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. Typical Republican

    We're gonna get Palin to run. All the polls indicate she will BLOW Obama away in an election, just like she did last time she was on the ballot!

    (When do we get to redraw teams, I'm tired of having all the morons).

    November 5, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Pee Wee

    That is if we still have elections by then.

    November 5, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. Shari, NY

    Haste makes waste! We just got over Halloween and already Christmas decorations are up on some city streets. We are in too much of a hurry, America! Why can't we wait until late next year to start gloating over 2012 elections? We need to be devoting time to fix today's serious problems ASAP.

    November 5, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. bob in LA

    We hope that ALL candidates are "seriously considered" for president. This is the leaderof the free world- pick carefully.
    It's not baou treligion, political biases or appearance, it should always be on qualifications and and personal strength.

    November 5, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Jay G

    As a moderate Republican who is starting to shift towards being an independent, it scares the bejeezus out of me that a majority of Republicans would consider voting for Sarah Palin. Egads. Is intelligence and integrity (not to mention doing your job and not quitting) no longer a requirement in our public leaders?

    November 5, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. Willy Brown

    More CNN spin.

    November 5, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. odumber, 1 and a half year old maturity level...

    As of today, President Barack Obama has kept America safer, longer than George W. Bush was able to during the first year of his Presidency.

    It is always pointed out how no other attack happened after 9/11, hence G.W. Bush kept us safe. With that logic, Brack Obama is currently a better president than Bush. He's kept us safer, longer.

    Now, I really don't care about this fact, just that you now have to eat it and officially shut up.

    November 5, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. Republican

    We don't have any real leaders in this party. We have a bunch of whiners and complainers is all.

    Hate to say it, but I would vote for Obama over ANY and ALL repubilcan candidates at this point. Give me a Reagan again and you'll have my vote. But the lot you have in there now never does anything. What was that..boycotted today? Come on, GROW up and do your jobs. Get to the meeting and PROVIDE your feedback. Don't sit out like juvenile dirt bags!

    November 5, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Buck

    So...now they WANT Obama to get a second term? They must really like his policies!

    November 5, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. Frank, Las Vegas

    One big problem, the GOP is only 20% of America and 71% of those would vote for Huckabee, so that's 14.2% of Americans; 65% for Romney and Palin equals a blistering 13% of Americans. None of these equate to a winning ticket. To put it another was, if you put all of them on the same ticket you still would only get 20% of Americans. You see the obvious problem here. But the GOP will still try to spin things being all rosey for them in the future.

    November 5, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. S.Ann

    This is probably me. I will never vote a Republican as President. Not in a million years.

    November 5, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. jayh

    Please don't vote for this idiot! Thanks!

    November 5, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. Dem for Huckabee

    I usually vote democrat but if Huckabee runs ... I (and many dems) might vote for him .

    November 5, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Adam Connecticut

    CNN had pro public option protests right outside of their New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles offices today and refused to cover any of them. We might have to start calling them "fair and balanced" just like Faux News.

    November 5, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. B

    Go ahead, put up Palin or Huckabee, its a guaranteed win for Obama !!

    They keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results..... Idiots

    November 5, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. Bob in Pa

    It really is too early to start talking about this, but what the heck I'll throw in two cents.

    The Huckster talks a good game and seems to be the a down to earth guy. Not a bad choice.

    Sarah brings out the best and beast in people, that would be a nasty campaign season.

    Romney or Pawlenty – no way. We all can see what Romney Care did to his state. They are both probably a little bit too moderate but 100 times better than BO.

    Newt knows his stuff. He's probably the smartest and most political savvy of them all. Unfortunately he comes in close behind Sarah and Limbaugh in bringing out the beasts.

    2011-12 will be interesting, just shut down Congress and get us through till then.

    November 5, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. PW

    70% of Republicans will vote for the man who stated during his campaign that the Constitution should be changed to reflect the "Word of God?" This is why the Republican party is dying....it's becoming increasing dumbed down by people like Huckabee and Palin.

    November 5, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. Cory

    The problem with this country is that instead of focusing on the problems, we always want to point the finger and blame someone else. Bush blamed Clinton, Clinton blamed the first Bush, now Obama blames Bush, and WHOEVER is president after Obama, whether is is in 2012, or 2016 will blame Obama for everything. The same with our Republican and Democrat politicians. They all want to blame each other for this or that. I personally feel it is time to drop the blame game and work together for a common good for AMERICA. Right now the top priority should be our economy which envelopes health care, unemployment among other issues. I do not claim to be Republican, I do not claim to be Democrat. I claim to be AMERICAN. There is a difference.

    November 5, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. Eric

    Lets face the facts America. The Republican party doesn't have a single candidate that would even stand a chance running against Obama or any other Democrat for that matter.
    George Bush ruined it for the party. Democrats are in power now and its going to stay that way for a long time. Long live the Democratic party and liberal America. All of the Obama policies are going to pay off for this country and I guarantee in 2012 there will be plenty of Republicans voting Democratic.

    November 5, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. Max Fury

    The Republicans will have to lie and cheat to get more votes.

    Hey wait a minute...

    November 5, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. notfooledtx

    Huckabee? BWAAAHHHHH!!!! The man that thinks the constitution should be amended to coincide with the bible?! Nooooooo thanks.

    Romney has no true convictions or principles – he changes his convictions like he changes his magic undies. I wonder how he stands upright without a spine.

    Do these folks realize it's 2009 not 1949?

    November 5, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. OldUncleTom

    Looking at the potential field of Republicans, I cannot but hope that somehow, the Democratic Party can accomplish a major portion of their goals, and get the economy back on track.

    The possibility of a GOP made up of the current "leadership" coming back to power is more frightening than Bin Laden and Bankruptcy SQUARED.

    November 5, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. Adalbert

    This is just what we need. One more rich guy with the silver spoon in his mouth and the shotgun at his side.

    November 5, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    Let's see a 20% favorablity rating.....only 20 out of 100 claim to be GOPers.....yeah I think they DO have a problem. Unless Rush, Sean and Glenn pool all their money together and buy some votes the Obama administration is really going to have to do a Carter/Bush act to lose in 2012. You can bet the far right will try to make things seem worse than they are and their base and news company will promote it.

    November 5, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. Jake

    the Republicans can put whomever they want up against Obama!

    Obama will simply win on what he has accomplished during his first four years.

    but Palin or Huckabee sure would provide us with the laughs for the campaign year leading up to it! Late night and bloggers around the world need one of them to be the nominee! I NEED ONE OF THEM TO BE THE NOMINEE! hysterical stuff!

    November 5, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6