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. 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 |
  2. 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 |
  3. 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.\

    December 5, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. 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 |
  5. JT have no clue. She has the highest approval rating (80%) of any governor. Try again.

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

    Nice choices republicans, you might as well not bother wasting money. Palin is a joke and Huckabee is goofy.

    December 5, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  7. Willow

    Obviously this site is meant for liberals only based on the opinions expressed. You all seem to be VERY afraid of Sarah Palin. Whenever the left spews the kind of hate unloaded on Sarah, it means their nervous. It is the ignorance of the left and non-thinking Democrats that got Obama elected (see He is more inexperienced than McCain, but Sarah Palin as well. He has questionable ties to extremists and the left acts like he is the messiah. He's not – he was bought and paid for by the extreme left and he will do as he is told by those heavy handed, strident individuals. I am at a loss to think why lefties think he is going to do so great. Lefites hate Bush beyond reason, but he did keep this nation safe which everyone should be thankful for but no one on the left has even one shred of decency to acknowledge. Believe me, your glee will not last. Obama is not the messiah. Oh, and Ms. Rotten – you are indeed that, but you also need a spelling lesson. I'd say we could start you off at the 4th grade level and see how you do.

    December 5, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  8. Fed up

    All this hate from the democrats. If Palin is so bad, you should support her! Just like we supported Hillary. It almost worked.

    December 5, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  9. Wayne in CA

    LOL...that's what the GOP needs... failed retreads...

    the republican party needs to figure out how to be a relevant... inclusive..and effective political party...they certainly won't be that with those two ...

    December 5, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  10. Michael from Lone Tree

    PTA Mom or roids + redneck with redneck-sounding name ("hey uncle huckabee, can we work on them corncob pipes sumore?)

    A great story for say......2011?

    Even better idea; let's vote for the Heisman trophy candidates for 2012. I know some really talented kids (some are still in middle school, but I'm sure they will be top notch when 2012 comes in).

    December 5, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  11. ChicagoSuz

    Dumb & dumber...

    December 5, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  12. Ralph

    Wow. Intellect is a dying breed in that party.

    December 5, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  13. Jesus

    Well, the mayan calendar did predict the world ending in 2012... this only confirms it!

    December 5, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  14. Bill

    To all you Dems out there...enjoy Obama's honeymoon cause it won't last. Get ready for him to sound an awful lot like George Bush. It will happen.

    December 5, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. Willow

    I can't believe the hypocrisy of the left. Making fun of Sarah Palin's religion and believing the made-up-stories about her beliefs but nary a mention of Rev. Wright and Obama. Rev. Wright is a hateful loon, but I guess discussing him would be "an inconvenient truth."

    December 5, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  16. SHECKY

    We don't need either of those two fools to run in 2012.
    And I'm a REPUBLICAN.
    Let's get somebody who has half a brain next time.
    The GOP should've gone with Mitt in '08. BIG MISTAKE not to.

    December 5, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  17. Robert Rasband

    WHO CARES who the top GOP contenders will be in 2012? We have a country which needs to be fixed NOW! Let's focus on the man just elected into office, give him our full support, and pull this country together!

    December 5, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  18. Jeff in L.A.

    God let it be her!
    Let's see...If the Republicans and leaners are down to about 40% of the electorate, AND only a third of them would vote for either of these clowns, AND that's the best the Republicans can do...

    2012 Popular vote:
    Obama/Biden 86%
    Palin/Huckabee 14%

    Has anybody ever won all 50 states and D.C.?

    December 5, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  19. Mike

    I rather like Huckabee, even though I tend to be one of those independents who usually-but not always-vote Democrat. But Palin? No way, no how. Personally, I'd like to see Bobby Jindal as the Republican standard bearer. He's almost as bright as Obama and definitely represents a fresh new direction for the GOP–away from the insulting,dumbed-down "Joe the Plumber" campaigns of the past. It would be an interesting match-up: one that would be good for the country: a real political discourse instead of the usual smears and divisive fear-mongering.

    December 5, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  20. Ruby

    That would be a nightmare.

    December 5, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  21. Alex

    this is a HUGE mistake for the GOP. They need some fresh ideas, someone young with a diverse background. Huckabee? The GOP needs to distance themselves from neo-cons and the religious right, or else they will be looking at democrats in the white house for the next 20 years.

    December 5, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  22. Mboka

    Republicans are in deep trouble and they continue to dig even deeper.

    December 5, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  23. Joe the Drummer

    If Palin Huckabee win in 2012 Intelligence and education will be meaningless in America

    December 5, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  24. veh

    I'm sooooooo sick of Sarah's name and face. I don't want to hear about her anymore. Is GOP crazy? They haven't learned a lesson yet. Why to bring this ignorant witch back if she was the reason why they lost. Oh my Gosh. This is so stupid. Sarah Palin is a looser, she will never win and she will never be reelected as a governor. She is an IDIOT.

    December 5, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  25. RFK

    The GOP needs to find an intelligent well educated person who can get them back to REAL Republican values – small gov't and lower taxes. As long as they look to pulpits and not higher education for leadership, they will continue to lose members and elections.

    December 5, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
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