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. mb

    Who cares really? It shows exactly how stupid Hucklebee and palin are. It is a good thing that all republicans are not as stupid as they are. If I was a republican, I would make sure that neither of them would be in the primaries. Tax payers are still paying off the debt for palin and her family during the election.

    December 5, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. Tom

    Recipe for disaster. There is a problem these polls don't reflect; the perception of Americans is that the GOP has gone so far to the Right that it isn't functional as a national party. Thus, any poll taken using only registered Republicans, while estimating who might be able to win GOP nomination, isn't practical for estimating who can beat Obama.

    Here's an idea for perhaps a better poll: put these candidates in an '08 Swing State Voter poll, against Obama, and with no precondition as to party affiliation of respondents.

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

    gary n, you need all the help you can get. i would rather have sarah palin than any of the women democratic senators. may god help you.

    December 5, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. Nick

    Huckabee, okay. Palin, no. She needs to go away in order to repair her image.

    December 5, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Rhonda

    As a conservative, they would have my vote!!!!

    December 5, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. Mari

    Oh brother....... who cares?????????????????????????????????

    People are losing their jobs, their homes!

    Our Nation is facing a DISASTER thanks to a ......Republican president!

    Do we care who the GOP want to run in 2012??? NO.

    December 5, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. sky

    Holy incompetance Batman. Huckabee....ok...he can talk and walk at the same time and has moments of eloquence...but Palin....Palin....really.....were you guys happy with what Bush did to the Republican party.....if not......maybe Palin aint yer girl.

    December 5, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. EMJ

    As a life long Republican who voted for Obama, those two choices for 2012 are pathetic. Palin is a complete ditz and Huckabee has as much chance of getting elected as Paris Hilton. Come on, Repugs, get some real talent next time. Okey dokey?

    December 5, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. John

    These comments are so predictable....."I just wish she would go away?"........"Aren't her 15 minutes up?"......."Why are we still talking about her?"........I love hearing the sound of fear in your voices. Heheheheheeeeee!

    December 5, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. ohio for oboma

    2012 relection is signed sealed and delivered for president obama.

    December 5, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. Chris

    WHO CARES!!! I think we need to let OBAMA do his thing first!!!

    December 5, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. rep

    why are we talking about an election when we just had one

    GIVE IT UP ALREADY

    STOP FEEEINING

    December 5, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. jackjack

    Sheesh, if either of them get the nomination, then the GOP is dead for another four years. Neither is a viable candidate nationally and will get whupped by Obama...unless something goes horribly wrong in his first term and Americans end up hating him as much as they do Bush. Exactly whom did they poll for this? A cross sampling of religious right zealots? Please, save the party and vote for a moderate!

    December 5, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. rj

    Sarah Palin has no common sense. There are no brains in her head. Why does the media keep reporting on her?

    December 5, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. EMJ

    Raeford NC, put down the crack pipe. Put it down now!

    December 5, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. Alan H.

    Why won't she just go away!?!?!?

    December 5, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. Sherrol in Canada

    Unbelievable!!!! You'd think they'd first look at the merits of Mitt Romney or Bobby Jindal.

    It amazes me that the GOP has yet to realize, that to win in 2012 or '16 they need to do two things: #1 – Strive to become a party of inclusion and #2 – Find a way to connect with the 18 – 45 yr olds out there.

    McCain received 173 electoral votes, they've got alot of work ahead.

    The GOP is still rooted in the stone age. America and the world have moved on Republicans, now smarten up!!!

    December 5, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. Nick

    And Tom, they also go to "likely voters."

    Of course, we probably all have neighbors that asked us this year where to vote. These aren't likely voters, yet they vote for President. Presidential elections bring out the most people. Likely voters go to the obscure board of education election that takes place in the middle of April.

    December 5, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. Jozee

    Palin's strengths? Everybody knows that Palin has no strengths except her good looks and feigned folksiness. George Bush and Sarah Palin are two of a kind and we have seen where Bush's lack of leadership skills has gotten us.

    America needs intelligent, thoughtful people in the W.H. and neither Huckabee nor Palin even comes remotely close.

    December 5, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Andrea from St Louis

    Who in their right mind would ever want her running this country?!!! She has an ethics problem and is totally clueless. Go sit down!

    December 5, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. Lisa

    I am happy we are already picking the 2012 Republican nominee hopefuls. However, the Republican party has proven they can not run the Nation.

    Since Bush took over we are Trillions in Debt, we're involved in a war we did not have to fight, have millions of people out of work, and have been driven further apart from each other. The Republican party is ALL like BUSH and I, like many others, have abandon that party.

    December 5, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. Jeff from Atlanta

    I thought you guys believe Jesus was already elected this November?!?!

    December 5, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    President Sarah Palin, Vice-President Joe Wurzelbacher, and Secretary-of-State Hank Williams, Jr. Now there's a collection of intellects that will command World respect.

    What in the world can 32% of those polled be thinking about ?? Thank God for the other 68 % !!

    December 5, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. Carramia

    Palin is a fluff air celebrity like Brittney Spears . I would never respect this woman as president. Dont people listen to her answers? She repeats herself over and over again and never makes sense. If people are this stupid count me out....... Palin lost Mccain the election. Why doesnt she just go take care of the moose

    December 5, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. Charlie in Maine

    I was happy to start thinking about the 2008 election as soon as I could because it took my mind off who actually was the president. I understand the Republican's feelings

    December 5, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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