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. dont forsake truth

    2012! anyone home?

    We have a disaster on our hands for the next 4 to 8 years

    a major change in the way we live our lives is here

    BECAUSE of the incompetence, neglect and myopia of Republicans, Bush/Cheney and a Congress that thought it was at Versailles. And Yes Huckabee and Palin are part of the problem....and in no way are part of a solution the United States of America.

    there is no 2012 unless we focus collectively on the right here and right now.

    December 5, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Laura from Canada

    As they say, "God bless America...and God help the rest of us"

    December 5, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. AKDC

    She is very talented but also very despised by the left. Also, I don't think a woman will be elected or nominated by a party for POTUS until 2030, given all that I've seen during the 2008 election process. the US is very backward and stubbornly blind to it.

    December 5, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    the media blackout continues, they left the only hope for the GOP off the survey.....Ron Paul 2012

    December 5, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. Chipster

    So, the top 3 GOP contenders are right-wing theological zealots? That's just great! After all, religious fanatics have done such a great job in the Middle East, why not? When will the GOP get a clue that religious fanaticism is not a good substitute for competence and constitutional liberties?

    December 5, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. rhoward

    Good grief. PE Obama hasn't even been sworn in yet and people are already concerned about 2012. Must be nice not to have anything else to worry about.

    December 5, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. bob

    Republican needs to look for a serious candidate to rebuild their party. THey have to remember that "The first impression Palin gave is what people will remember".

    Palin is not a viable candidate.

    December 5, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. Linda, NC

    Only if there would still be a Republican party in 2012.

    CNN for the last time... i really dont want to hear anything about Palin... atleast for a month. Please... Please... Please... give me a break.

    Or atleast provide a filter where we can have an option to ignore the Palin drama.

    December 5, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  9. Matt

    I'll say it again: the GOP earns itself a Darwin Award if it nominates these two...particularly if they're on the same ticket. The wonderful irony of it is that these two don't even believe in Darwin...they think an invisible man int he sky magicked up the whole human race just as we are now. You know Moses only got lost in the desert for so long because he forgot his GPS.

    December 5, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. Jesus

    I'll take it.

    December 5, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. Robert

    No doubt Palin and Huckabee polled EXTREMELY well among Republicans and independents who live under rocks and/or don't have the good sense they were born with.

    I really hope Palin does become the Republican standard bearer - it will guarantee the Democrats' hold on the White House for another four years – and longer, if the Repubs insist on nominating bobbleheads.

    December 5, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. mike

    Please let them put Palin up there.

    How can I contribute to her campaign? Is it too early?

    We have GOT to keep her around!

    December 5, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. John

    This is the best the party has to offer? WHAT A JOKE !!!!! This is so amusing. AHAHA.

    December 5, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. Irma in North Carolina

    The republician party is going to loose more of its fold with Sarah running, I know I am going to change from republician to independent. Of course Sarah wont stand a chance against Huckabee. She will follow in Stevens footsteps in alaska. Just to the anchorage daily news, there are a lot of questions how she got her house built.

    December 5, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. Biff

    Palin will never get out of the starting blocks. guaranteed.

    December 5, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. Wlm.

    Can someone PLEASE make Palin go away?!?!

    December 5, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. Kenneth

    Instead of the GOP rebuilding itself and moving to the center of the mainstream, they're going off the hate mongering right wing cliff with these clowns Huckabee and Palin.

    Oh well, if all else fails, maybe they can start a traveling tent revival complete with snake handlers and book burnings!

    December 5, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  18. Carlos

    Great it should be a sure win for the Dem. Party. I love it

    December 5, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  19. Aaron

    I had things to say here, but frankly I can't top Bob from San Francisco.

    Well played, Bob.

    December 5, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. gary n.

    God help us.

    December 5, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  21. Cyrus

    At this rate, by 2012, repubs will nominate Palin for Wonder Woman, President of the Universe, Czarina "Palin the Pathetic" of Russia, H.M. Queen of Alaska, and Lady Jesus!

    After Obama till 2016, we are going to need Hillary to take office till 2020.

    Good luck with your political aspirations Palin!

    December 5, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. April fools day?

    Is it April 1st already?Im laughing so hard my sides hurt.

    December 5, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. Raeford NC

    I think Sarah Palin would be a great candidate. I like her common sense approach to tackling problems. Just because she didn't go to Harvard or Yale doesn't mean she wouldn't make a good President.

    December 5, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Tolu, in Minneapolis

    CNN, give it a break! I know you get great ratings anytime you put Sarah Palin's face on your website and tv tube. The American public is tired of hearing about her. Please remove her name from your lexicon for at least two years.


    December 5, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. mayah


    December 5, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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