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. Randy, San Francisco

    This is news? Tweedle dee and tweedle dumb...GOP is devoid of fresh ideas and candidates.

    December 5, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. Leah from FL

    This is a joke – right? These two are the best the repubs can do? Yikes!

    December 5, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  3. Oh please

    Please God, please make Palin the republican nominee. I hope she tries to run every four years.........The repubs will never get into office

    December 5, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. nancy

    I really can hardly believe that Palin herself would think that she is anywhere near intelligent enough or "worldly" enough to be President of the United THAT would be a sad, scary day, for sure.

    December 5, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  5. Jack in Tampa

    Please.....the election is over...................TAKE A VACATION!!!!! Enough of this speculation crap.

    Sara Palin is like a new restaurant in town..........everyone frequents it at the beginning and then it becomes ho hum just like all of the rest of them. Time for the Ho Hum!!!

    December 5, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  6. Breaking News

    Wow,this is not only amazing, but great news for Democrats.The Republican name plate is as good as the Edsel was for Ford in 1958 and 1959.This must have been Aunt Bees and Opies idea.

    December 5, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. Barbara

    Honestly, as an American muslim, I would be very concerned for my civil liberties if these two ran and won. They are so over the top evangelical that they seem to only see one thing....THEIR religious beliefs. I have no problem with people of other religions, some of the people I hold dearest to my heart are Christians and Jews, but when you have the amount of hatred and racial/religious inciting that went on at some of the Palin rallies, it is concerning and I would actually have been afraid for my safety had I wanted to attend one.

    I hope and pray Obama does a great job, and such a good one that he is re-elected in 2012. God willing.

    December 5, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. Allen from Pa.

    Looks like the republicans and News outlets will do anything to take the glory from Obama.So sad we have to read more about Two has beens then we do about The President Elect.

    December 5, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. kimthejournalist

    This would rule. Maybe they should just make their ticket the Bush twins in bikinis and Jared the Subway guy! Ahh, the American dream...

    December 5, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. Mike in Fairfax

    Anyone care to place any bets on how many ridiculous comments this story generates???

    December 5, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  11. FromTexas

    If Obama does half as well as expected, the republicans will need a sacrificial lamb for 2012. Palin will be happy to oblige. She doesn't want to be president – that's a boring, underpaid job. She just wants to run for president. Think of the millions in book sales, speaker fees and talk show appearances.

    December 5, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  12. Mary

    Oh, jeesh. I am an independent and voted Republican this time but with Huckabee and Palin at the top of the list, I just won't even bother voting. There is definitely something wrong with the Republicans. I guess I had better get use to socialism and having the sock puppet as president.

    December 5, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  13. Amy

    For the love of God and all that is holy, will somebody please tell "Govenor Hairdo" that she lost the election and that she now needs to sit down, shut up and make her stupid Moose Stew or whatever???

    December 5, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  14. Tom in Fl

    Didn't we just go through 2 years of this stuff? I know.......why wait?? No time like the present to start begging for bucks that people don't have to bet on a horse that won't even leave the stall

    December 5, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. Hockeymom

    Not that this isn't somewhat interesting... but my sister and a good friend both got laid off this week. Four years seems too far away to waste time w/ these types of articles.

    December 5, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. Bonnie

    Lord help us all either way.

    December 5, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |

    Sorry Palin your loss in this elections means you lost periode ...just try to get it.... u are goneeeeeeeeeeeeee..... G.W.Bush put you republicans out of presidency at least in the next 20 yrs... and Huckabee....never been an option for US anyhow...

    December 5, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. KMAN

    The Democrats will be thrilled to see Palin heading the GOP ticket in 2012 since the die-hard Republican base simply isn't large enough to get this turkey elected. The GOP is definitely out of touch with the REAL America if they think Palin is popular beyond red-necks and morons!

    December 5, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |



    December 5, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. GARY

    Thats right hater.Obama has most of Clinton's staff.

    December 5, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  21. Maniac

    my stomach, so much laughter, so much pain!

    December 5, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  22. Are you kidding?

    Palin – 2012? You must be joking!!!

    She isn't qualify to run a bake-sale. She is a nice lady, but she should keep her creationist back-woods beliefs to Alaska – far, far away from the lower 48.

    Seriously, those polls must be an April Fools poll.

    My cleaning lady has more education and political experience. LOL

    December 5, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. Alabama Voter

    Are you kidding me? The Republicans still didn't learn their lesson.

    December 5, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. maggiem

    We just came off a very long 2 year campaign season--can't we get a break? At least for 6 months? Obama isn't even officially in office yet!

    December 5, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. Chelle

    It will never happen, If GOD is real

    December 5, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
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