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. dianna

    If this is all the Repubs have then why are we even discussing the issue. They have once again proven the irrelevance of the party.

    December 5, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  2. T Mack

    Huckabee absolutely yes Palin Are you kidding... surely you are kidding..Please say your kidding... watch her interviews right now and tell me honestly you want a whiner leading you. Woman o.k., whiner please God no.

    December 5, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  3. Denise....Boardman, Ohio

    It's hilarious how so many Republicans think that Democrats are fearful of Sarah Palin running in 2012.....I am an Independent, but why would we be afraid of Sarah running? I am a born-again Christian who voted for Barack Obama this time, and if the Republican party are stupid enough to "run" this racist hypocrite in 2012 they will deserve the "beating" that they will undoubtedly receive at their own expense, once again....she will only receive 30% of the "right" vote...will that be enough votes for her to beat Obama? I don't think so....

    December 5, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. Don

    One out of ten Americans is in forclosure or behind on home payments, unemployment is now staggering, we have a complete IDIOT for a president, WHO CARES ABOUT PALIN AND HUCKABEE!!!!!????? The media needs to wake up and smell the coffee!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 5, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  5. an Ex republican

    why not run Palin /Limbaugh ticket.... between the two SNL would have a heyday!!!! unless the GOP does more than blame the recession on Bill Clinton.... what a joke they are... i think the right saying is "DONE" put a fork in em!!!!

    December 5, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. Ryan Kr

    Know nothing Sarah Palin....Republican party has change to anti–intellectual party if Sarah has a chance.

    December 5, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  7. Simon Thompson

    Either one of those candidates would result in a loss for the Republican Party.

    December 5, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. ran

    If that trend continues the Democrats and the country have nothing to worry about. The Republicans still don't get it.

    December 5, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  9. Scott W.

    RON PAUL 2012!

    December 5, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  10. MsRotten

    joe December 5th, 2008 5:54 pm ET

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

    =============================================

    She will move it to Wasilla! That's where she "works" instead of Juneau. And she charges the taxpayers of Alaska for LIVING IN HER OWN HOME (per diem).

    December 5, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  11. creighton

    What is with the media? Can't we get a respite from Presidential politics. The prez elect hasn't even taken office and the media is into hype. As one real political junky who has followed this process for the past year I'm turning off CNN, they are really guilty of this along with FOX. It's like a battle between them. Sorry excuse for journalism.
    Thank goodness for C-span, at least you can listen and decide for yourself on important issues like saving 3 to 4 million jobs in the Auto Industry. While CNN and Fox battle over who can spew the most BS over Palin, and others.
    Sorry A$$$ journalism is what we have today. Fill the 24/7 news cycle. Hype and BS, over facts.

    December 5, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. PG

    Can both of them be given an IQ test before any decision is made?

    December 5, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  13. Sarge in Florida

    OMG The return of the anti-Christ and his follower is going to occur in 2012? Now Jeb Bush wants to run for the Senate in 2010...Surely this world will soon see all of the Anti-Christ's followers...GOD help this country...

    December 5, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  14. Kevin

    You are all wrong we should take over Iraq and make them pay tributes to our political leaders who will them use the money to first fix our economy then find a cure for cancer.

    December 5, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  15. Betsy

    It amazes me every day that people who were brought up in this country can so easily ignore that our government is based on the separation of church and state.

    Why on earth would anyone want to vote someone into office based on their religous views? That is a private matter that should be shared only with one's family and friends.

    Legislation and laws should NEVER be based on ANY religion's tenets.

    December 5, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  16. j

    I like Huckabee even though I wouldn't vote for him. He, at least, has minimal qualifications to be President. Palin has none that I can see.

    December 5, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. Pieter in Pasco

    It just goes to show you the level of stupidity of some people. This woman has no right to be president. We need a leader and not a divider, We need someone with at least half a brain not someone that thinks Africa is a country. Am I worried? You betcha. When people honestly say she is ready to be president of the United States and they are of voting age you betcha it scares me. Maybe Obama will increase spending in our schools because stupidity reigns supreme in the Republican party.

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

    I love how people that believe in God could only be Republicans. The religous right wants a law that says that makes same sex marriage illegal. There is this little thing that called SEPEARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE! This means that you can't rule the population according to your religous beliefs. Marriage is a religous concept. We get a couple thumpers like Huckleberry and Falin in charge, we are going to have a constitutional tear up party. Are you ready for the Republican Inquisition?? [cue the dancers now] We are finally at the end of this 8 year nightmare, Bush is finally out, let's see how long we can go with out hearing the "word" nucular!! The good ole boy is headin home!

    December 5, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. Rob

    YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! PALIN IS A JOKE!!! If she she is the republican's choice for president in 2012 then the republican party is ALSO a JOKE and not to mention RETARDED!

    December 5, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  20. James

    There is no reason to hate Sarah Palin. All she did is run for office???
    The religious biogotry on this site sick.

    December 5, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  21. Bridg

    I see she did not return the RNC clothing. Phony is as phony does.

    December 5, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  22. reality check

    in related news the Republican party is changing their name to the Wigs.

    is their goal to make themselves irrelevant?

    December 5, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  23. Cliff

    Mitt Romney has more intelligence and experience than Huckabee and Palin put together.

    December 5, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  24. MJB

    You never get a second chance to make a first impression and Sarah Palin's first impression was so HORENDOUS she doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of ever being President of the United States. She may poll well with Neo-Conservatives but thank heaven they aren't a majority. There are still enough intelligent Americans to see that Palin never settles into the White House!!!!!!! She is SO unqualified, it baffles the mind that 46 million American voted for McCain/Palin!!!!

    December 5, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. DemFan

    Are you kidding me? Republicans must be smoking weed. Huckabee is intelligent, kind and informed, but too conservative to win the Presidency. Palin is stupid, mean and ignorant, AND too conservative to win the Presidency. With Huckabee there is a chance. With Palin, none. Go Palin!

    December 5, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
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