December 5th, 2008
04:12 PM ET
9 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. 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 |
  2. Kennydupree

    Wow, Palin and Huckabee, huh. Looks like Obama's got this thing locked for the full 8.
    I used to be a republican but now consider myself a moderate democrat. I won't even think about voting republican until the GOP has seriously regrouped and new leaders in the party come to the forefront.

    December 5, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. Ryan Kelly--Oswego,NY

    Do you guys think Bobby Jindal or Charlie Crist have a chance?

    December 5, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. Patski

    Palin..........Believe me, this woman could not run a two car funeral let alone the United States.

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

    the good news for the Democrats just keeps coming !!!

    December 5, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. Bob, North Carolina

    Must be a slow news day. There has to be something more important than a survey of Republican voters on a 2012 ticket. Come on CNN we just had two years of media frenzy over the 2008 election and now you want four years for the next one.

    The worst thing that has happened to this country and the world is 24 hour news.

    December 5, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. laura

    Isn't April Fool alittle to early? jajaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Good one 'op

    December 5, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  8. hitobito

    President Sarah Palin and Vice President Mike Huckabee in 2012! Thats the best news for Democrats ever! Sarah Palin is the new hope for the GOP. Governor Palin is the best candidate the GOP can nominate in 2012. She has made the GOP a laughing stock!

    December 5, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  9. The problem

    The problem is that we read this crap and fuel the fire!!!!! I'm a victim too!!!! If we stop reading this Palin media garbage, they will stop!!!! I PROMISE!!!!!

    December 5, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. Robert

    ...And deliver us from Huckabee/Palin and their ilk.
    I am soooo sick of religionistas, evangelicals, etc., etc. Please, America, wake up!! Americans, I believe, are the most duped and easily swayed peoples of the world when it comes to politicians that wear their faith on their sleeves.

    December 5, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  11. Al

    Please publish/post the rest of the survey. I'd like to know where the rest of the candidates stand.

    December 5, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. JR in PA

    If you liked George W. Bush, you'll love Sarah Palin....

    December 5, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. Matt

    KEEP IT COMIN CNN!!! I'm so hopped up on giggling at these Palin articles and the comments in them that I get a nosebleed every time I read one.

    December 5, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. Dinah

    This country doesn't need a wacko religious nut for a president. Both qualify.

    December 5, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. David

    Can we inaugurate one president before we start the next campaign? Let's have a less campaigning and more governance.

    December 5, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. GuyInVA

    j thinks that Gov. Palin's popularity is indication of how "whack" the center of the party is. My favorite thing about both parties is their blatant hypocrisy. It is the party that so despises Gov. Palin that currently boasts a Klansman as its senior Senator. Not to mention how close we are to Senator Franken (a fine sequel to Governor Ventura, Minnesota).

    December 5, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. Brian

    I don't know what we are thinking. The Republican party got blown out this past election, and our response is to nominate a couple of Bible-thumping neo-cons with no economic plans. Really? If the GOP nominates one of these two, then we deserve the pounding we will inevitably receive in 2012.

    December 5, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. Linda

    It's about time the majority of this countries population be represented!


    December 5, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. Matt

    @ Kathy

    Pick Huckabee over Palin? I suppose I'd rather stick my head in a beartrap than fall in an industrial meatgrinder, but does that mean I'm going to do it?

    December 5, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. Maggie

    is it April 1 already? because this has to be a joke.

    check out what these mcdonald's workers think about Palin...this website is even more hilarious than this article.

    December 5, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  21. Jeanne Bean

    Gawd–no wonder they keep losing elections or producing "losers." (GWB). Republicans can't seem to recognize quality, or produce it, or something. Huckabee or Palin? Please! Let's hope a lot changes in the next 3 years.

    December 5, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    It would be fun to have them on the ticket together.......we could call it the "Huck-a-Moose" ticket.

    December 5, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  23. shannon

    Who cares-dems are going to rule for at least 8 years. I guess that gives Palin some time to go back to school and learn a few things though.

    December 5, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. dennis_k

    And don't forget Joe The Plumber for Secretary of State!

    December 5, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  25. beckster

    After Obama and the libs get through with us, even those two will look like saviors.


    December 5, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
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