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. Chris in Va.

    I honestly don't know what is more hilarious.....that Caribou Barbie thinks she has any intellectual value what so ever or that her groupies do. Dumb as a box of rocks and 1/2 as interesting. Speaks volumes on the intellect of the groupies.

    December 5, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  2. Griff

    If you want to live in a real Obama Home.... A Wikki Hut, is much more Cheaper... You won't have to worry of trying to sell it; when the real truth comes....

    December 5, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. Br

    Can someone tell Huckabee, former governor and evangelical scholar, that the Church Age is over ?

    December 5, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. unbeliveable

    i will never vote for palin for anything.

    December 5, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. Mike Mc

    wow, Obama would have to be an exposed closet satanist in order for Huck or Palin to make it to the White House. If I was in the GOP I would start looking under rocks for a potential winner.

    December 5, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  6. sandee in Portland

    @Lesle...I don't think Annie meant a person of faith shouldn't be able to run for office. I think she meant the person of faith running for office shouldn't try to make laws that require the general public to abide by the theories of their most of the conservative right wing evangelicals want and that includes illiterate Palin.

    December 5, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  7. hsmith

    Huckabee and Palin are both good candidates; however, Huckabee is a better speaker and can navigate the minefield of news reporters and inpromptu speaking opportunities. Huckabee was truly the Republican candidate for this year, but the establishment turned their back on him, and with his weak financial resources, he had little chance of winning. Perhaps, the east coast Republican establishment will wake up and realize that Wall Street can not win the presidency for the party.

    December 5, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  8. Bobby Yaush

    If this is the absolute best the Republicans can muster up for 2012.... I have all the confidence in the world that the Democrats will hold on to the presidency office. Shame to be able to think like this when they havent even taken office yet.

    December 5, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  9. Paul

    My, aren't we presumptuous?

    Are there truly some intellectual phenoms out there who actually think these two can improve on Obama's performance already? The man hasn't even been sworn in.

    December 5, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  10. Matt

    Ron Paul 2012

    December 5, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  11. don

    I wonder if she knows what country The White House is in.After all you cant see it from Alaska.

    December 5, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. william


    December 5, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  13. PJP

    You people that keep bringing up church and state, please google or yahoo exactly what the separation of church and state really mean. I'm not even going to tell you, look it up yourself!!!!!

    December 5, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  14. Jeff

    So far it looks consistent. The two biggest clowns of the GOP ready to roll! Amazing. Does Huckabee need a wardrobe allowance too?!

    December 5, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  15. JohnTTTr

    I just can't stand her voice. Sarah reminds of a female boss I had. I felt miserable every day at work. She talked to everyone like she talked to her kids and her husband in her kitchen. She had an answer and an excuse for everything and nothing. She talked around and around very fluently about anything, defined everything her own way with absolute confidence and made extremely spontaneous decisions upon her PMS. She believed everyone loved her and looked up to her.

    December 5, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. Dee

    It amazes me all of the hate on Sarah. She is a much better person than most, if not all, of the current Washington insiders. I guess our left loon leaning nation wants more corruption rather than to have some representation from someone who will represent the average citizen. I guess it is fear that she will rat on all of the cons in Washington.

    December 5, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. Andrew

    It'd be nice to see Jindal as President. He's like the Republicans' Obama, except with actual accomplishments....oops, is that racist?

    December 5, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. Sue

    One question. Who were the top two Democratic contenders for 2008 back in December 2004? Why I believe that would have been John Kerry and John Edwards. Palin will be a footnote in history...never President or VP.

    December 5, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  19. Todd

    Huckabee-Colbert in 2012! Now that's a duo I'd cross party lines to vote for.

    Palin though, she's like the Paris Hilton of the GOP. So dumb, so spiteful, such a trainwreck, but so painfully fun to watch stumble around.

    December 5, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  20. Diana

    All of you with the jerky little comments .....look at the change Obamha has done so far ha ha ha ha no change ...ha ha same of politics with same old clinton reserves...yea real changa huh....when will you learn

    December 5, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  21. Mark M

    Ron Paul

    December 5, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  22. Marcos Vargas

    I would love to know which "poll" decided that those two deadbeats led the predicted GOP nominations for 2012??!! Has anyone heard of La. Governor Bobby Jindal? He is arguably the most intelligent politician in the country, as we speak. (Graduated from Brown University with Honors, attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and was accepted to Harvard Medical School and Yale Law School – only to turn down both to start his political career in Louisiana).

    Instead, this "poll" chose a Religion major (and seminary dropout) -Huckabee; and Alaska's version of Katie Couric (also, a dropout of multiple junior colleges) as the early leaders to represent the Republican Party in the quest to be the next leader of the free WORLD!!?? Oh wait, Sarah Palin is a "soccer mom". She's qualified.

    December 5, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  23. Tom

    Way to go, GOP! Back to the future! Please, please pick one of these. It will be a walkover for President Obama, who will win regardless, but very easily over either one of these extreme rightwing nutballs.

    December 5, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. No Hillary = No Obama

    Said it before, will say it again. Until the media – all of them – implement standards of conduct in print and word, with a no tolerance policy of sexist comments, no woman should even consider the VP or PRez position because she will be demonized just like Hillary Clinton and lose. I don't understand how we can have laws that prohibit sex discrimination in the work place, yet have these media conglomerates have a free-for-all with sexist, demeaning comments with impunity. Palin should forget about it.

    December 5, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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