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. Trevor H.

    I'm sorry, but Palin and Huckabee? You have GOT to be kidding me! If we are going to win this thing, we need somebody who can LEAD the GOP, not destroy it. I would definitely not vote for either of this candidates if they were nominated. Huckabee and Palin are both, in my opinion, not at all the best choice for the party.

    If anything, Mitt Romney is the way to go...

    December 5, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  2. Dave

    I was so pleased and Inspired by Americans choosing Mr. Obama, it was obvious from the start you had a man of substance and Intelligence and great Character.

    The difference between him and the DIm wit on his way out is extraordinary, I watched the debates with Bush from the begining and it was just incredible that such a simple minded man could get the most powerful position in the world..It was a sad day for the planet !!

    Now with talks of Palin being the hope for the Republican party, Oh My God, lol...if thats the best they can do once again? wow! Democrats welcome to a multi-term Presidency and more..She cannot live down the lack of knowledge of her own Country and its systems of Government and ordinary communication skills, not good enough for the importance of the most powerful position in the world, not even close!!

    We have a couple of clowns trying to take power in Canada, but they were denied for now, and I would rather they with the seperatist in Canada, run things than be a close to a Palin run U.S.A. !! I love your country, always have, had to take a step back while that simpleton was the President, but now, you have made such a great choice..Way to go USA, the best hope for freedom and civilization on the planet!!

    Best Regards

    Dave Stewart

    Ont, Canada

    December 5, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. Sean

    It's interesting to see that no one has considered Governor Mitch Daniels for 2012. He was named governor of the year, never ran a negative ad campaign in his life, and he brought Indiana out of a $400 million deficit to a $400 million surplus in four years.

    December 5, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. MrReality

    Seriously, Mr. Steinhauser - put down the crack pipe and report some actual news instead of trying to invent some. 34% of likely Republican voters will support Huckabee and 32% will support Palin and 28% will support Romney and 27% will support Gingrich and 23% will support Rudy Guiliani and 19% will support Bobby Jindal and 7% will support Charlie Crist. Gosh, by my calculations, that means that 170% of 460 Republican-leaning voters will support one of those candidates in 2012!

    W. is president now. Obama won't be the next president until January 2009. Please get back to us in 2011 or so when there is more of a tepid interest in the next presidential race and at that time write your story a little more coherently.

    Mr. or Ms. CNN Political Director? Please control your monkey.

    December 5, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  5. Robert Crowley

    Ok, we are just getting rid of a President who stated he gets direction almost daily/personally from Jesus. Now we want to elect Huckabee who wants to make the US into theoraracy and use the Bible to make daily desicions for the Country. Talk about Muslim nuts.

    Palin would down right be dangerous for the Country. What the heck are these far right wing Republicans thinking. Do they want to loose even bigger than they did this past November.

    December 5, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Ron, St. Johns, AZ

    After his pathetic treatment at the hands of the media and the religious right, I will be plesantly surprised if Mitt Romney makes another run at the White House in 2012. But that would be the very best thing for the GOP and ultimately, the country. Romney has the leadership and economic credentials in spades that will be sorely needed after four years of Obamanomics.

    But if all the GOP can field in 2012 is either Sarah "clueless incarnate" Palin or Mike upcHuckabee, then I truely fear for our republic.

    Go Mitt!!!

    December 5, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. Jimmy in CO

    Thanks for that snapshot of just how lost the Republican party is!

    December 5, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. marcyella

    who cares. It's 2008.

    December 5, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. T-bone

    You people slay me! The winner of this election HAS NOT EVEN BEEN SWORN IN YET and you are already covering the next one!!!! You guys aren't journalists; you should all be on Entertainment Tonight!

    December 5, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  10. NoVA Yankee

    Oh please nominate Palin! You chuckleheads would guarantee Obama a 2nd term. Imagine a debate between Obama and her. It would be like watching the valedictorian debating the dim witted captain of the cheerleading squad.

    December 5, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. Katie

    Ha, I hope one of them is the nominee. That'll just make it easier for Obama to win his second term.

    December 5, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. Gloria, El Paso ,TX

    Barack Obama hasn't even being sworn in and you're bringing up the 2012 campaign. Don't take this right from Obama and Biden. We don't even how our country will be in 3 months, much less in 2012.

    Give me a break CNN!!!! What in the world are you thinking, ,talking about the pea brain hillbilly from Alaska. PLeaseeeeeeee let her go away and stay in Alaska. Let screw her state, NOT the whole USA.

    GIVE OBAMA A CHANCE. Let's see how he is going to work the economic crisis we're in.

    God Bless our USA!

    December 5, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Chris W

    The good news is, by the time '12 gets here, no one will care about Palin.

    December 5, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. Carlos

    This is ridiculous. They are wasting taxpayer money doing this right now. Isn't she supposed to be in Alaska running things? She isn't going to do anything superb or even mediocre in the next eight years that will make her remotely qualified for the Presidency. She barely has political experience.

    People say the good thing about her is that she is like "the people". And that we don't want a "politician" anymore...we want a "regular person". I DON'T! The American public barely knows in's and out's of politics. I want someone smarter than me. Someone who knows politics because it's not a guessing game and should not be played around with. Leave it to the professionals.

    Palin has NO chance if Hillary runs in 2016. Obama is in it for TWO TERMS!

    December 5, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. Jack

    Silly Sarah Palin and the Huckster wow, what a combination of stupidity. Well, one industry that will love that combination is the christian bookstores that can sell text books that "educate" our children that the world is only 6000 years old!

    If you like religious rulers in Saudi Arabia then, you'll love the leadership of Palin/Huckabee.

    December 5, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. T.O, New York, NY

    Yeah, the same way the polls put Guliani & Romney on top even before the campaign started. Guliani never came close to winning a state. These pollsters should chill out; savor the Obama presidency as he faces and hopefully solves this economic crisis.


    December 5, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. Brain-damaged republican


    Now that's my dream ticket!!!!!

    You libruls better pay attention. We're coming on strong.

    December 5, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. Randy

    Two losers are going to try to run again don't waste your time or money

    December 5, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. southernhrt

    Obviously there are very few Christians on this site. I would want someone who has morals and itegrity. We went through 8 years with the Clinton's being just the opposite. And oh yeah now that Obama got elected he has been going to the gym instead of church on Sunday. Played the good little boy to get elected.

    December 5, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Mike from NJ


    December 5, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. Cardinal

    Huckabbe/Palin running in 2012!!!!!! The dream ticket...for Democrats!

    I truly hope that's how it goes

    December 5, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  22. Greg in Colorado

    Not as long as I am a U.S. citizen will we see a republican in office for the next 8 years. Huckabee is our modern day Buchannan and Sarah Palin is the scapegoat for the republican party... Those two are both religious zealots and bigots. We can only ask God to help us if that is the best the republican party can produce. For crying out load why don't they just have rush limbaugh or bill oreilly run.

    Obama/Biden 12

    December 5, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. JJ, Illinois


    December 5, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Linda in MS

    And why would we be surprised that Sarah Palin is more popular with Republican men and not Republican women? Most women, including Republicans, can see through her facade immediately. Most guys who like her are cannot see past the pretty beauty queen,spunky cheerleader personality she projects. A lot of dumb guys get taken in by women like her. Most women don't.

    December 5, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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