November 5th, 2009
05:16 PM ET
5 years ago

Poll: Potential problems for possible 2012 GOP candidates

Poll: Potential problems for possible 2012 GOP candidates.
Poll: Potential problems for possible 2012 GOP candidates.


WASHINGTON (CNN) –
A new national poll indicates that more than seven out in 10 Republicans say they would seriously consider voting for Mike Huckabee for president in the next race for the White House, giving the former Arkansas governor more potential support than Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, or any other Republican tested.

But the USA Today/Gallup survey released Wednesday morning also suggests that none of those potential Republican hopefuls could win the votes of a majority of all Americans if they won the GOP nomination in 2012.

The poll finds that 71 percent of Republicans questioned say they would seriously consider voting for Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and 2008 GOP presidential candidate.

Sixty-five percent say they would seriously consider voting for Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who also ran for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. An equal amount indicate they'd seriously consider voting for Palin, the former Alaska governor who served as John McCain's running mate last year. Six in 10 saying they would take a serious look at voting for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, but far fewer respondents say they would support the much less recognized Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (32 percent) or Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (26 percent).


Among all Americans, the poll suggests that only around four in 10 would seriously consider backing Huckabee or Romney, with one in three saying they would seriously support Palin, 29 percent seriously considering voting for Gingrich and less than one in five backing Pawlenty or Barbour.

"The latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll had Huckabee ahead of Palin and Romney in a head-to-head match-up among Republicans," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "So Huckabee not only has more support now, but the potential to gain even more backers that his possible opponents as 2012 approaches."

These surveys are very early hypothetical looks at the next race for the White House. It's the pre-season in the next presidential contest, as possible GOP contenders form political action committees, campaign for fellow Republicans, write books and address conservative conferences and party dinners.

The USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted October 31-November 1, with 1,021 national adults questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points for the overall sample and plus or minus 7 percentage points for questions of Republicans only.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2012 • GOP
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. Tony in Maine

    Palin/Cheney – pleeeeeeeeeeeeeze

    November 5, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. Lisa M.

    Doesn't anyone remember how sick of the presidential race Americans got in 2008? Give it a rest media and pollsters. Don't start all this about the 2012 presidential race until 2011.

    November 5, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. petena

    Sarah Please run, please, please, please. I have not had a good laugh since Tina Fey was in SNL and it would be a shoe-in for Obama.

    November 5, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. bob

    first sentence: "seven out in 10"... um, isn't that supposed to be "seven out of 10". do people proofread anything anymore?

    November 5, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  5. Stacie

    Potential problems for the GOP in 2012. You can say that again. Potential problems for the GOP in 2012!

    November 5, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    wow the republicans are running out of liers to put up against the democratic president Mr. Obama . so if the republicans even think that someone like the idiot Palin is all they have to muster up for the presidential race .then down the tube they go .. the independent party has more to over than the republicans ..the republicans will be come a party of the past and will fall by the wayside .. the independents will be come the new conservative party of ...racist homophobic white only party...and then they will have to add some of the minorities to make themselves atleast be a contender in any national race... it doesn't look good for any of them .. in the near future...
    :) gary davis
    Harbor Oregon

    November 5, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. shmeckel

    Why do you always put Palin in as a presidential candidate? You know darn well it will never happen. Republicans don’t even like her. I doubt if she will be a house hold name in 2012. Her book is out she is done, let it rest. Gee wiz Fox news doesn’t even have this many Palin references throughout the day.

    November 5, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. Real TN Christian

    Ohhhhh No.......This means the South will vote Republican!!
    Can the Dems afford to lose the South ? ?

    November 5, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. Rob

    Nothing compared to the problems Obumbles will be facing. Of course his will all be self-created.

    November 5, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    None of them stand a chance.

    November 5, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. worriedmom

    I consider myself to vote conservative and I can tell you regardless of who is running, I will vote for them vs. Obama!! I am hoping that maybe HIllary will decide to run, I think she could handle the country. She sure has proven she has the guts to deal with other countries!
    I cannot wait until Pelosi is ousted out!!

    November 5, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. Brian

    yeah, and as the FRC and other ultra-right wing radical organizations muscle moderate Republicans out of power, just watch the party dissolve in the process.

    If the GOP doesn't realize that being ignorant bigots is a poor political decision, their party is going to be nearly irrelevant by 2012.

    November 5, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. Duck Fallas

    Please please please nominate Palin... we're all so afraid of her.

    November 5, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There is a lot of time between now and then. The economy could improve. There are plenty of scandals that could happen. I would love to hear about a Palin/Pawlenty scandal (love nest or feud). I wouldn't expect much of these polls until a month or so after the 2010 elections.

    November 5, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Darko

    That poll highlights one thing only...name recognition.

    November 5, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Middle of the Road

    Help this country if people even consider voting for this religous fanatic. A vote for him would set this country back into the dark ages based upon his religous beliefs. If you think that ROMNEY could make impartial decisons and not place his far right religous beliefs into those decisions you making a huge mistake. I left the Republican party, because since Regan they have not been able to produce a canidate worth voting for.

    November 5, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Jay T.

    You'd think Mitt would have problems selling all that health care reform he did while Governor of Massachusetts to the Conservabots. He better practice the GOP matra- "Spend, spend on killing and destroying brown people. Don't spend on taking care and supporting Americans." or else he's done.

    November 5, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. tonyt

    GOP: white-white-white.

    Hey Steele, Have You Broaded That GOP Base Yet, It's been 9 months!

    November 5, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. Otto

    Unless Barack Obama personally choose not to run for re-election, there's no way a Republican can win in 2012.

    They can dream all they want but no one in that party stand a chance in 2012. That my friends, they can take to the bank!

    November 5, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. Pee Wee

    By the time 2012 gets here, with the track we're on, the memory of Herbert Hoover could could emerge victorious.

    November 5, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. a health economist

    I am an Independent living in MN. The only one I'd seriously consider voting for is Huckabee.

    And, being a researcher that works with statistics and figures a lot, I am very amused at the inconsistancy of how the poll results are given. Four in 10, then one in three, then 29%, then less than one in five. I'd never allow my name to be on a manuscript with results written in this manner.

    November 5, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. LacrosseMom

    Sorry...... Mitt........ you are not conservative enough! Watch-out for the far-right-fringe of the GOP...... there's a witch hunt going on! Mitt, you are next!

    Palin/Bachman 2012!

    November 5, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. Me

    And what percentage of people said they would seriously consider voting for Barack Obama in 2005? This is a loser of a survey that means exactly nothing

    November 5, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. SF Serg

    I believe this poll is indicative of decency instead of qualification. I don't believe Huckabee is the most qualified but I do believe he is the most decent out of the wolfpack. Romney is probably the most qualified but he doesn't mean what he says. I hope they put most unqualifed and indecent candidate in Sarah Palin so that the President can continue to worry on fixing the GOP mess and not have to worry so much about 2012.

    November 5, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Jane/Seattle

    GOOD! Now fire the Democrats, too! Most are Complicit and need to retire, leave or otherwise get out of our lives! If we do not get rigid 10-20 year prohibitions in place to stop this revolving door from government to Corporate Lobbying, we are Never getting out of this mess! here is a good book that interested folks will find rewarding, especially a discussion of the quotes from Prince Bandar (Bandar Bush to GWB) of Saudi Arabia. Craig Unger's, "House of Bush, House of Saud" (Bandar quotes in first one) AND "The Fall Of The House Of Bush". We are wise to read even those that we are vehemently opposed to. It brings us great understanding or so I've found in hearing my teachers. Peace Can Be If We Do It.

    November 5, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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