February 27th, 2009
12:40 PM ET
9 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. James

    Just ask her the same questions again and enjoy the re-run of fumbled responses. She's not going to be more qualified in 2012.

    February 27, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. Name

    Gov. Huckabee was governor of Arkansas.

    February 27, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. gl, Pittsburgh

    Nine percent say they would probably back Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal – Of course he would get the less percent becasue he is a minoriity and most Republicans are too racist to pick some one of color. Jindal you were used just like Steele the token is being used. Republicans are not the party for people of color and the sooner Jidal and Steele realized that the better they will be. They are the party of WHITE OLD RICH MEN!

    February 27, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. Jason

    Palin is leading the poll for 2012 with these people. Repubs must want weak leadership at the top, they, a figurehead, so that the real power people can hide in the background and pull the strings, knowing that if they themselves ran for office, the public would run away screaming.
    Be careful what you wish for GOP – it might come true.

    February 27, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Former Alaska Governor Mike Huckabee? Didn't bother to proof read this one?

    February 27, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Dan in NY

    So the party that does not support women's rights is having a hard time finding women in leadership??!! Shocker!!

    February 27, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. Darin

    Great, now we will have to see more crap from that moron Palin in future years to come, just freakin' great! I can't stand her, she's an eye sore.

    February 27, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Nathan

    OK... you fix it and make me look like an idiot. LOL

    February 27, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. Peggy - TX

    Does any one really believe that the Christian Right-republican leaning voters would support a Mormon for President? Clearly Romney is the best qualified of the group, but easily derailed by a Christian preacher sounding bozo like Huckabee. Huckabee and Plalin are both light weights who never had a chance of winning a national election, what could have motivated Huckabee to have run in the primary to have the only effect of eliminating Romney from beating McCAin in the primary? Hmm…. now that I think about it, wasn’t he rewarded with a TV talk show on fox?

    February 27, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. Quinn - Houston, Texas

    All I want to know is which GOP candidate will call Obama a socialist for wanting all Americans to have jobs, affordable health care and an education. The nerve of that man!

    America should forever be engaged in a battle of have's vs. have not's. Thank goodness we have the GOP to keep making this argument. (I'm being sarcastic)

    February 27, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. patriot

    Remeber when Republicans were thought of as the elite, the cream of society? Their new stereotype is not very flattering and this poll confirms it! Lunkheads!

    February 27, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. Bleebo

    Please tell me why is this NEWS!!!!!!! I am not understanding why we tend to think that it is necessary right now to be concerned to who will be the GOP nominee. We need to be paying attention to the 2008 President. And truth be told, President OBAMA will wipe them out too, just as he did McCain. People lets live for today, and get this country back on track. Already, you all want to keep mess going. Face it the REPUPS, ain't equipped.

    OBAMA backing!!!!

    February 27, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. Cheney


    February 27, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  14. Andrew Caul

    Wow anyone one of them would be perfect for an Obama and a Democratic landslide in 2012!!!! Democrats forever! A party of actions!!!!!!!!!! Instead to the 'Do Nothing' party of the Republicans! No ideas, no clues, unable to accept any responsibility for their actions and just lie, lie lie!!!!!!!!!! Palin would be the best candidate of the GOP a moron like all the Rethuglicans in office now!!!!!!!!!!

    February 27, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  15. MK in Arizona

    I can't believe we are still talking about Sara Palin being in the running for POTUS. She wasn't even qualified to be Vice President! Mitt Romney is the obvious choice and the one with the most knowledge and experience. By time Obama is done ruining our economy Mitt will be there to pick up the pieces and use his smarts to get us back on track. Wake up America! The office of President should not be decided on who is the most popular or the most cool or because it would be neat to have a black or a woman in there. It should be based on qualifications!!!
    Romney in 2012

    February 27, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. america first

    how sad.

    February 27, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. obamahasbigears

    Could we possibly be that lucky to see this bunch of goofballs run in '12?! That would be too easy. (We thought McCain got his rear kicked!) Boy, Mitch McConnel was right, they really are going to be a regional party backed by the fringe right.

    February 27, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  18. patriot

    Only 9% supporting Jindal? And that was BEFORE his goofy performance the other night? Hmmmm, wonder waht these people are thinking? (Duh!)

    February 27, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. Mary J.

    Please no Palin unless you raise money for her children to come with her. I think Palin is a joke but hey that is what the GOP is now.

    February 27, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. joe jefferson




    February 27, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. Sam

    I am a Female of Indian Origin. However, neither Palin, nor Jindal will get my vote, ever! Nor ANY Repub for that matter ever will get my vote! So go on and keep running guys and gals!

    February 27, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. yuri

    Let's do the math, shall we?

    10%-Someone else
    Total so far, 69%
    Remaining 31%- Hate themselves/prefer to stay suffocated in a state of suspended confusion, perhaps, eh?

    Seems like sound statistics to us, don't you think?

    February 27, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  23. Steve, New York City

    I would go for Huckabee over ANY of the others mentioend above. I might not see "eye to eye" on all of his policy statements, but at least he seems like a nice, genuine guy!

    February 27, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. Mike in Houston

    Anyone running against Obama will be better than Obama.

    February 27, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. NC=Blue in 2008

    Palin, Palin, Palin!!!! I would LOVE to see Palin run against Obama in 2012. She has some time to study, but I don't think she is sophisticated enough to run a coherent, well-planned campaign. But think of it this way - If she does run, she won't be able to blame the "upper echelon, power hierarchical structure" that she claims didn't allow her to make any of the decisions this time around.

    Oh wait! Maybe the RNC will build her up so that they do not have to send in a real candidate to be defeated by Obama. He will be unstoppable by that time!

    Despite my apparent excitement here, I think we should continue to worry about he state of our nation instead of focusing on 2012. Obama has inherited so many problems and the country needs to get out of this mess.

    February 27, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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