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. 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 |
  2. 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 |
  3. 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 |
  4. hope

    this is ridiculous.

    Go ahead, both of you run....Obama will kick you to the curb – AGAIN

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

    RE: Annie said
    While this is quite early, please, GOP. Please do not continue to alienate conservatives who are conservatives for political reasons, not religious reasons, any further. What's that about separation of church and state?
    What does "separation of church and state" have to do with this? Are you saying that a person of faith has no right to run for office?

    December 5, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. who cares coldwar vet

    If Huckabee and Palin are the top of the GOP, it will be Obama for the next eight years. Huckabee I can understand from a GOP standpoint, but Sarah Palin? Lots of luck with "that one!"

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

    CNN, stop talking about this half-wits! Can we please have at least one day to celebrate Obama's victory, the victory of reason over ignorance?! No one cares about the Republicans so please shut up.

    December 5, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. Richard, Oakland, CA

    This is great news. Maybe they will both be on the GOP ticket together, ensuring a democratic landslide in 2012 even bigger than this time. The Republicans really don't get it and I'm gleeful.

    December 5, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. Barry

    Ha! Awesome!! Two holy rollers... nothing like drawing dividing lines across the country.... Obama/Biden 2012.

    December 5, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  10. Matt, Minneapolis, MN

    2 things CNN.

    First it's not even 2009 yet, give us 2 years or so without presidential campaign questions before starting these polls.

    Second you're pulling so many names into the mix who weren't even mentioned and aren't as well known. There are several other governors, Pawlenty and Barber, Purdue. I mean really did you think that some governors who are recognized as little right now outside of their state as Clinton was, might stand a chance?

    December 5, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  11. Luke

    What a useless article. First, Palin won't win. Huckabee seems to be a sensible man, but his policies are not going to win him any favor in the next couple years. Finally, Obama isn't even in office yet, don't fill the news with this rubbish!

    December 5, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  12. infatuatedwithSara

    Just love the fact that GOP men prefer Palin over Huckabee. Don't you think it has to do with Sarah's legs (which also explains why GOP women don't like her as much)? Here's the problem for Palin – she is riding on the hot babe factor and as she ages over the next four years her hot factor is going to go down. Being a beauty queen only gets you so far in life before middle age takes it toll. Another observation – if Hillary had Sarah's looks – we'd be "lookin" at a different President elect. And Bill would be stayin home more.

    December 5, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  13. Al

    Isn't her 15 minutes up yet? Garsh darnit.

    As a Democrat, I would love to see that clown on the ticket again. Bring her on.

    December 5, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. Pat M

    Oh Yeah and Todd and the Boyfriend will be SOS and Attorney General! SNL'S Dream Ratings come true for 2012! Tina Fey is already setting up consultations with her Accountant ! What a Hoot!

    December 5, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  15. MsRotten

    Wayne from Fullerton, CA December 5th, 2008 5:22 pm ET

    Palin is a prime example of the five stages of death.
    (In this case the death of the Republican party)

    1. Denial
    2. Anger
    3. Bargaining
    4. Depression
    5. Acceptance

    Problem is…, Republicans refuse to progress past stage one.

    LMAO!! That was great; THANK YOU! lololol

    December 5, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. doruradu

    So far she has some results. Her support in Georgia was more succsesful than Bill Clinton's or [famous] Al Gore's or even popular president elect's 60 seconds add. And I am wondering why?

    December 5, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. Anon

    What was Ron Paul's standing in the poll? Let me guess, the media has excluded him yet again...

    December 5, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. vpcam

    There is one thing common between run up to Iraq war in 2002 and the current media obsession about Gov.Palin. It is sensationalism stupid. For both of these events is is sad to note that media is greedy about money making. Nothing wrong with it, as long as objectivity is not lost at the expense of personal greed. If the media had acted responsibly in 2002, may be we would have avoided the Iraq war and its consequences. It is time for media to show they are Patriotic and let Palin take rest in Alaska for three years.

    December 5, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  19. Cleo the Cat in Omaha

    Has the Republican Party not learned anything from this election, the Huckabee/Palin tickets are not what the broader American people want. Just like the auto industry, the refusal for self examination and direction will make the republicans irrelevant.

    December 5, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  20. MsRotten

    SaRahRahRah Stalin....the gift that keeps on giving.

    She won't even get re-elected as Gov of AK in 2010.

    The Good People of AK are working on IMPEECHMENT/RECALL as we type.

    2009 is not going to be a good year for the Princess.

    2010, even worse; her political career will be OVER!

    December 5, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  21. David (Topeka, KS)

    By the time '12 rolls around it will be, "Palin who?" 😉

    December 5, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  22. Renee

    Maybe we all should support Palin running for president in 2012. It would be a landslide for Obama.

    December 5, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  23. Mark

    This is a good laugh...Palin for President. Didn't you learn anything from having a rather un-intelligent, narrow minded, unthoughtful person as President? No wonder the Republican party is in shambles...

    December 5, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  24. Andy

    Fear tactics will not work.

    December 5, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  25. Sue

    CNN, can you let me know your criteria for printing comments? I'd appreciate it, considering that I actually read your site and take time to construct a well thought out comment, only to see it disappear. Thanks for your time.

    ps. Palin stinks.

    December 5, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
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