February 27th, 2009
12:40 PM ET
5 years ago

GOP has 2012 gender gap, new poll says

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin leads in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Friday.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin leads in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As the the first unofficial ballots are cast in the next race for the White House, a new national survey of Republicans indicates that the GOP doesn't have a clear presidential frontrunner - but does have a clear gender gap.

Twenty-nine percent of Republicans questioned in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they are most likely to support Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. Right behind the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, and well within the poll's 4.5 percent sampling error, is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Twenty-six percent of those questioned say they are most likely backing the former, and possibly future, Republican presidential candidate.

Twenty-one percent of Republicans polled say they most likely would support former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, another GOP hopeful from the last campaign who may put his hat into the ring again.

Nine percent say they would probably back Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who is considered a rising star in the GOP. On Tuesday, Jindal gave the Republican response to President Barack Obama's prime time address to a joint session of Congress. This poll was conducted before that speech, which drew some critical reviews.

"Since the poll was taken before Jindal's widely-panned speech, his low support is not a reflection on his performance on Tuesday night and is most likely due to the fact that he is not as well known as Palin, Huckabee or Romney, all of whom ran national campaigns in 2008,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Ten percent of those questioned say they would most likely support some other candidate.

The poll's release comes as conservatives from across the country are gathered in the nation's capital to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference. Those attending the meetings are voting in a straw poll of their favorite candidate for the next Republican presidential nomination. The results will be released Saturday.

While the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll doesn't indicate a clear frontrunner, it does suggest there's a gender gap among rank-and-file Republicans.

"Among GOP men, the same pattern emerges - no clear advantage for Palin, Huckabee or Romney,” says Holland. “But among Republican women, it's a different story. Palin has a 10-point edge among Republican women, winning 32 percent support among them to 22 percent for Huckabee and 20 percent for Romney. With the sampling error, that's not enough to say for sure that Palin is in the lead, but it does indicate that if the primaries were held tomorrow, Palin would have a good chance of being the favorite among GOP women."

But the 2012 campaign is still a long, long, long way away.

"So many things will happen between now and 2012 that this poll has no real predictive value," says Holland.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey was conducted February 18-19, with 429 Republicans questioned by telephone.


Filed under: Bobby Jindal • CNN poll • GOP • Mitt Romney • Sarah Palin
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Simmy

    They have reduced themselves to a marginal party. Nothing they say is credible, and their constant bashing of President Obama, is beginning to appear to be more racial than political, despite their token diversity.

    If they continue to harp on this idea of "Socialism", they will be labeled as "Right-WIng Freaks", and many more will defect from their evil regime.

    DeMint and Huckabee together don't equal one good candidate. Their whole campaign is based on "talking points" and "sound bites" like "My bad", "We're starting an American revolution of values."
    Whom do they think they're fooling?......My bad; they're fooling about 48,000,000.

    D to the E, to the M – GO DEMS!

    February 27, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. It ain't so

    OMG r u kidding me. We would be a laughing stock if she was to win.
    Let's just give up the USA to China. Why even bother going through another election....God Help US ALL!

    February 27, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. Check please....

    They should have supported Romney this year.

    February 27, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. Bill

    Palin? That's what's really wrong with this country. People with no common sense. Are they kidding?

    February 27, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  5. Paul St. Lawrence

    Maybe if major news organizations didn't feel the need to start running these ridiculous polls so far out from an election, our elected officials and the voters might focus a bit more on actual policy and governance and not the game of who's going to get elected next time around.

    February 27, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. Mary

    I find it surprising that there are 29% willing to support a dimwit that thinks she has foreign policy creds because she thinks she can see Russia from her front porch!

    The gop is doomed to years of irrelevancy. They're leaning way to far to the right for the majority of American. Huckabee, he's nothing but a bad joke. Romney can't even buy the gop nomination.

    Good luck gop. I'll stick with the Democrats.

    February 27, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. shoegazer

    Man,again,if this list is any indication that this is the best the republicans have to offer,my oh my,the party must really be in a bad state of affairs.Re-hashed,re-cycled,redundant and ridiculous.

    February 27, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    Think about it people...if Booby Jingle can justify fabricating an entire anecdote about the Katrina tragedy because he thinks it will gain him political leverage, then what else is he lying about in order to gain political leverage? Perhaps his conversion to Christianity?

    Scared yet GOPers?

    February 27, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Telly Amherst

    Even if the GOP runs Hitler, I would vote for him over that trash in the white house now.

    February 27, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. Ray Fisher

    I left the Republican party years ago because they didn't have any integrity insisting upon taking everything they could get and legislating greed, our failed economy is the direct result of their selfishness of which Palin became the poster child!!! Just think about the 08 presidential race a savings & loan greed monger and a Neiman Marcus greedy shopper on the same ticket!!! They present nothing to vote for but a continuation of the pillaging of our economy.

    February 27, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. Travis- Atlanta

    They are all equally awful.

    February 27, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  12. Lynn

    I will believe the Republican cry about "socialism" when every single one of them cancels their gold plated health care program, their over the top pension plans and their Social Security cheques.

    Until then it is just more of the same no matter who "leads" the party of an aristocracy of entitlement for the rich and connected and to hell with everyone else!

    February 27, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. jj

    looks like the election of Barack Obama has left very many people irked. Can people calm down coz we just started 4years journey and may be we have 8years to go then they can start all this bull?

    February 27, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. Florida Dude

    Please pick Palin....Would be great fun in the General Election

    February 27, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. Ron L

    If Sarah Palin represents the BEST the GOP has to offer. It can only be described in one word...SAD!!!! Frankly she just is not smart enough to be President. Frankly Huckabee would present a better challenge against President Obama. But this is all moot if the economy turns around and it looks like it is starting to generate enough jobs and tax revenue to begin decreasing the national debt. If that happens, Obama WILL have two terms.

    February 27, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. george cook

    YOU GO GIRL! You can win it all

    February 27, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. sherry

    Phew......What a list to choose from........
    Look's like we wont be seeing a republican president for awile........Seem's like everyone who is worthwhile left the darkside and came to the light of the democrat's........

    February 27, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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