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. 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 |
  2. 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 |
  3. 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 |
  4. 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 |
  5. 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 |
  6. 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 |
  7. 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 |
  8. 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 |
  9. 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 |
  11. 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 |
  12. Sunshine

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

    December 5, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  13. 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 |
  14. Jon

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

    December 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  15. 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 |
  16. 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 |
  17. 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 |
  18. 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 |
  19. KCBob

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

    December 5, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  20. 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 |
  21. Angel we know the Democrats will be in office for a while..

    December 5, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  22. 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 |
  23. 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 |
  24. 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 |
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