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. Beth Harris

    A couple of things: FIrst, can we stop talking about Palin. GIving this level of press coverage to the Alaska Governor who can't put a coherent sentence together and who doesn't have a clear policy or direction for Alaska, much less the country, is absolutely absurd. Second, can we enjoy the next eight years of our fabulous new President-Elect who is already moving the machine forward with intelligence, clarity and grace? 2012? Seriously? WIth our mammoth problems mounting by the hour, we need to stay focused on the here and now. Anyway, no one stands a chance against Obama in 2012. We want him the full eight years; the second term will be when we hit maximum stride.

    December 5, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  2. Michael

    HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    December 5, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Matt

    The Lich Queen just won't admit her political career is dead and her army of mindly zombie undead would be happy to feed on the country's brains in order to reduce everyone to their level.

    December 5, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  4. joseph

    I don't think Palin/Huckabee would be a good mix. Both too religiously inclined. What would be a good tandem would be either Palin/Jindal or Palin/Ron Paul. Any of these combinations would be awesome.

    December 5, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. Geoman

    Another loosing ticket for the (Grand OLD!!! Party)

    December 5, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  6. mark

    Mark my words...Palin is history...she simply doesn't have what it takes to lead the party or the Country for that matter, it has nothing to do with knowing all the right info, it's an issue of personality, character, and talent and she doesn't have it.
    Evangelicals would be a LOT smarter to get behind Huckabee!

    December 5, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  7. Scott P

    My sense is America, for a variety of reasons, works best with two viable parties. However, if the GOP has any chance of being a viably competing party, they CANNOT have Sarah Palin involved....
    The Economist in a recent article pointed out that she is simply not bright enough to be involved in politics on the national level.
    No individual can make a cogent arguement that Sarah Palin has the political acumen. It is so unfortunate that your poll numbers show that Republican voters even give her any attention.

    The Democrat have to giggling....

    December 5, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. republicans hate america

    just confirms that there are still a lot of stupid people in this country. be vigilant and show up to the polls during elections and insure they stay in the minority and irrelevant

    December 5, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. suzanne, western NY

    Gee... I guess we cannot even give Obama a chance to become President before we start talking about the next run. IF either of them run they too will have to become more centerist or forget it... I for one have had enough of the conservative right to last a long time.

    December 5, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. avatar

    Thank you Sarah.. keep running again in 2012 or even 2016.. I think the Democratic will love the good news as well as any other independents.. GO Sarah..

    December 5, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. Adam from Ohio

    Well ... given that the Republican party has left behind all but a core of hard-core religious morons from the south, this doesn't surprise me.

    December 5, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. Jinny Lee

    Pin a rose on Ethel......unbelievable. The Republican Party is still in stage 1.

    December 5, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. Jay N.

    Having Palin or Huckaby as a candidate is a Democrat's dream.

    December 5, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. Oy vey....

    The best the GOP can come up with are two people who think humans used to ride around on dinosaurs?

    Good luck with all that....

    December 5, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. Excited!

    If they both make the list that will be awesome news. Can't wait o see what God has planned for this country. I am praying form Obama and his family has they prepare for the WHite House and for Bush and his exit. God, I know you are in control and I just ask for your hand over both families. Amen

    December 5, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. Sam, Lincoln,NE

    The Republicans can't seem to decide what sort of party they want to be and to whom they want to cater. They claim to be the party that promotes fiscal conservatism, a less intrusive government, and adherence to the Constitution but the current figurehead of that party appears to have thumbed his nose at all three of those principles in an atttempt to curry favor with evangelicals. The so-called big tent has no room for you unless you're a religious extremist bent on pushing social conservatism on a populace that cleary does not want it.

    If the Republicans believe that Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee represent their party's best hopes in 2012 then it appears that they haven't yet figured out that evangelicals represent only a very small minority of Americans and that pandering to their extreme views will only alienate mainstream Republicans and moderates. The Democrats learned a thing or two about tilting to the left in years past and now the Republicans will have to learn the same painful lesson about tilting to the extreme right.

    December 5, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  17. dibick99

    doesn't make any difference. they're both the darling of the ultra religious right nuts. if they're the best the republicans can come up with the gop is in deep doodoo

    December 5, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  18. joe

    If Palin gets elected for 2012, she migth try to move the white house to Alaska!!!!

    December 5, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  19. Lorna

    ENOUGH!!!!!! Please...I am BEGGING you....NO MORE of this horrid horrid woman. Talk about Charlie Crist....Bobby Jindal...just NO MORE of HER. Know why women don't like her as a rule...we see right thru her....there is NOTHING there.

    December 5, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. FreeNLovIt

    I heard a lot of great things about Huckabee. He seemed to look like someone that will do the right thing and not bow down to pressure. But, I dont know. I like Obama too. We'll see what happens in 2012, if America still around.

    December 5, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. Helen

    My My My....perhaps the religious nut that Palin used to get the demons ouy will put a spell on the rest of the United States and make them vote for her.
    She supports the Independence of A laska from the US, and has the IQ of a dry piece of toast. It makes me wonder how she got elected? What were the voters of A laska thinking? Or I guess they weren't. Is there anyone there that will run against her in politics in the Never Never Land?
    It is frightening to think that those in power actually believe in an invisible man in the sky watching over them. And these people have their finger on the button.
    Palin is merely a small small footnote in the political scheme of things, would Bobby Jindal really sit back and let this happen to his party? I don't think so. Would Mitt Rommney sit back and take a back seat to Sexy Sarah?
    She should be home planning her pregnant daughter's wedding with the redneck, and also getting sex education for the other daughter before she to is knocked up.

    December 5, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  22. ANDY

    i agree with a good amount of people here, lets wait till obama takes office, give it 2 years and then worry about 2012, and when you nominate someone choose someone who is experienced in economics, like mitch daniels govenor of indiana, or a ceo of a company that happends to be progresing well even now

    December 5, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. Rob Johnson

    Even though I disagree with him on many things, Mike Huckabee seems like a decent enough guy. Better than Palin, anyway.

    December 5, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  24. KJL

    Good thing the next election isn't until 2012. That should give Palin enough time to read a newspaper and find out who the prime minister of Canada is. Oh, and maybe she should check out the status of "the country of Africa."

    December 5, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Why are we even discussing this???? Obama hasn't even reached office and we're already looking to the next election. If this is the way republicans can find solace is knowing that there will be an election in 2012 where they will have a chance at the top seat in office, then that is just pathetic. Why don't we quit talking about the 2012 election and focus on the politcal state of 2008-2009?

    December 5, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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