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. Al

    The 43rd President is still in office and the 44th President doesn't even start his first term for another 6 weeks. Hey if these 2 want to run in 2012 go right ahead. I would be very happy to have Obama for a second term.

    December 5, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  2. Minnesotan

    "Huckabee and Palin top early 2012 list" What list? The casting for the remake of "Dumb and Dumber?"

    December 5, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  3. apples and oranges

    if the republicans can't find a better canidate than palin, they should just give up their party all together, it's plain they don't care what the majority of the voters want.

    December 5, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. Susan

    Serious question.....for those of you suggesting perhaps Jindal, aren't his views more extreme than most? And, I believe that hell will truly freeze over before Silly Sarah is ever elected to any national office.......

    December 5, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  5. NO Palin in 2012 or beyond

    I viewed comments from another fellow Alaskan and I totally agree, I will do everything I can to get Palin impeached and out of office in our state. People in the lower 48 just don't get it! Palin was nominated as V.P. because McCain did not look into this women's credentials but Alaskan's know she was only Riding High On The Wings of others hard work!

    December 5, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. Peter TX

    every1 join me and say, "I Luv This GOP"

    December 5, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  7. C W

    God help the GOP! I have friends and family who are Republicans who absolutely would never vote for Huckabee or Palin. Why? Because they don't want to live in a theocracy run by religious police demanding we all adhere to a narrow interpretation of the Bible, disregarding science and common sense.

    BTW, am I the only one who thinks Palin's obssesion with the limelight is a great way for her to avoid all her challenging family issues? Shouldn't she be taking care of her special needs child and unwed daughter instead of galavanting around promoting herself as the next Messiah?

    December 5, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  8. John M, Grand Rapids, MI

    Ron Paul would have beat Obama this election and he could beat him 4 years from now. Ron Paul is everything the Republican Party needs but isn't right now. Honest, Principled, Intelligent, good moral character. Paul/Jindal 2012.

    December 5, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. Chris G

    More proof that the Republican party is dead.

    December 5, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  10. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR SARAH PALIN'S AND HER FAMILY'S WARDROBES? DON'T FORGET TODD NEEDS SILK BOXERS!

    AMERICANS, I THINK YOU ARE GOING TO BE HER SPONSERS! DON'T FORGET PIPER NEEDS $700 HANDBAGS!

    December 5, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  11. Matto

    Proof that morons need someone to look up to.

    December 5, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  12. Bill

    How sad is this?

    December 5, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  13. Artola

    Imagine waking up on Christmas morning and finding the shiniest, prettiest package of all under your tree. Imagine opening it and suddenly realizing that it is completely empty. That is Sarah Palin. Great packaging with nothing on the inside – NOTHING.

    December 5, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  14. tony

    C'mon folks. Get off Palin already. You Dems won the election. The people spoke. Relish in the victory. Why continue beating up Palin? Ya got nothing better to do than sitting in front of yiour computer waiting for another chance to bash Palin. You guys are sick, sore winners!!

    December 5, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. Kim, Dallas, TX

    John, I don't believe fear is the sound coming from these incredulous responses. We had eight years of a Bozo in office. I cannot imagine another four years of someone that comes off with even less intellectual capacity. So, it's not fear, it's oh my gosh can you believe that Republicans have changed so much that they mirror the Middle Eastern countries in religious zealots? Our constitution is backed by great forefathers who knew that religion should be put aside when it comes to politics.

    December 5, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  16. matt

    That would be a glorious cheese fest! Bring it!

    December 5, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  17. Wow?

    I vote Palin that way I know Obama wins again. I kinda like Huckabee until his Obama hit the floor joke.

    December 5, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  18. kevin

    well then i guess we can expect 8 years of democrats...

    December 5, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  19. tony

    If Palin is on the Republican ticket again, then God must be on the Democrats' side.

    Obama/Biden 12

    December 5, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. CLee

    Come on CNN – please stop stressing me out with this stuff. I'm SO TIRED of all this talk about 'the presidential race'!

    If Palin is EVER president I'll have to SERIOUSLY consider a move out of the country. I'm not even kidding – not one bit. If she spends the next four years preparing to run – I WILL TOO!

    December 5, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  21. JayTex

    Wow, what a scarey combination. This ticket would be a Democrats dream. A preacher and a redneck.....

    December 5, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  22. Steve

    As I read all the negative comments left by CNN's readers who are all obviously left-leaning, I'm reminded that this is the party that preaches tolerance and acceptance of all. How can you people be so vengeful? I mean, she/McCain lost, Obama won. You have your victory.

    The fact that Obama beat McCain isn't that surprising to me. The Republican party is at an all time low in popularity, and honestly, rightly so. I'm a Republican and the last 8 years have NOT been conservative Republican values. Spending is way high, wars of aggression, civil liberties eroded ....
    That's not the Republican party that I swore allegiance to.

    December 5, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  23. Susie B

    People for the last 28 years we have had a Republican president for 20 years and Democrat for only 8 years, so you got lucky this time. I was a Hillary supporter who believes that it is time for a woman to be president. I will vote for any woman that runs for president. Sarah is just as good as any man!!!!

    December 5, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  24. Zac

    Mitt Romney is twice as good as these fools. Lets get a real article here Romeny has a legit chance these two do not.

    December 5, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  25. bethi in alaska

    incredible that this woman is being considered for anything .
    A true commentary on the dismal state of the general GOP intellect.
    Palin is a dishonest, empty -headed talking sound byte.
    SURELY there are better choices .
    Really sad.

    December 5, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
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