December 5th, 2008
04:12 PM ET
6 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. Petra, independent from PA

    Well Palin is waiting for Jesus... and Huckabee tells a good joke and connects with the Joe the plumbers... These are the qualifications the GOP looks for... And ofcourse small government; so long as they can cash in their big bonuses and tell us we are in a mental recession.

    December 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  2. gordo for sarah

    These predictions are about as ridiculous as guessing who will be in the 2012 Super Bowl.

    December 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  3. Petra, independent from PA

    Hmmm... Palin is waiting for Jesus... and Huckabee tells a good joke and connects with the Joe the plumbers... These are the qualifications the GOP looks for... And ofcourse small government; so long as they can cash in their big bonuses and tell us we are in a mental recession.

    December 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  4. CHERYL IN FLORIDA

    This is a joke, Palin was picked only to try and get Hillary's votes!
    That worked real well, NOT!
    Huckabee maybe, Palin is a laughing stock.
    The republicans have been ousted!
    Go Obama. :)

    December 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  5. Crazy Chester

    Correction – Palin 2012 "Republican" nominee. Too much mention of parties whose candidates are identically self serving can cause confusion.

    December 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  6. DOCS 3

    IF THEY ARE THE BEST THAT THE REPUBS CAN DO THEN GOD HELP THEIR PARTY. IT IS MIGHTY STRANGE THAT "REDNECK" AND "REAL AMERICAN" ARE THE ONLY THINGS THAT THEIR PARTY LINE CAN SERVICE UP TO THE NATION. PLAYING A GUITAR AND SHOOTING MOOSE ARE NOT GOING TO GET THEM TO JOIN THE 21ST CENTURY. FIGURATIVELY, LITERALLY AND METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING.

    December 5, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  7. clifford

    Come on Democrat's admit it ,YOU ARE TERRIFIED OF PALIN'S STAR POWER!! Trashing her is not going to end it. But keep it up it anyway as it only show's what a bunch of bafoon's you are!!

    December 5, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  8. Meh

    Um. Why is my comment still "in moderation" from FIVE hours ago??

    mwanikjiji> Cute and sexy? Hardly. No, we dislike her b/c she sets the women's movement back 50 years by being such a troglidyt.

    TJ Johnson> Speak for yourself. I feel no "shame and guilt" over not being as wonderfully angelic as Huckabee. People who believe in a mythological being do NOT hold the patent on being moral people.

    December 5, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  9. RaeofSun

    I think this is terrific news. Convince the GOP that Pailn is a viable candidate, without really thinking about it because it's been hyped for 3 years, and we'll get another four of Obama. True, I cannot see the path he will lead, but it will be thoughtful and intelligent and probably the best that can be expected with the current environment. I cannot hope for more from THE leader of my country.

    December 5, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  10. DavidE7

    Considering that what remains of the discredited Republican establishment has jumped on the Sarah Palin bandwagon, they are showing the same incomprehensible stupidity that characterized their handling of John McCain's run for the Presidency. Mike Huckabee must scare those people to death. They are determined to act like he doesn't even exist.

    December 5, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  11. NLH

    So much love and tolerance on this blog.

    December 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  12. Gary

    December 5th, 2008 6:52 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    **I still see that CNN is it's usual "accurate" self! (sarcasm off)

    Evey other poll out there has Governor Palin leading the other front runners, Mitt Romney, Rudy and others by double digits! Huckabee is at the bottom!

    In every other poll of Republicans and Republican leaning independents 60 to 70 percent chose Palin!!

    This is just more of the dishonest media trying to to create a story!

    Face facts, Palin will be the nominee in 2012. Did anyone pay any attention to Georgia?

    Palin was a rock star down there. All of the hitters were down there campaigning for Chambliss. Governor Palin flew in and in ONE DAY drew more people than all the rest combined. And by "all the rest", I'm including Bill Clinton and Rapper Ludacris!

    The day before Sarah showed up, Saxby Chambliss had a 5 point lead in the polls, and was gonna win anyway, but Sarah took that 5 point win, and turned it into a 16 point BLOWOUT!

    By 2012 Governor Palin will have 20 years of chief executive experience under her belt!

    You guys just voted in a guy who has never run a city, never run a state, and never run a lemonade stand! Good luck with that!

    On the other hand, while the democrats and their social engineering, ACORN thuggery, and stupid mortgage loans have all but collapsed the nation's economy, Governor Palin is working on Alaska's budget that should have a 5 billion dollar surplus!

    And Alaska has no state income tax, or state sales tax!

    Can't wait for 2012 so we can get a leader in the White House for a change!

    Sarah is the one WE have been waiting for!…..

    December 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  13. clifford

    Check out the Zogby poll: How Obama got elected.com Proof positive what a bunch of uninformed,uneducated moron's Obama voter's where!!

    December 5, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  14. Danielle

    Leslie December 5th, 2008 5:57 pm ET

    RE: Annie said
    While this is quite early, please, GOP. Please do not continue to alienate conservatives who are conservatives for political reasons, not religious reasons, any further. What's that about separation of church and state?
    —————————————————————————————-
    What does "separation of church and state" have to do with this? Are you saying that a person of faith has no right to run for office?

    ------------------------------–

    I don't think that's what Annie was saying. I think that the Republican party has been using their position as "the religious party" to pressure people into voting for repbulicans. Also, party leaders have been trying to make it look like people who are not voting for their party are somehow 'less religious' than others. I think this is what has been alienating us republicans that would love to have intelligent, qualified representatives to support. Personally, as a Christian, I am disgusted by the excessive use of the Republican parties "God card" that has been used much like the "fear card" and this has been one of my deciding factors in voting for Democratic leaders.

    December 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  15. Paul

    I would love to see Sarah Palin run 2012 because she is going to lose! Does not GOP have other candidates??!

    December 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  16. Gary

    Wow....CNN is just GREAT!

    I've posted, and re-posted a rebuttal to this nonsense story, and yet, CNN has had this factual, and appropriate comment "in moderation" for over two hours while at the same time allowing every hateful smear to be posted by liberal haters!

    No wonder CNN is losing viewers to Fox News right and left!

    December 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  17. Gary

    December 5th, 2008 5:14 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I still see that CNN is it's usual "accurate" self! (sarcasm off)

    Evey other poll out there has Governor Palin leading the other front runners, Mitt Romney, Rudy and others by double digits! Huckabee is at the bottom!

    In every other poll of Republicans and Republican leaning independents 60 to 70 percent chose Palin!!

    This is just more of the dishonest media trying to to create a story!

    Face facts, Palin will be the nominee in 2012. Did anyone pay any attention to Georgia?

    Palin was a rock star down there. All of the hitters were down there campaigning for Chambliss. Governor Palin flew in and in ONE DAY drew more people than all the rest combined. And by "all the rest", I'm including Bill Clinton and Rapper Ludacris!

    The day before Sarah showed up, Saxby Chambliss had a 5 point lead in the polls, and was gonna win anyway, but Sarah took that 5 point win, and turned it into a 16 point BLOWOUT!

    By 2012 Governor Palin will have 20 years of chief executive experience under her belt!

    You guys just voted in a guy who has never run a city, never run a state, and never run a lemonade stand! Good luck with that!

    On the other hand, while the democrats and their social engineering, ACORN thuggery, and stupid mortgage loans have all but collapsed the nation's economy, Governor Palin is working on Alaska's budget that should have a 5 billion dollar surplus!

    And Alaska has no state income tax, or state sales tax!

    Can't wait for 2012 so we can get a leader in the White House for a change!

    Sarah is the one WE have been waiting for!

    December 5, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  18. Lisa Hamilton

    I disagree with most of your comments and think Sarah Palin is an incredibly formidable leader of the future. Obama is a hyped up egocentric, arrogant elitist who is going to put our country in more debt and danger than ever. Hollywood invented him, and the "non-thinkers" of America elected him.

    December 5, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  19. Eleanor

    why can't palin be on the ticket with oj !gottayou

    December 5, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  20. Concerned in CA

    We should all focus on the new president getting things done, not on 2012 – hopefully Obama and team thinks of nothing but trying to solve the countries problems.

    December 5, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  21. Gene Car

    Polls at this early stage are probably silly. Still, I find the attitudes to Gov Palin very strange. If we can think of a presidential election as a hiring process, and since this is an executive position, then the first question I would ask of any applicants is; what executive experience have you had, for how long and during that period what have your accomplishments been? And can you vouch for these accomplishments with evidence and references. I am not so much interested in what you say you can do or how you say it, but what have you actually done, and what I can infer about your attitudes, knowledge and skills and how you applied them in practice. Of the four people on the ticket recently, only Gov Palin has had executive experience, although I would give Obama creditt for superb campaign management as a surrogate for such experience. No objective person with a sense of justice can deny that Gov Palin has accomplished much in her short time as Gov of Alaska. And at high personal and political risk. And, given her high approval ratings (still) the citizens of Alaska seem to agree. I am sure that in the process of reform she has made bitter enemies, who will dispute this conclusion. Yes, her executive actions as Gov can be critically evaluated. But the point is that there are actions to critically evaluate. The executive actions of the other candidates are pretty thin on the ground. Nor can I find any evidence that Gov Palin has allowed her personal (and obviously sincere) religious convictions interfere with her work as a Gov. There is no evidence that she has banned books, forced education authorities to teach 'creationism', etc. On the contrary, (and I stand to be corrected on this), i understand she vetoed attempts to rescind same-sex benefits legislation. There seems to be a trend abroad too that only unattractive women should aspire to high office. If a State is a microcosm of the US, then being a succesfull Governor is surelyt he best apprenticeship to high National Office. Time will tell but Gov Palin deserved to be given as much fair and just consideration as anyone else.

    December 5, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  22. Laura

    Rahm Emanuel 2016!!!!

    December 5, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  23. Kathryn

    Did the Republican party learn ANYTHING from the last eight years and the clock cleaning they got during the recent election?

    No. For 2012 they are flocking to old farts and wack jobs for leadership.

    YES, THAT'S THE TICKET – KEEP PROMOTING HUCKABEE & PALIN.

    I predict another Democratic landslide in 2012.

    December 5, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  24. PAPPY

    2 RELIGOUS FANATICS,DON'T BELIEVE IN SCIENCE,THE EARTH IS 5000 YEARS OLD,END TIMES ,SPEAK IN TONGUES,
    WITCH DOCTORS IN CHURCH,TRYING TO FORCE THEIR BELIEFS ON THE WORLD.KEEP YOUR BELIEFS TO YOURSELF
    WHEN WILL REPUBLICANS LEARN,YOU NEED A SENSIBLE,MODERN DAY, MODERATE TO WIN,NOT A THROW BACK TO THE SPANISH INQUISITION.
    AS WE ARE SEEING OBAMA IS NOT THAT LIBERAL

    December 5, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  25. Anna

    eh...don't really see Romney and the rest letting Palin slither past the primaries.

    December 5, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35