December 5th, 2008
04:12 PM ET
7 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. nate

    Im a mod Dem who loves Obama but if you GOPers dont go with Jindal, Pawlenty or maybe Jeb Bush you are nuts.

    December 5, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. Mark in Arizona

    Can you imagine a Huck/Sarah ticket?

    Here's the 28th Amendment they'll propose:

    1. No person shall speak the work evolution or ecology.
    2. All non evangelical christian religions shall be deemed not "true" religions, and lose their tax exempt status.
    3. All books and other documents attempting to prove the earth is older than 6000 years shall be burned to warm the earth in celebration of the end of the global warming hoax.
    4. Women who have abortions shall be be burned at the stake to demonstrate our sanctity for life.
    5. Fox News shall be the National News Station and opinion shall be legally equivalent to fact.
    6. Drill, baby, drill.

    December 5, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  3. Irony

    No, and hell no! No more, never again!

    December 5, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |


    December 5, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  5. Walt, Belton,TX

    Huckabee makes a realy good impression and has a lot of horse sense. Sure wish he was leading the country starting in January rather than the loose cannon from Chicago.

    Palin has seen her highest point, might make a good Senator though. She'd fit right in with the current crowd.

    December 5, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  6. Sunshine

    All the amusing comments....Keep em' coming! PALIN'S an IDIOT

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

    In all irony, I hear people mentioning "Ron Paul" as if he's some kind of political guru... he's a creationist just like Sarah Palin and Huckabee.... another horrible choice. He's your average Christian-right candidate promoting the "Wedge Strategy", both cautiously and timidly... there's a reason he's quiet about religion and it has Christianity written all over it. Is he still for the "gold standard"? Haha.

    December 5, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. Jon

    Couldn't be any worse than Obama and his handout politics.

    December 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  9. Griff

    When will you get it Right CNN? The Pea-Nut Carter, before Regan. Johnson, the left-over of Kennedy. Ford, a left-over of Nixon..
    Now you think you made the right decission... America when will you learn.... Maybe you a little too-big, for your shoes.... Obama will need a pair- of-Wellingtons, like they use in an Abutwah....

    December 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  10. Americans for an Objective Media

    I'd vote Hucabee before I would vote for Whackamole....

    December 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  11. John

    Of course she is favored by men – she is a cutie!!
    She should wear dresses that show more leg.

    December 5, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  12. DC

    Can we please stop talking about Palin? Please? I don't care about the 2012 election. Come on CNN, report on the real issues. You know, the present ones? Not who's going to be Palin's hairdresser for her next big press op.

    December 5, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  13. KCBob

    Looks like Obama will see a 2nd term. Cool!

    December 5, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  14. Concerned in Va

    Well, if she does run then the republican party better start saving now for the shopping sprees she will demand for the campaign trail.
    180K, you sure did not work as an executive for AIG?

    December 5, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  15. Angel we know the Democrats will be in office for a while..

    December 5, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  16. Just Sayin...

    You shouldn't be allowed to vote if you think Sarah Palin is qualified...because obviously you aren't qualified to make a rational decision. Obama had education. Palin needs to be educated...big difference...

    December 5, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  17. JT

    Why is everybody worried about 2012? If the GOP really does put country first, they worried about helping put the country back in order with next administration.

    December 5, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  18. Edwin Sharples

    What an incredibly choke hold the Evangelicals have on the Republican Party. No wonder they will keep on losing. What is the new mantra for them, "Non-Protestants Need Not Apply"?

    December 5, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  19. Don of Iowa

    Way to go, the best deal democrats could have for 2012, the two biggest republican morons of the 2008 campaign, thank you republican morons, we will relish this next election as well.

    December 5, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  20. Don of Iowa

    Ryan, the GOP is the party of the illiterate and uneducated, they have to change nothing at all, they already have a monopoly on stupidity and ignorance, way to go GOP, 'Greedy Ole Pigs' Party.

    December 5, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  21. James Glynn

    Only a few weeks ago there was a significant amount of discussion whether or not Palin had the necessary qualifications to be vice president. Talking about a 2012 run for Palin must be the result of the Republicans post election retreat where they were going to reevaluate the parties positions.

    December 5, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  22. Heidi

    God help us all. I can't imagine we could be so stupid as to elect Palin or Huckabee. Then again I can't believe Bush was re-elected and that is exactly who Palin is Bush w/breasts. The main difference between Bush and Palin is when Palin is stumped during an interview or debate she flirts with the camera or reporter. We don’t need or want another Bush, especially one that takes advantage of her sex.

    December 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  23. arc, Lugano CH

    It seems that for many of her supporters, Sarah Palin’s continued presence serves more as an opportunity to veil and safely spew one’s hatred and bigotry towards President-elect Obama then a belief that she would actually be successful as President.

    The notion of Sarah Palin as President of the United States is beyond humorous or funny. It would be an utter disaster.

    December 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  24. Crazy Chester

    So 32% of Republicans and 100% of Democrats want Palin to be the 2012 Democratic nominee. Rather than bantering about Democrats' elitist math skills versus the Rupublicans' belief that with God's help they can defy the laws of math, they may as well just work together to make this nomination happen and postpone the bantering until about September, 2012.

    December 5, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  25. Arkansas Undertaker

    Obama hasnt even taken office yet and the GOp is already talking about 2012. ARE U KIDDING ME?

    I beleive with all my that Barack Obama will be one of the great est Presidents that nation has ever saw. AND HE WILL DO 2 CONSECUTIVE TERMS. NO DOUBT!!!!!

    December 5, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
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