December 5th, 2008
04:12 PM ET
10 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. Real Republican

    You have to be kidding me! These two are the best the party can offer the country??!! Welcome to the age of the Democrats....

    December 5, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  2. Amber

    Wow. So the Republican Party is willingly consigning itself to the dustbin of history? Move over, Whigs and Know-nothings!!

    December 5, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  3. Steve R.

    Just one name, but not til 2016, Bobby Jindal, who so far has done an outstanding job in Louisiana. He finds solutions, not problems...d

    December 5, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. JWL

    Just what we moderate Republicans/Independents need...two more neo-con right wing, out of touch, unqualified "thought leaders" at the head of our ticket.

    Atleast Huckabee has a brain...Sarah Palin is a boob...

    December 5, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. Yamini Balachandran

    YEAH !!!! I KNEW IT....

    VOTE FOR SARAH KUDAH .... God is by her side and he will help her fix the Iran / Israel issue and the economic issues (if we still have them by that time....)

    December 5, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  6. Sean Schubert

    I live in AK and am truly ashamed of the current gubernatorial office holder, although she really hasn't been the Gov since McCain's announcement on 8/29. With that said, if everyone agrees to stop giving her a national stage, we will accept her back for the betterment of the rest of the nation. Hopefully, we can elect a competent and intelligent person in 2 years. Maybe Fran Ulmer will run again and then the rest of America can see that there are women of integrity in AK.

    December 5, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. Mia

    Huckabee can string a sentence together, so that is progress for the GOP. I have heard him speak, and even though I am a liberal Democrat, I can see why he appeals to many people. I still think Romney would do better. A Romney/Huckabee ticket would probably be a good ticket. Too bad that the GOP's best likely won't be good enough in 2012.

    December 5, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  8. Ed Word

    Sarah Palin is smarter than most republicans.

    December 5, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  9. Good news NC

    Sarah Palin is an embarrasment to women, but if she would get nominated as presidential candidate it would ensure a democrat victory. She needs to pay more attention to her five children. And peruse a map of Africa.

    December 5, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. Luigi ina California

    Obama isn't even sworn it yet, and the Reps are fronting this anti-choice extemist and that other old white guy as the best they've got?

    December 5, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  11. doug

    Will the Maverick Palin pick Maverick McCain for vp?
    McCain is already vetted and they already have bumper stickers, buttons and posters with their names on it!

    December 5, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  12. CONNIE

    Why do people in this country believe Sarah is stupid. Alaskan loves her. I don't think she is stupid she is a smart lady. i just can't believe how hateful the liberals are, i used to be a hard core liberal but i grew up and realize that liberalism means doing the wrong stuff. I am not a complete conservative but closer to it than a liberal. This country started to get screwed up when tha ACLU was started. This country was based on christianity and it is going to stay as a Christian country and if you don't like it get out we don't need you here. When a murderer has more rights than the victim that tells you how screwed up this country is. Merry Christmas. In the name of Jesue Amen

    December 5, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  13. Truth Hurts

    She has my vote already! God bless the GOP . After four years americans will be crawling back.

    December 5, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  14. Get Real

    Huckabee was the "ONLY" candidate between both sides I would not choke to death voting for. It is sickening to me when people claim they are quote "CHRISTIANS" and "GO TO CHURCH" yet they vote pro gay and pro abortion candidates. What they really mean is they say that they are but they vote with their wallets. Money will not get you to heaven. That is the reason I refuse to set foot in a church unless it is the church that Huckabee is a member of. I do not understand how we had supposed success with a former Ark. Governor so why not put another one in. In the words of a Green Day song welcome to "IDIOT AMERICA". I have nothing personal against OBAMA but he BETTER DELIVER all that he has promised because I am a firm believer of Personal Accountability. Something else that has been missing in America.

    December 5, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  15. Jethro in Kentucky

    She looks like my cousin,but thats never been a problem.

    December 5, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  16. Jay

    I am so Mike Huckabee 2012.

    I supported him in '08, but we'll have to wait a few years first.

    Palin isn't bad, but not quite as good.

    I wouldn't mind Newt Gingrich either, but Huckabee is best at this point.

    December 5, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  17. Angie-OHIO

    MsRotten December 5th, 2008 6:00 pm ET

    I agree with you completely.

    Plus men seem to favor her over women, so I hope her looks dont change by 2012.
    what she needs to do is go back to school and get MORE education.
    she talks and sounds like a 10 year old child. I wouldn't vote for her for dog catcher.
    but if the repubs want her on the ticket agan in 2012, that will be a guarentee win AGAIN for President elect Obama.

    Go President Barack Obama.

    December 5, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  18. Dace Tucson

    I guess the radical fringe that runs the GOP will keep ruining the party with the push for hate inciting fear mongers to head their theocracy – this is great news for people with hearts and brains. I guess it's going to be a long rule for the Democrats.

    December 5, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  19. Tony

    Does anyone think this matters at all? 4 years from now is a lifetime in politics and the polls now mean absolutely nothing. How about we have our next President take the oath of office before we waste money and time on who the Republican nominee might be in 2011?? People are idiots.

    December 5, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  20. Getting It Right

    Wow – they have some talent and they refuse to utilize it: Governor Crist and Governor Pawlenty are strong leaders, but the GOP keeps going for the shock – far right wing philosophy.

    December 5, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. Chuck

    Huckabee should've been on the ticket this time but people with influence wouldn't endorse him because they didn't think he could win. They're the reason we're in this situation. Huckabee could've won!

    And, Palin? As a conservative Christian Republican I have to say "NO WAY!" She may have values similar to mine, but she can't say 'ing' to save her life, and trying to find her sentence structure is impossible.

    December 5, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  22. Neal in Pa

    Any ticket with Palin on it will definitely NOT get my vote!!!

    December 5, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  23. Peter

    They still did not get the message... try running again with your hate speach and 2 Americas racist remarks... you will be beat again... plus we may not have long memory but 4 years is not a long time

    December 5, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  24. lynne

    Since when did the GOP decide on "entertainment" over substance when choosing leaders?

    December 5, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  25. Dave S.

    What a (horrifying) concept!

    Are there really THAT many ignorant people in this (great) country of ours? Say it ain't so! Or is God really hugging them THAT much closer, so close, that he is cutting off their oxygen supply?

    I love "down-to-earth" people just as much as the next "Joe". Though, is an "outsider" who is so out of touch with the rest of the country (except those parts there are out there that are really great ones), and so unfamiliar with Washington, and is so (uncomfortably) inexperienced with foreign relations, REALLY an individual that this (great) country wants in, or anywhere near, the Whitehouse?

    It has been my experience in life that when a bad decision is made, recognize it, admit it, apologize and then move on. Don't go into denial, forge full-speed ahead continuing to deceive, ignore facts and lack of knowledge of them. Respectably and responsibly do what is best. Spare those who already have been, and will be affected, further turmoil. "Bite the bullet", don't direct it into humble, innocent, helpless victims.

    When hiding nasty peas in a small pile of delicious mashed potatoes, the peas conveniently disappear. The now, once attractive, pile of mashed potatoes becomes much larger, though it is obviously and abhorrently unattractive and tainted. What remains is a big mound of waste that only belongs in the garbage disposal. Continue this process over time, and in the end, a LOT of what was once good becomes mere garbage. Rotting and festering into toxic bacteria.

    December 5, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
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