaign is released, Sarah Palin's name comes up again as a possible candidate for the "top spot" on the 2012 Republican ticket. Is it too early to start contributing for Obama 2012?

    December 5, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. GA Independent

    Excellent! Thank you for this cheerful message for the weekend!

    I am so looking forward to watching those two square off in the primaries. My God is bigger than your God!

    December 5, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  14. RinFL

    Out of ideas and determined to loose.
    The RNC continues to beleive this fairy tale.......may they reap what they sow......the seeds of their own discontent.

    December 5, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. Doug R.

    Come on CNN, this is weak. Our economy is in shambles, George Bush, the current President, is AWOL, no where to be found, and you are telling us about Palin and Huckabee possibly running for President in 2012. That's not even on the radar for most Americans.

    December 5, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. TyWebb

    Good lord! Thanks, John McCain for bringing Sarah Palin into my life to haunt for another four years.

    December 5, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Matt

    HAHAHAHAHA!!! Go ahead. Nominate her. We dare you!!!

    December 5, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. Kim

    What? I thought after this campaign Sarah Palin would be a laughing stock. She should be. Who in God's name would vote for her as President? God help us all if this country ever stooped that low.

    December 5, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. Revisionists

    While they are busy re-writing what just happened in the election (suddenly Huckabee says that Obama didn't get much support from lots of small donars and Palin says that America really wanted the neocon philosophy – yikes!), the can start revisioning themselves.

    Both have great potential, but they seem to be more of the same from the GOP. "be afraid" "hate anyone who is not like you" "re-label anything successful as right or center right" "re-label any failure as liberal" "the gov't shouldn't be involved in our lives, except on this long list of conservative objectives like war, and abortion, and saving banks, and allowing companies to anything they want to the American worker."

    Yeah... I've had enough of that.

    December 5, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. CV

    It seems fairly pointless to think about this. We have no idea what the political/national climate will look like four years from now, so any speculation of who might appeal to the public at that time is basically founded on nothing. No one would have predicted Barack Obama as the next president four years ago.

    December 5, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. demo in PA

    palin yes
    HUCkabee NO way

    December 5, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  22. Former republican army wife

    WOW, I really hope Palin runs. It would be the easiest Dem win in quite some time. If Obama does well, the repubs just might run Palin as a sacrificial lamb. Why run someone with national appeal and national viability , just to be defeated and ruin their chances of 2016? If this story is about both Huckabee, and Palin, how come we have to look at Palin's picture? Why can't it be a photo of Huckabee? I understand Huck doesn't have the same photogenic appeal as Palin does, but I am really getting tired of seeing her.

    December 5, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. demo in PA

    palin yes
    HUCkabee NO way

    December 5, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. Wanting the truth

    Isn't this JUST A BIT EARLY?! Can't we get Obama in office before the next race starts???

    December 5, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. ryan

    i think we need a new law on when the races can begin and when contestants can enter, this will just be too much after the longest presidential race in U.S hstory

    December 5, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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