February 27th, 2009
12:40 PM ET
6 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. sally

    Enough with GOP crap. It is about the country!

    February 27, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. Luke

    Please CNN, is this what it is with "country first" with GOP?

    February 27, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Maggie

    WHY would anyone support Sarah Palin? The woman doesn't have two working brain cells!

    If that's who the people who support the Republican party want as their defacto leader, then they might as well pack up their toys and go home now.

    February 27, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. markens

    what are those people?.

    February 27, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. Shirley in California

    It REALLY doesn't matter. Both Palin and Huckabee are losers. Intellectually as well as personally.

    February 27, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. DC in New York City

    former Alaska Gov Mike Huckabee???

    February 27, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. If I were a rich man

    Can I get a dollar for every critical comment about Sarah Palin?

    February 27, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. Freed_From_W

    There are also gaps between the GOP and:
    -Common Sense
    -Race/Gender equality
    -Modern ideas
    -International Opinion
    -Liberty
    -Science
    -Peace

    February 27, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. InternetJournalismHorrible

    How quickly did you guys write this article. The internet is killing writing. Mike Huckabee is the former governor of Alabama not Alaska. Also this piece is ridden with grammatical errors. Bring back sound journalism

    February 27, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. Nick

    That shows a fractured party. Over 20% support Palin, Over 20% support Romney. Two different people.

    February 27, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  11. gt

    you people need to get a life , pres . obama hasent been in office but a month or so ,,, give it a rest its 4 yrs till the next election ,,

    February 27, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Freed_From_W

    There are also gaps between the GOP and:
    -Common Sense
    -Race/Gender equality
    -Modern ideas
    -International Opinion
    -Liberty
    -Science
    -Peace

    I will submit this until you MSM twats decide to not censor it. Fascists.

    February 27, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. Had It

    The republicans don't suffer from a gender gap - they suffer from an intelligence gap.

    What's between the legs has nothing to do with what's between the ears. Except to all you slobbering idiots that fantasize about the Wasilla Hillbilly and a pole dance.

    February 27, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. Tony

    Romney is going to win in 2012 since Obama has no idea what he's doing - especially in regard to the economy. All Obama knows how to do is pay back political favors and campaign all the time. And Romney's election will be historic, being the first Mormon president, but somehow I doubt you'll see Mormons jumping in front of TV cameras screaming about how they won't have to pay their bills or their mortgage anymore now that a Mormon is in the White House.

    February 27, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  15. gl, Pittsburgh

    Sara Palin will give President Obama 4 more years. Sara Palin can not and will not over minority so she is a sure win for President Obama!

    February 27, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. Honorable Kansas Vet

    If Jindal is the rising star of the Republican party, thet might as well hang out a sign saying "closed due to no clue".

    February 27, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. Virginia Blue Veterans

    29% of Rushpublicans want Sarah Palin for President??!?

    LMAO!!! You made my day CNN.

    February 27, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. No Vaseline

    Hahaha, these Rethuglicans think they have a chance? We won't let them ruin our country again! You Rethuglicans are finished!

    February 27, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. Robert Britt

    Pretty sure Huckabee was governor of Arkansas, not Alaska. As a free-thinking, small government style Republican, I think the extreme right slant of these choices will ensure Obama gets re-elected. The Christian element of the party has me seriously considering becoming an independent instead of being affiliated with the Republican party. After years of the party moving in that direction, I've just about had enough of it.

    February 27, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. marquis

    WOW I DIDNT KNOW MIKE HUCKABEE WAS GOV. OF ALASKA AS WELL AS ARKANSAS!!!

    "Right behind the 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee, and well within the poll's 4.5 percent sampling error, is former Alaska Governor Mike Huckabee"

    February 27, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. lovable liberal

    Palin, Huckabee, Romney, Jindal? Time for Michael Steele to get to work finding a better candidate. Or he could sit back and wait for Goldwater numbers.

    February 27, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. The Voice

    Palin?? It seems as if conservative still haven't learned a lesson. That should be easy for the Democrats. Until 2016, and they probably won't have a chance then either.

    February 27, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  23. carlo

    They could lump them all together and run them as one candidate, and you would get no more ideas from them together than you would alone.

    February 27, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. Independent_me

    The Godless Out-of-touch Party also has an ideas gap... they have no ideas, resort to tired old mantras, and they lie a lot...

    February 27, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. John Anthony

    That's not the only gap they have. With their policy of favoring the rich and letting everyone else dangle helplessly, they need a complete realgnment if they're ever going to win another national election. Echoing the failed stances of the 1920s, 1980s, and the Bush era, I don't see that happening ecver again.

    February 27, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
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