July 16th, 2009
05:08 PM ET
5 years ago

Poll shows tight race for 2012 GOP nomination

 Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee appear to be locked in a three-way race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee appear to be locked in a three-way race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

(CNN) – The Republican presidential primary process doesn't kick off for more than two years, but perhaps it's never too early to take a measure of where a race that's far from starting stands.

It appears to be a three-way race between former White House hopeful Mitt Romney, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee - also an ex-presidential aspirant. Romney stands at 26 percent in the new survey, compared to 21 percent for Palin, and 19 percent for Huckabee.

But the poll, which surveyed 455 Republicans and Republican-leaning voters between July 10-12, carries a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points, meaning all three are essentially locked in a dead heat.

Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker and current conservative commentator stands at 14 percent while Tim Pawlenty and Haley Barbour - the governors of Minnesota and Mississippi respectively - are each in low single digits.

The Gallup survey shows similar results to those of a recent CNN poll that also indicated the same three Republicans are locked in hypothetical race for the party's nomination.

But while Romney, Palin, and Huckabee are clustered on top, the survey shows voters hold a much higher favorability rating of the soon-to-be ex-Alaska governor than the other two Republicans. Palin scores a 72 percent approval rating compared with Huckabee's 59 percent and Romeny's 56 percent.

Though Palin, who has firmly remained in the headlines since she was tapped to be the party's vice presidential candidate last August, appears considerably better known than both men: only 7 percent of Republicans have no opinion of her compared to 28 percent who said the same of Romney and 25 percent who lacked a view of Huckabee.

Of course, polls more than two years before an election are far from predictive: A Gallup survey in 2005 showed Hillary Clinton would win the 2008 Democratic nomination over John Kerry while Rudy Giuliani would edge out McCain on the Republican side. President Obama was not included in the poll.


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney • Sarah Palin
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Ed in Arizona

    They're rounding the first turn! Sarey is in the lead, with Rrrrommmney saving ground and Huckleby trying to move between horses. Tim O'Plenty and Hailtothebarber are back in the pack. Bobby J. is nowhere in sight and Sanforderino has broken down.

    Sheesh.

    July 16, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Mark

    Romney or Palin will be much better than who we have in the White House now. Obama just keeps spending, spending, spending and TAXING. OUCH!!!

    July 16, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. Jayme

    That is all the better they can do? Didn't the republicans try this line up last time.......and failed miserably?

    July 16, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    Actually, it is way too early.
    But another Palin story will generate lots of interest, especially from those who claim to hate her and apparently want us all to know this. If the haters would just clam up, CNN wouldn't run so many Palin stories. Every Palin story gets 300 comments so that's why she is continually in the news.
    PS: If she is a quitter, then so is Barack Obama.

    July 16, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  5. blueken

    Do we need anymore proof that the GOP is off the track. Cookoo for Coco Puffs? It's too bad, becuase they just might destroy the two party system.

    July 16, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. FEMALES FOR FEMALES

    Palin all the way. The AAs dont like her. So thats good enough for me.

    July 16, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. LiLa

    Isn't it a little early for this?

    July 16, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. John

    Most of them aren't even running for president. What are you people trying to accomplish by posting these stories?

    In the end, the only thing that will save the GOP are the libertarians, which the state run media won't allow media time for.

    July 16, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. Gary

    Oh please... Palin is a joke known world wide! Huckabee doesn't want her to leave the GOP but I think that would be a blessing if she did!

    July 16, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. Doug Neumann

    he Republican Party had better come up with someone better than one of these 3. In case you don't realize it, McCain lost because of Palin. Lots of us who might have voted for McCain could not do so with the idea of Palin becoming president if anything were to happen to McCain.

    Let's face it – Obama has not one all that well. He is probably vulnerable. BUT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STILL HAS TO GIVE ME SOMEONE WORTH VOTING FOR. Do not give me Palin. Do not give me Romney. Do not give me Huckabee. Do not give me Jindahl. Do not give me anybody named Bush.

    Give me a real choice, or you will lose again.

    July 16, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. Hopeful Optimist

    Man, whatta bunch. Scare anyone ???

    July 16, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. Jan

    Just goes to show you that being a politician does NOT require knowledge about ANYTHING!!! Never in my life have I seen someone with less aspiring to be President of the United States as Sarah Palin. The Republicans had better wake up and make better choices or they WILL be the forgotten party. I am truly embarassed for the party.

    AND I am a republican.

    July 16, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. Ryan Wing

    So the 2012 lineup looks just like the 2008 lineup ...

    If at first you don't succeed, make the same mistake?

    July 16, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Doug Neumann

    The Republican Party had better come up with someone better than one of these 3. In case you don't realize it, McCain lost last time because of Palin. She is unelectable. Lots of us who might have voted for McCain could not do so with the idea of Palin becoming president if anything were to happen to McCain.

    Let's face it – Obama has not done all that well. He is probably vulnerable. BUT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STILL HAS TO GIVE ME SOMEONE WORTH VOTING FOR.

    Do not give me Palin. Do not give me Romney. Do not give me Huckabee. Do not give me Jindahl. Do not give me anybody named Bush.

    Give me a real choice, or you will lose again.

    July 16, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. john u

    Let's see....a hedge fund manager/Wall Street deregulator, a 'blame it all on the media' thin-skinned bimbo, and one of jesus's favorite annointed.....all retreads from 2008. No wonder the Republicans are in such a funk.

    July 16, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Dawn, CA

    Whoopty Do–As if we are really going to elect either one of these bozos to be our president.

    Sarah is inarticulate and an idiot, Mick is plastic and mean-spirited, and Huckabee is a good ole boy who most of the country can't relate to, and don't think we haven't forgotten that awful joke that he said about President Obama getting shot. I will never forget that, just as I will never vote for a huckster like Huckabee.

    July 16, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. Meg

    Yes, yes, this is BIG news in 2009 . . . in other news, who cares?

    July 16, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. Bill in California

    OH OH SARAH PALIN'S NAME IS ON THE POLITICAL TICKER....Watch out for spewing vile from the mushrooms who the liberal 'eletists' cultivate so well. I imagine that when SARAH takes the presidency from OCTOBAMA they will shrivel up and die.

    July 16, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. Greg

    Hmm. I wonder who'll be in the super bowl in 2 years. CNN, care to provide any meaningless speculation?

    July 16, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  20. Tom

    Republicans have to be the stupidest people on the globe to support Sarah Palin. Future citzens will look back at this period in History and think "They were fooled by Bush, they were stupid about Palin."

    July 16, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  21. Randy, San Francisco

    The GOP is a bankrupt party with no credible presidential candidates for 2012.

    July 16, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. thb63

    When did we start to have an annual presidential election? Why even do this poll? Are the Republicans such poor losers that all they talk about is having the next election? How about working with those that the people chose to run the country and do the patriotic thing of helping your neighbors and doing things to benefit the country?

    July 16, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. Karen from Charlottesville

    "It didn't work last time, so let's try the same line up again",,,,,

    July 16, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. patNY

    If this is who the republicans have to chose from in 2 years, I pitty them...you've three evolution deniers, three climate change deniers, and three morality enforcers. In other words, the republicans will have before them the choice of Mo, Larry, or Curly. I'd take Obama over any of these three stooges any day.

    July 16, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. Steve from NY

    You can tell by the comments that all liberals are low lifes. There are a lot of them and they are the ones that voted for Obama. That's why the low lifes will control the country. They get the wool pulled over their eyes very easily, but can't convince them of that. That's why they have ACORN to gather all the do nothings and vote for the Democrats. It's easy to sit back and criticise all the smart people. It's hard to get a good education and work for a living. That's why the middle class and the rich are always suppoting the do nothing low lives who don't want to work. They want everything for free. It's pathetic, time to move to Australia.

    July 16, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12