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. kevin

    Palin...."you were a joke when you were picked.....you were a joke in the campaign....& you will continue being a joke." Do us all a favor and stay in Alaska and watch the sunset on Russia because you can see it from you backyard!

    December 5, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. Arnold of Woodland Hills

    This is good news for Democrats. As long as Palin stays as the fronrunner for Republican ticket come 2012 election, Democrats have nothing to worry about. Palin is a disaster always waiting to happen for the Republicans. If this is the best job the republicans can offer in 2012 then Obama will have an easy campaign to stay as our president. Keep Palin on top of the podium. It's a lot easier for the Democrats. A woman who says that part of her foreign policies is seeing Russia from her backyard and doesn't know if Africa is a continent or not. Is this the best the Republicans can offer? Don't htey have anymore intellectuals around in their party. COM'ON!

    December 5, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Zaphod2000

    Okay, I have just about had it with this bimbo and the news coverage of her.
    Does anyone know or can start an online petition TO STOP THE MADNESS AND THE STORIES ABOUT THIS WOMAN!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
    We had enough of her for nine weeks but the media won't let her go like most of us want to do.
    Please, if anyone out there could do it please start the petition. Maybe then the media will realize that we don't care a rat's behind about her.

    December 5, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Erick in Alabama for Obama

    this is a joke! my man Obama is sure to serve 8 years! Give him a chance folks, and let him get sworn in 1st! He is not picking a lot of new people but with the mess we're in we need people with knowledge and experience that helped our nation in the best times.

    Palin?? Get real! Has she finally decided to run her state again? I heard Alaskans were wonderingi whose in charge.
    Obama 2012!

    December 5, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Shepp

    Pathetic. 2 loosers who are throw backs to the dark ages...Yeah that 'll work for 'em you betcha!

    Caribu Barbie will most likely have some very serious legal problems when the dust settles from this last mess.

    Huck....I'd say he would have been fine around...oh...1300 ad.
    No capacity for critical modern thought. Just what the jihad boys want.
    You betcha!

    the GOP will have to find it's way into modernity as it's major base will be leving the Social Security Rolls for the cemetary.

    CNN get off it Palin's 25 min. died 2 months ago. Slow news day?

    December 5, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. JFK

    If thats the best the GOP can come up with, please go back to the drawing board. America does not need any more backwards conservative zeolots running our country.

    December 5, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Jim

    Who did your poll? Maybe Joe the Plumber? When you add up all the percentages you get way over 100%. Duh!!

    December 5, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. Jeff C

    Three things:

    1) Why are we running a poll about this before Obama is even inaugurated?

    2) Why are all the liberals who watch CNN already complaining about this?

    3) A lot can happen in 4 years. Obama could be outstanding. Or Obama could be a total bust. Sarah Palin could become a US Senator. Mike Huckabee could become the next Bill O'Reilly! Get over your biases that are based solely on political preference and pay attention to reality for a change.

    December 5, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. Bob

    Anything would be better then Obama. Can't wait for Obama to get impeached.

    December 5, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. Jerry

    The way things are TODAY aren't you glad Sarah Palin is
    nowhere Washington.

    December 5, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. twoboys

    2012 really? Let's see if we survive 2010 before we decide.

    Will we still be allowed to vote in 2012?

    December 5, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. Matt

    Hey "YUK"...there's a difference between a slip of the tongue and purposefully saying stupid things you actually believe. Shall we list Palin's honestly held and stated beliefs?

    Thanks but no thanks? See it from my house? Putin reers his head? I read all of them? Bush Doctrine? Socialism? Joe-the-Plumber? WHAT EXACTLY DOES THE VICE PRESIDENT DO?

    December 5, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. good picks

    these are excellent picks for an Obama second term

    December 5, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. Dan

    The GOP doesn't get it....we need more jobs not just Jesus!

    December 5, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. AnAmerican

    When is Palin's 15 minutes of fame end? Your cute, but, it's time to go back to Alaska and hunt and fish. Your a litle fish, in the wrong pond and you need to swim up stream...

    December 5, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. Tim

    Huckabee is only in it for Christians. I understand this country was founded on Judeochristian principles, but Huckabee is too extreme.

    December 5, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. Dave, Central Illinois

    Hey CNN censor, I guess my comments were not hateful enough towards Palin. Thats why they got yanked. Good job of throwing red meat to the Obamites, by the way.

    December 5, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  18. Jill

    some people cook food over dried goat turds, but that doesn't make it mainstream.

    December 5, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  19. Ex-Republican

    Patrick of Honolulu December 5th, 2008 4:32 pm ET

    Tip – if you're a moron, stay silent. Just try not to speak. We'll all be better off.
    ------------------
    I take that to mean you won't be speaking anymore?

    December 5, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. cathie

    Stop talking about Sarah Palin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 5, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. ken los angeles

    To think that we could have had a Palin Huckabee ticket this year in the White House. It's crying shame. Then we could have Joe the Plumber for Secretary of State. Go GOP!!!!

    Even if Palin/Huckabee/Joe the Plumber are not able to run the country, they would generate more great material for Saturday Night Live, which obviously takes precedence over the economy, wars, global warming, blah blah blah.

    December 5, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Big D

    Dear Media – Please, please, please – stop talking about the 2012 elections. I don't even want to hear about 2010 yet. Please give us a break. The very day after the 2006 elections, we started hearing about 2008. Two full years was waaayyyy tooooo loooonnnggg. I cannot bear the thought of 4 years of nattering speculation about another election cycle. So please give us a break and knock it off already. Thanks!

    December 5, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. Doctor E

    So the religious nutjobs still run the Republican party. As long as that's the case, they'll have to live in the margins.

    December 5, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. john nolastname

    We need President Palin like a fish needs a bicycle.

    December 5, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  25. Ken

    I thought the [R] party was supposed to learn a lesson from the 2008 election, and reform itself. Palin and Huckabee just represent more of the same-old narrow rightwing outlook that put the country in the mess that its in now. Good grief, the remnant of the [R] party is truly pathetic! That party is in serious trouble....

    December 5, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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