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. RinFL

    Out of ideas and determined to loose.
    The RNC continues to beleive this fairy tale…….may they reap what they sow……the seeds of their own discontent.

    December 5, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. California Gold

    CNN, is it a slow news day today?

    December 5, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. chris nichols

    alright, take a deep breath,,,, everyone take a big step to the center, and stop! thanks America

    December 5, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. Big Worm

    These guys are absolutely nuts.

    It's time for the GOP to back Ron Paul, the only real candidate that wants _REAL CHANGE_.

    Open your eyes America.

    December 5, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Ex-Republican

    Well, in light of the fact that the GOP is actually even considering Palin, it confirms my belief that the GOP is headed the way of the do-do bird.

    I really wish the neo-con fanatics that have the anti-american practice of mixxing religion with politics would simply move all the way to the right and form their own party...I personally suggest a name of Sadist American Diehards, or SAD for short!

    At one point, way back in the past, the republican party actually had integrity and stood for something. The nut jobs who infiltrated it's ranks will be the undoing of it!

    December 5, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Jason Hoffman

    I love Sarah Palin because she supports the greatest country in the world, ISRAEL! Anyone who demonstrates so much love for Jews and our country is #1 in my book.

    December 5, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Phil, Ashburn, VA

    How can anyone in the right mind think Palin is qualified. She is not bright enough to understand the complex problems.

    December 5, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. Cheeseburger

    LOL. I hope she runs in 2012 so we can laugh at her some more. That would basically be a guaranteed 8 years for Obama.

    December 5, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. PJ

    Raeford NC – Can you give me one example of Sarah Palin using common sense? I'm really curious as to how people of your mentality envision things. Seriously. I need to find out why she is such a sensation to some people.

    December 5, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. wait a minute

    Why can't we limist the presidential election time to one year to six months like many other developed democracy does? Why should we waste so much national resources on constant campaigning? All that money that went for campaigning could have done a lot of good things for our country. We should decrease the individual political donation cap to $1,000.

    December 5, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. Kirsten -- San Diego

    Oh, I HOPE they run - because they both have no chance of winning against Barack.

    December 5, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. Regular Dude

    Come on folks- GREAT Neighbor HORRIBLE VP choice no matter who its with-

    December 5, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. gerri

    Aunt Bea and Opie?Life should be fun Mayberry.Lets go fishin with Pa too.Im whistling already.

    December 5, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. Get Real

    Oh please–2012 is political light years away. The GOP landscape will be so much different by then. Remember Hillary, the Inevitable Nominee?

    December 5, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. jean

    Huck & Sarah? If the Republicans and the Americans who support them believe these two people offer substance and competence, then the US will be in the same condition as GM, Chrysler and Ford. Maybe it'll be the decline and fall of the US empire. It's happened to others, why not here?

    December 5, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  16. I'm Not Missing The Old Mule & Winky Half-baked Alaska

    Great! I see another guaranteed and widespread Democratic victory in four years with those two as the only "hopefuls". And the Repulsicans better stop their "celebrity" bashing now that Sir Huckabee has his own show. Doesn't Jindal have some exorcism stories to clear up before he can run for higher office? Just the three of them make for good tabloid fodder form now until the next election.

    December 5, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. Larry Karmel

    Might as well innaugurate Obama for 2012 now. Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 5, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. MLH

    Well, if this is the best that the GOP has to offer, so be it. Frankly I won't be voting for either one of them, ever, in any combination.

    December 5, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. Cindy

    I still [Heart!!] Huckabee. He doesn't follow the crowd. He was the first Republican to say give Rev. Wright a break.

    If the Republicans chose Mike Huckabee to go up against Obama in 2012, while I would not support him, I will have admiration for him and for the Repub. Party. If they chose Palin... well... then they still haven't learned anything.

    December 5, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. zaphod2000

    Good! Four more years of Obama. I cannot believe that these two are the best the GOP has to offer. We just finished a campaign that lasted forever. Let's now think of these people until it gets closer to the time.

    December 5, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. Get Real

    Oh please–2012 is political light years away. The GOP landscape will be so much different by then. Remember Hillary, the Inevitable Nominee?

    December 5, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. SR

    Recipe for disaster, you people really think Palin could be a leader ? She may have the looks, but not the brains, god help us all if this nomination succeeds.

    December 5, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. Lisa P

    It would be nice for the GOP to pick a reality-based candidate for a change. I would like to have a choice on election day between two candidates who believe that government is best run by study and good planning. Eight years of George W. Bush have shown where blind unthinking ideology and prayer will get us.

    December 5, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. Geoff

    This constant polling is out of control! I'm 100% sick of reading about what a select few think...about everything.

    P.S. Sarah Palin is going to be a footnote in political history

    December 5, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    ENOUGH ABOUT THIS BOOB

    December 5, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 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