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. Larry C. in Texas

    If we can get rid of the I.R.S. it would be the best thing since sliced bread. I am a die hard Democrat, but if the "Huck" can go with a across the board flat tax, and get it through congress, I WILL VOTE for him.....( The "HUCK")

    It doesn't matter what you make, whether you are Rich, or Poor, everyone should Pay the SAME Percentage......It's the only True and Fair way, period.

    Larry Coury
    Houston, Texas

    December 5, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. Andrew

    Jason Hoffman, what is the matter with you? Are you even really Jewish?

    December 5, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. Hugh Betcha


    December 5, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |



    December 5, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. John

    When would GOP stop fielding dumb candidates? They seem to be digging more in the hole they are in and good for Democrats. Let Palin first learn to speak a whole sentence that makes any sense before getting excited. And advise her to stop winking – it is very very cheap.

    December 5, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. Craig S

    I read another poll where 80% of the Repubs want Palin on the ticket for 2012........but 100% of the Dems want her on it.

    December 5, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. gunguy

    Why are we worrying about this right now. We just elected the Messiah into office. He is supposed to fix everything from what i have been promised. He claims that he can fix it all. Let's see what happens

    December 5, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. Ipityyoufools

    Keep laughing, obama supporters, keep laughing. You will all regret having voted for a totally inexperienced man to be PUTUS. You guys are all idiots and don't like Palin because she is REAL, unlike superficial and smooth talking his majesty, messiah, obama. You think Bush was bad..........

    December 5, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Andy

    We still don't get it – the majority of the country is moderate/center/right not right. They're more focused on solutions to immediate economic problems, not conservative values on social issues. We continue to be like a car manufacturer insisting on a product that nobody wants.

    I bet these same people would've embraced McCain's campaign if he had run it like 2000 with a clear, focused economic message taking "real solutions to real problems" approach and with a team of advisers that were ready to tackle them. Palin rallied the base, not the majority of the country.

    December 5, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Dorothy in NC

    Why would we want 2008 rejects as our candidates in the future? What part of they didn't win makes anyone think they can win in the future?
    Thank God I am a Democrat because if you can even visualize a President Palin, than I need to move to another country. Hopefully Barak Obama will be President 8 years and after that I pray someone with a brain and vision runs for President after that. We are at a pointy in humanity that we have to be real careful who we elect. The world is too dangerous and we have too many hurting people to have a scatterbrain in office ...just because some men think she is hot.
    Give me a break.

    December 5, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. michael

    There won't be a race worth fighting for in 2012.

    Can we just enjoy 2008?

    And, besides...Sarah Palin....YAWN!
    Next, Please.

    December 5, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Meh

    Jason Hoffman> Dude...she doesn't support Isreal. She wants to convert them all! Trust me, I know her ilk.

    Also, this is RIDICULOUS. Have the Republicans learned nothing? It's ok to set the bar a little higher, guys.

    December 5, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Derek

    Palin is a bright as a mud cake on a raining day. Are we as a human race that absent minded to even consider this woman in any sort of position of decision making? My head hurts even at the thought..Oh I have an idea; I might run for office; but of course after Obama has straightened out our economy and world standing...thanks.

    December 5, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. chuck

    I think Wolf Blitzer will be excited to hear this.He might make a trip to Alaska to interview this idiot again,the first one being in Florida. I'm beginning to question the integrity of Wolf these days.

    December 5, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. nani

    Obama bought the white house!
    It is historic, on my neighborhood I see the lines very long whaiting for free food, all kinds of people, whites and black and spanish , asian etc. and all are driving a good cars.
    If this peoplen send money to Obama to get elected, well good luck I hope Obama send all the $780 millions that people send to him to buy the White House, get what their deserve.

    Obama should give the money back!
    Charity Now is the most important thing to do now! People are on lines waiting for free food. GET THE MONEY BACK TO CHARITY NOW Obama, you don't need a party , people are hangry!

    December 5, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. cann

    President Sarah Palin, Vice-President Joe Wurzelbacher, and Secretary-of-State Hank Williams, Jr. . Now that's a group-intellect that will get the World's attention.

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

    December 5, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. G.R.I.T.S. - Girl Raised in the South

    Wonderful. The brilliant members of the GOP prefer two people who cannot seem to separate the Christian Bible from the rule of law. I am a lifelong Methodist Christian and I prefer the U.S. to be ruled by the Constitution and for the separation of church and state to remain solid. Unfortunately, the GOP chooses individuals who are striving for a theocracy. I don't know if this can be blamed on regional issues, social issues such as homosexuality and abortion, or if Republicans truly believe that their way is the only way. Screw the Buddists, Muslims, Atheists, Hindus, etc. As a matter of fact, screw any mainstream, liberal or moderate Christian organizations, right?

    December 5, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. Donna

    Give me a break. The only people who would want to see either of these two in the top spot are the crazy news reporters who love to spin a story. These two people are not in touch with the majority of Americans no matter how many ways reporters try to spin the numbers, polls or interviews with loud mouth nobodies. Please stop clogging up my computer with stories of these two people.

    December 5, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  19. Pat

    P J.
    Last year Palin knew that Oil Prices can vary greatly and instead of doing like the Governor of NY and spending every single dime she set aside $5 Billion. Now whiloe the GOV of NY is begging for $47 Billion of my hardworking dollars GOV Palin will be able to storm a downturn in the price of oil in Alaska. Sounds like a lot of common sense to me and sounds like the GOV of NY who practices the Tax and spend Obama policy has no common sense.

    December 5, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. Denver Dem

    Bob from San Fran love your comment. Figures these morons would start pushing Palin 2 months before barack becomes president. Come on folks you know nazi-istic propaganda doesn't get spread overnight.

    As far as huckabee is concerned he should have been the one this time around but the idiots that run the party can't figure it out. the need a value change not a image change.

    Also anyone who would vote for Mooseburger b/c she is hot, are pathetic human beings who I am disgraced to say are Americans, truly pathetic each and every one of you

    December 5, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. Pat

    CNN. Why don't you moderate fairly. There are FCC rules concerning this.

    December 5, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. cherish

    I hope this is the future of the Republican party, because they will continue to lose elections.
    I am a Christian, but AMERICA IS NOT A THEOCRACY and choosing less moderate, far-right candidates will only bring the destruction of the Republican party.


    December 5, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  23. Morris da Pitti

    It's clear that the Republicans are simply surrendering to their right wing and thereby taking their party out of serious contention. I think many supporters of Huckabee and Palin are saying, "Well, they may be stupid, but they think like I do!" Enough said.

    December 5, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. Concerned Voter from GA

    This Just In....SARAH – YOU LOST! READ MY LIPSTICK – YOU LOST!The country is in a crisis...and all you care about is 2012...So, does Sarah have a plan for our devastated economy? NO...that's why she LOST. Can we inaugurate the President-elect who won the 2008 election, please?

    December 5, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. Godluvr

    P.S. It just hit me: These crazy news stories are the Republicans' way of keeping hope alive! They are now trying to become a copy of the rainbow coalition! They need to stay in the spotlight to remain relevant! Haaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    December 5, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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