December 5th, 2008
04:12 PM ET
10 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. It's Sarah Palin in 2012

    I told Michelle Obama not to do too much decorating in the White House as she'll be gone in 2012. Obama will fail to revive the economy and Iran will take over the middle east with it's soon to be announced nuclear weapons; leading to Obama's failure to get re-elected.

    See you in 12' Sarah.

    December 5, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Coultergeist

    And the hilarity continues.

    I'm all for the wicked witch of the north running for Pres. It would pretty much guarantee President Obama's re-election.

    December 5, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Grace IL

    Did you guys hear the "pink pig" Limbaugh lusting after Palin on that B. Walters special? Ewwwww.....Ugh he is so gross!

    December 5, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. PJP

    Come on Huckabee and Palin! I do not agree with his religious convictions but I sure do agree with Sarah Palin's. Yes, God help us, help us make it thru this next 4 years.

    December 5, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. hugh ~ california

    If that's the best they've got, just skip the next election and grant Obama eight straight years in the whitehouse. It will save America millions of dollars that would just go to waste! In four years Obama won't even need to campaign. Lol! 🙂

    December 5, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. Greg Hodges

    What does it take for that no nothing hillbilly from Alaska to just go away. It is driving me crazy that anybody could still seriously think she is qualified to be Gov. of Alaska; let alone having a prayer of running against Barack Obama in 2012. It would be a gift that even the Republicans are too smart to give. Barack Obama on his worst day would make mincement out of this airhead!!!

    December 5, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. Roy, Houston

    Sorry, Palin and Huckabee. If Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gets in it, they'll be shooting for the number 2 spot on the ticket.

    December 5, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. no name

    Just shoot me now

    December 5, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. Lisa in Florida

    Great News for Obama!!! But what do you expect from people who put numnuts, Bush, in the White House for 8 years! I'm sorry, but I don't think these folks should even be allowed to vote after the disaster of the Bush/Cheney regime. Pathetic, especially Palin...ew gads!!

    December 5, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. becky

    Palin? God help us all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 5, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Veronica

    LMAO!!!! Are these two the BEST and the BRIGHTEST the GOP has to offer??!! Well, while I don't agree with some of Huckabee's policies (and his reluctance to admit that the earth really IS billions of years old), PAINFUL? HHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! She is experiencing one REALLY big acid trip if she thinks she's qualified to be president ... HHHHHHAAAAAAAAAA!!!! The mildly retarded guy in my building has more upstairs than she does ... LOL!!

    Well, no one ever said the GOP supporters were the brightest bulbs in the box!

    December 5, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. Steve

    Great two religious nut jobs to lead us into some stupid war in the middle east becasue we need to protect israel

    December 5, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Larry Karmel

    Huckleberry and the Wasilla Imbecilla. What a pair.

    December 5, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. Michael

    Great News! thanks CNN. 8 years for Obama!....Oh....and Thank you Sarah and Mike...keep up the good work!

    December 5, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. J.F

    We are sick of hearing about Palin.

    December 5, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. Go Sarah Barracuda

    Can't wait to see how many comments there are on this Ticker article.

    These guys diss Sarah all day but they're eating their hearts out that they can't have her. What a bunch of pathetic losers.

    Sarah Barracuda in 2012'

    December 5, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Bigotry in the eye of beholder

    Who could tolerate the hatred at the Palin rallies?
    Or, for that matter, the CNN Political Ticker?

    December 5, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. bill

    Palin is just another reason why i'm glad to be a democrat! And..please...let's quit the coverage of anything concerning her...she's a walking joke~

    December 5, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |


    December 5, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. FA

    With the vocabulary of a 13-year old, a knack for moose stew that most Americans couldn't care about, a habit of exploiting her Down's Syndrome baby for political points... What a candidate she will be!

    By not electing McCain, America dogded the bullet that is Sara Palin. But we aren't smart enough to realize that yet.

    We will, though. We will.

    December 5, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. Jkay - KCMO


    Does Palin want to the RNC as stupid as she is? This is all to impossible for me to grasp as even a remote possibility.

    December 5, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. JL

    Must be either a slow news day or a full moon. Both have strange side-effects.

    December 5, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  23. LLW

    doesnt anybody else have anything to say that is nice about sarah palin? give her a break!!! also the clothes that were bought for her were also donated. is there a problem with that?

    December 5, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. Scott (Camarillo, Ca)

    Everyone is talking about how good Obama is but I guess forgot he is not president yet and we will finally know how good he will be for the country soon. However we need to stop saying how great he until he proves otherwise and that he is going to be president for a 2nd term until we see how well he really is. He could be a total flap or a miracle worker. I do believe the GOP has died and needs to wake up and figure out what we Americans are really needing and that is to fix this broken economy.

    December 5, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. S9

    Wait till she runs against the republican smear machine in the primaries. Then she'll realize the difference between being elected for national office, and being selected.

    These names are dreams come true for Dems. – it's Obama winning in 2012 for sure. The best ticket for republicans would be Jeb & Jindal. But Jeb has that unfortunate last name...he needs at least 8 years to have his family name rehabilitated.

    December 5, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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