June 2nd, 2009
03:16 PM ET
11 months ago

CNN Poll: No frontrunner in GOP 2012 presidential race

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A new national poll of Republicans suggests that there's no front runner at this extremely early moment in the next race for the White House.

Three possible candidates are all bunched at the top of a CNN/Opinion Research
Corporation survey released Tuesday.

The survey suggests that 22 percent of Republicans would most likely support former Arkansas governor and former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee for their party's presidential nomination in 2012. Twenty-one percent say they would most likely back Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, with an equal number supporting former Massachusetts governor and former White House hopeful Mitt Romney.

Taking into account the poll's 4.5 percent sampling error, Huckabee, Palin and Romney seem to be locked in a hypothetical dead heat.

The poll indicates that 13 percent of Republicans would back former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 2012, with 6 percent supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Ten percent of those questioned say they would most likely back someone else.

"The Republicans have three very well known candidates. No one is a clear favorite among the three. The race appears to be wide open at this very early date," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.

"Republicans typically nominate someone familiar who's run for president before, such as Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, and John McCain. But since the party appears to be in trouble right, Republicans might want to do what Democrats typically do, and look for a fresh face," adds Schneider.

The poll's release comes on the same day that Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced that he won't run next year for a third term. Pawlenty's decision to avoid a potentially difficult re-election bid in 2010 is seen by some political analysts as the first step in a possible presidential run in 2012.

The poll's release also comes as Romney's recent schedule gives the impresison of a man intent on running for the White House again. On Monday, Romney criticized the Obama administration over national security at a speech sponsored by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Friday he was the keynote speaker at a major Republican Party dinner in Virginia. He's campaigned recently for GOP gubernatorial candidates in Virginia and New Jersey, and he's a frequent guest on cable news programs and Sunday talk shows.

Asked Sunday about a bid in 2012, Romney told Fox News that "I'm not going to close that door" - although, he added, "I'm not going to walk through it either."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted May 14-17, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for Republican presidential nomination question is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.


Filed under: GOP
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. JML

    GOP try finding someone in ranks who is an actual LIVE human and not a programmed robot.

    June 2, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Palin, Huckabee, and Romney? These people are frontrunners? Is that a joke? Sounds like the cast for a new Three Stooges movie if you ask me.

    June 2, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Fla.

    I would not vote for any of them. Palin & Huckabee are too fundamentalist in their approach to governing. Romney is too inconsistent with his ever-shifting positions, and Newt is too hypocritical. No thank you.

    Although it is WAY too early to be talking about this, President Obama would have my support, hands down.

    June 2, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. smartest FL voter

    It matters little who is running. The genus's who put Bush up have cost a lifetime of votes for the majority of Americans.

    June 2, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. David

    Palin in 2012, please, please, please

    We need some more laughs from her and more lessons about how to speak intelligibly.

    June 2, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. JT

    The GOP is on life-support. Nobody that has been in the media for them is strong enough to even win a couple of states. But, by all means, spend the money to run them.

    June 2, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. GOPer

    Thank God the Palin 15 minutes ran up!

    June 2, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Jerry, St. Louis

    Is it too much to ask for: Limbaugh & Rove running for the Republican nomination? Boy would that be fun! ! !

    June 2, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. JB Cal

    Teleprompter of the U.S.A.-"They might as well add Jeb Bush to this bunch of losers, he couldn't be any worse."

    Not one of them is worse than the loser right now in the White House
    -------------------------------–
    Actually, if he's in the White House, that would make him a winner. Where are your loser picks? Oh yeah, hanging with you.

    June 2, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. Kevin Denver Colorado

    Greg I see you are all over the place.Only idiots vote Democrats. The Republican party is the SMART PARTY.

    Yea, thats why the majority of college educated professionals are registered democrats. Of course by smart I guess you mean bible smart???? Can you use those word together in a sentence?? i don't think so.

    June 2, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. John

    You guys must withold all of the people who would say Ron Paul. This forum would be litered with his name if you didn't.

    I know his supporters will be a force to deal with. If Ron Paul isn't given the shot or if his (the real Republican) ideas aren't entertained, we'll throw the race again like we did in 2008.

    We warned you all to pick Ron Paul in 2008, you didn't, so we blew off McCain. Don't make the same mistake twice.

    June 2, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  12. Ricky

    We are not even into the first year of Obama...and we are thinking about 2012? Please...

    June 2, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. Beverly in NC

    Of course the Republican Party has no "frontrunner" for 2012! They have NO viable leaders in their Party at all! They have no ideas, no common beliefs, and definitely no credible leadership. If they still exist in 2012 I will be shocked. Nobody they have now is close to being "electable". They are out in the wilderness and getting more lost every day.

    June 2, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. shucks

    Romney / Palin 2012. I laughed so hard I peed myself.

    June 2, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. Jim

    Question: How dumb can the Republicans possibly be? Answer: Sarah Palin is the frontrunner for the 2012 nomination!

    June 2, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. Kevin Denver Colorado

    Don't worry repub's our glorious president will save you too.... whether you deserve it or not.

    I've not seen a single republican with the intellect to wash Obama's car let alone compete on any REAL level.

    June 2, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. KirksNoseHair

    Greg Smith, Clifton Heights PA June 2nd, 2009 4:23 pm ET

    Only idiots vote Democrats. The Republican party is the SMART PARTY.

    =========================================================

    uh, huh, yeah, um, ok LMAO......you just lost by the biggest margin in history, son. You may want to consider dialing back your arrogance just a wee bit.

    June 2, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. Tim, Seattle

    I hear they are working on a plan to exhume Reagans corpse with a Karl Rove voice-over and run it for president.

    May as well, there arent any GOP leaders that are living...lol

    GOP–Moderate or die....its that simple

    June 2, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. I give up

    cheney/limbaugh 2012

    June 2, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    No front runner, but there are a lot of behinds.

    June 2, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. Jayden,FL

    The GOP is almost done!

    June 2, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Expat American

    Greg Smith, Clifton Heights PA June 2nd, 2009 4:23 pm ET
    Only idiots vote Democrats. The Republican party is the SMART PARTY.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    You're absolutely right. There is no better evidence than the video clips of Palin supporters at their rallies....I remember, one Republican accused President Obama of being a Muslim and a terrorist, and when asked to show evidence to support his argument, he didn't know what else to say! Smart Party is debatable. But thanks to the global media, the world was laughing at GOP supporters like you!!

    June 2, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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