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. alex j

    John Thune? any thoughts?

    December 5, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. Trudy

    Wow...they tried smearing his name, lying about his place of birth, good old fashion racism and Roveism. Nothing worked. So instead, they are simply going to ignore the next four years. Let them keep busy doing that while the Obama Administration and intelligent Americans at large get busy with the business of improving their lives and the country at large. Intelligence, pragmatism and common sense won this time. Thank goodness.

    December 5, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. Greed is not good

    Please pick Sarah Palin.

    signed by the Democratic National Committee

    December 5, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Old white lady in Birmingham, AL

    That's good news. They are both too far to the right to win a general election.

    December 5, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. Bob

    Sarah Palin was a joke and now the joke is over.

    December 5, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. JGB

    Looks like we Dems have nothing to worry about!

    December 5, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. Palin 2012

    Dems are just weird! If she is nobody why worry? She got power and you know it. Let her shine, it is her time now for the next four years.

    December 5, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. Chuck Sherwood

    ENOUGH!!! We haven't even sworn in Obama yet and now we've started the next presidential campaign. And we thought the Democratic Primary was long... Can we please wait at least 2 and a half years before we start the nomination process? PLEASE???

    December 5, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. april fool joke

    Is this an April fools joke ? Anyway Palin made it good, just like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

    December 5, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  10. Karl



    December 5, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. E

    When I think Separation of church and state, I think Palin and Huckabee... NOT.

    December 5, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. Tammy

    Not once have I heard this woman try to push her Christianity off on other people but I have had to listen to gays and atheist's whine. What is happenning to this country I ask? It seems that since Obama has been elected all the nuts are coming out of the woodwork. Why is that?

    December 5, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. libssuck1

    We really care who is running for office in 2012 when we still haven't had Obuma in office yet and Bush still has 6 more weeks left in office. What is wrong with this picture? Is the media so stupid that they want to continie with garbage like this when it has been shoved down this nations throat for over 2 years now, the media can take their points in polls and shove where the sun don't shine. Good heavens, what a bunch of idiots!

    December 5, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  14. BobC

    GREAT!!!! The PERFECT team to run for President/Vice-President in 2012. I hope and pray it happens! That way Obama will be set for another 4 years.

    December 5, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  15. I am black

    Folks! Do not be brainwashed. There is no economic crisis. They say it so that they can take your money. Obama is support it. Big 3. Give me a break.

    December 5, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    wonderful – the far right fringe has the lead -we have nothing to worry about

    December 5, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. Frieda, PA

    Dead in the water. These two couldn't lead us out of a tunnel, much less two wars. There's a reason PA went for Barack, we're suffering and we need help from someone other than right wingnuts.

    December 5, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. Olaf

    Huckabee? The GOP continues on the bible-thumping, "We demand a Christian State!" path to self-destruction. Palin? Well, she's no Huckabee, and that's a good thing.

    Before you blow off Jesse Ventura for being so unconventional, consider he that took on both the far left and the far right and turned this nanny state around, putting at least a temporary stop to the meaningless partisan bickering and getting important things done that neither major party could in 50 years. Minnesota citizens should still be grateful.

    As for Al Franken, a bitter and vicious pretend comedian in the U.S. Senate wouldn't be so unusual, would it?

    December 5, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. FAYE, NV

    We Dems welcome Sara to run. ROFLMAO FUNNY!!!

    December 5, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. Missy

    I can't believe anyone in his or her right mind would consider Palin for ANYTHING having to do with leading our government. Are these people nuts? It's not only that she knows nothing (I suppose she could try to learn... or memorize), it's her frightening positions and views as well. SPARE US PALIN IN 2012 PLEASE!!!!

    December 5, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. gp

    This is truly the most rediculous thing I ever heard. These nuts rather put this country in the hands of dimwit. Unbelivable!!

    December 5, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. 60 year old white female and proud supporter of PE Obama

    No wonder there is no bipartisan support in Congress as Americans lurch from one election to another with few politicians have the background to do what is right...just what is politically expedient...and, unlike other democratic countries where all of their parliament are voted on at the same time, gridlock continues.

    And the press keeps pushing it to fill up air space.

    December 5, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. Pam

    We should just buy the republicans a shovel so they can keep digging themselves in a hole!'s about time us Dems got good news after 8 years of stupid republican blundering.

    December 5, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. MB

    What was the definition of insanity again?

    December 5, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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