December 5th, 2008
04:12 PM ET
5 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. Roger Zickfeld

    This is such good news. Palin and Huckabee are such cartoon characters, the 2012 election is sure to be hysterically funny.

    December 5, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    While I agree that having Palin on the ticket is both a laughable and scary proposition, I agree with som

    December 5, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. Parah Salin

    I wonder if the president of Africa would support Bimbo Palin?

    December 5, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  4. ALASKA

    I live in Alaska...in Wasilla. I've known Sarah Palin all of my life. She is a dear family friend...that being said...if Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee are the best the Republican party is going to come up with, here's to a second term for the Democrats, possibly Barack Obama (depending on what he does with his first). Both are very religious and while I know for a fact Sarah does not necessarily try to push her religion on others, she is strong-willed and strong-minded and when she wants something done, she gets it done. Therefore, legislation with religious antics or undertones such as reversing Roe v. Wade, etc. will be decided religiously, because religion guides people's choices (when they believe in something). This is where the problem is: it's impossible to seperate church from state and it's wrong. Anyway...This is sad. The Republicans are screwed 2012.

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

    Please–no more of her. If the RNC is leaning towards these two, it is obvious the direction of the party–right wing, non-inclusive, extremist ideology.

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

    I would love to see that ticket and would vote for them.

    December 5, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  7. Wayne from Fullerton, CA

    Thank You MsRotten

    December 5, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    Pastor Huck won't get far when the media starts digging into his numerous ethics violations as governor or his pathetic whining as to why he pardoned a murder/rapist (who went out to rape and murder again) over the recommendations of the parole board ... and all the other dirt on this holier than thou preacher-politician. I personally don't like the idea that he named his first three dead pheasants after his rivals or that he recommends people who don't love the Confederate flag stick that flagpole where the sun don't shine ... really good Christian ethics there!

    December 5, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  9. Red, Red WHINE!!

    @Leslie December 5th, 2008 5:57 pm ET
    A person of faith can be in office. A person of ANY faith can be in office. Seperation of church and state simply means that as an elected official...we don't want to hear you preach to us about your religion and we don't want you governing our families based on your religious teachings. Take your religion and keep it in your church, don't let it touch our politics in any way, shape or form!

    December 5, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. midwest mom

    Personally I think that is a GREAT IDEA....that would guarantee 4 more years without a republican administration in power...GO SARAH, GO MIKE....Late night would be hilarious again and Keith Olbermann...well, lets just say...the material would write itself!

    December 5, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  11. ALASKA

    And...to reply to Ms.Rotten's comment...we are not working to impeach Sarah Palin! Where do you get this information?! Most citizens of Alaska love her as the governor because in the grand scheme of things, she is doing a good job and she is doing things that Alaska would want. Talk all the crap you want...she's really not that bad. Just not right for president. The hope is she is re-elected as Governor.

    December 5, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  12. Mike

    Bobby Jindal – Huckabee would be better for a 2012 run.

    December 5, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  13. Judith wichhart

    As a moderate liberal female I can hardly wait untill Palin goes back to the frozen tundra and we can forget about her. I really don't understand why she is still being talked about by the media. If you would ignore her she would go away because she has nothing to offer us. And I would hate to think you-all promoting her celebraty would actually make her a viable canidate for anything outside of Alaska

    December 5, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. Steven, Birmingham

    I love it! Clearly the Republican base didn't understand the message from this election cycle that they have moved too far to the right. Now they're lining up behind the two most polarizing figures in their party. I hope they keep moving that direction because they won't win another national election if they do.

    December 5, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. Brie

    In other news, Jesus has announced his candidacy for 2016.

    December 5, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  16. Jimmy Taylor

    It's hilarious to see just how afraid of Palin the whiney Dems (alias the me me me party) are. CNN wouldn't be spending so much time and effort trying to tear her down if they didn't think she was extremely relevant.

    December 5, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  17. Col Kilgore

    Let Palin run. Shes a Democrats dream. They know there isn't enough dummies around to put her over the top. Go Caribou Barbie !!!

    December 5, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    so...an era of the religious politics instead of back to true conservative values and fiscal responsibility...?

    December 5, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    you have to be insane to even consider Palin for President. literally, insane.

    December 5, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  20. barbara

    Leslie
    "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?"

    Are you serious? Palin is a right wingnut that is forever preaching "christian" morals as being the way we should all live. I'm sick to death of "christians" saying they can't have thier way anytime someone disagrees with them. "person of faith has no right to run for office? " are you kidding me?

    December 5, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  21. Jeff Colby

    Bring on Governor Palin! I'm already ordering my Palin 2012 T-shirts

    December 5, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  22. California Girl

    Sounds good if they totally want to lose. I don't think most people want to be ruled by a Christian Taliban – which those two seem to be.

    December 5, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  23. Alex Fehrenbach

    Ron Paul is the only candidate who can resurrect the GOP, a party who's fundamentals are waning just as its voters. Conservatives need to be conservatives not tax happy, war mongering, bigots.

    December 5, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. Republican

    I am FLAT OUT DISGUSTED about some comments posted on this site. Are we not good Americans? To all who make these awful and embarrasing comments about the hard working Americans who run this great country you should be ashamed. I know that even though I am a big republican and McCain supporter i will support the next president in hope of a better and more prosperous country. This will not be done only by one party, but by all who wish to seek out better times for the United States of America. Further more we should respect the hard working Palin and Huckabee for their service to this country.

    You may disagree with me but please think about what i said.\
    Thanks

    December 5, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. Canuck

    Sarah.!!!!!.. too bad we must wait with a collective sigh for 2012, the year of a new level of intellectual sophistication. How bout Jerry Springer for her VP pick as we move forward towards heaven on earth!!!! Ohhhh soooo much to look forward to!!!!

    December 5, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
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