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. Tatianna

    When will CNN conduct a poll on 2012 presidential democrat candidates. Public opinion can be very fickle. People say one thing then do something different.

    June 2, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. luan isuffi

    Those arrogant and incompetent morons have a ice cube in hell chance for president in next five elections thanks to idiot George,
    lier Cheney and junkie Rush.

    June 2, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. alvino

    Any GOP candidate on the list so far is just more of the same circus we had for 8 years under the boys of torture. Americans lucked out when Obama was elected, and I cannot imagine anyone of the party of "NO!" beating him in 2012.

    June 2, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. S M R

    Non of these clowns have a chance by the way the Bush Administration left our Country. They defend policies that didn't work and will never work. Obama 2012 and Clinton 2016 and 2020 is the only way that we will totally recover from the crooked Bush / Cheney 8 years.

    June 2, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. John in Ohio

    "That's ok anyone could beat this mickey mouse of a president."

    Keep thinking that. Keep losing elections.

    June 2, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    @ Mich, who said "That's ok anyone could beat this mickey mouse of a president. But wait if we wait long enough Obama will break the country on the economy, and no one will run against the GOP"

    Shining example of how delusional the GOPers are at this point:

    1. The No. 1 thing that scares the GOP about Obama is that he campaigns like a champ, wins hearts and minds and gets people to believe in him. If Mickey Mouse kicked your neocon butts so bad in 2008, what does that make you?

    2. No matter how much you repeat that he's ruining the economy, everyone else (at least those with brains in their heads) will be paying attention to the experts, statistics and news reports indicating that things are getting better. You're not going to convince peopel to believe he ruined the economy when the DOW has risen from when he took office, the S&P 500 is leveling off near where it was when he took office and getting better, and the rate at which unemployment is growing has started to slow.

    Next.

    June 2, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. John McCain

    I'm still available.

    June 2, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. beth

    Why is 2012 being discussed? Shouldn't all Americans (Democrats, Republicans, Independents) be focusing on fixing the economy and not worrying about winning the next election?

    June 2, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. KJ, CA

    Seriously, do we really have to listen to this for three years. Our current President just got elected – Can we at least wait one more year, or better yet get through the 2010 elections completely, before we start speculating about the people running for President in 2012?

    June 2, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. Angie in Pa

    Once again the Republicans are Only focusing on one thing getting back in power hey Republicans what about the Problems of today? Are you ever gonna care about the People and the Country or only your party?

    June 2, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. Randolph Carter

    Teleprompter wrote:
    "President Mittens and all his female kittens move into the multi-wives house."
    Mitt at least can speak without a teleprompter. When I'm not around, Obama speaks like this…
    "Um, uh, uh, um, uh, uh, um, uh.um, uh, um, uh, uh, uh….."
    President Stutterer.

    And then he gets busy fixing all of the problems created by bible-thumping, trickle down idiots. Have a nice day!

    June 2, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. Bridgette

    Don't buy Hummer's. Don't buy Hummer's. Don't buy Hummer's. Boycott Hummer's. We have to take our country back.

    June 2, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  13. Obama Victim

    the country will be such deplorable shape by then, the Repubs will line up to replace this loser..............only three years, 7 months to go

    June 2, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  14. FAUXYTALE NEWS CHANNEL BY NEWSCRAP CORP.

    Let me guess, they are all white and think Failin' Palin is hot, Huckahasbeen is God's right hand, Newt is an evolved form of Rushcheneycon lifeform and Romney in his magic underpants is actually going to save them on his Momo planet in the great beyond.

    June 2, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  15. anderson n carolina

    ENOUGH 3:35... I got exactly what I voted for! An intelligent and caring President who isn't out to bully the world. I have faith that the economic decisions he has made will turn this country around after the 8 years of the trickle down economy Bush had. When the health care plan passes I will be dancing in the streets and so will millions of unisured Americans!

    June 2, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. James, Phoenix AZ

    Excuse me. Shouldn't we be focusing on the ECONOMY and other things before even thinking about the next election?

    By the way, I am always amused by the spelling, punctuaction and other misuses of the English language by the bloggers who tear Obama apart. It says volumes.

    June 2, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. AJB

    Barring a disaster, I really don't think it matters who the gop runs. It just won't matter. The gop brand is still pretty toxic, and the blowhards deriding Sotomayor on their behalf isn't helping. They have no message, no leader – they've got nothing.

    In fact, I wish they'd focus on the task at hand right now and not be looking to 2012 – there's a lot that has to be done between now and then.

    June 2, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. Proud Member..Party of No

    My dog could run and beat the current joke of a president that we have now.

    June 2, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    @ Tatianna, who asked "When will CNN conduct a poll on 2012 presidential democrat candidates."

    2016.

    June 2, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ Fair and Fair

    A Romney/Huckabee ticket is like mixing oil and water...they just don't mix.

    June 2, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. RCasson

    Obama will win in 2012 by a landslide. All three of these idiots are dreaming if they think they can beat him.

    June 2, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. Kevin

    Operation Chaos 2: Vote for Palin in the primary

    June 2, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  23. Kimberly

    Cool, three religious nut jobs. One thinks his sons are too good to serve in the military, one thinks we walked with dinosaurs, and one can see Russia from her state..HMMM, Obama must be shaking in his boots...HAHAHA

    June 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  24. ANNY

    This is what the GOP has to offer????? Then get ready for another 4 year term for Obama, these 3 have already lost once in the last primary and election.......Obama can do pretty much what he wants to do for the next 3 and a half years and still beat the pants off of any of these 3 goobbers.......boy you republicans have let Rush and Newt scare off any real canidates and what they haven't done to screw up this party Cheney has

    June 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. Robert J

    It seems the Republicans are trying to enhance their image by criticizing Pres Obama and the democratic party. Which for Dem's id GOOD. For Repugs it is defining who and what exactly was defeated when pres. Obama was elected. Wake up Rpeugs. you are a 1 in 5 minority with a similar IQ.

    June 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6