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. As a registered republican

    What has happened to this political party, it is now filled people who are not qualified to run this nation. How disappointing!!

    November 5, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. Republicans is smart in the head area

    7 out of 10 Republicans would vote for a man who believes that the world is 6000 years old and people rode dinosaurs. You wonder why only 20% of the people even consider themselves Republicans?

    November 5, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. Tania

    Ah, the Palin/Gingrich ticket! ooooh!

    November 5, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  4. lovable liberal

    Huckabee appeals to the GOP base of fundies and evangelicals, but he once supported a tax, and the wealthies who own the Republican Party have hysterics about that. Romney/Palin!

    Fortunately, that awful team could never get elected. Even Republicans can tell how insincere Romney is. Palin's sincere, just limited.

    November 5, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  5. Bill

    2012 seems quite a way off. Now, 2010.............................?

    November 5, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. Republican: I only help those who can already help themselves

    I guess we are going to disreagard the fact that it's still 2009?!?!?!

    Republicans are so fucused.......not with current issues, they are too busy offering ideas with no numbers or just plain old walking out.

    Republicans are focused on the future, kind of like when you break a toy, and instead of fixing it, you will just wait till mommy buys you another one.

    Soooooo cute!

    November 5, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Potential problems for possible 2012 GOP candidates"
    ---------------------------
    1. There are NO viable GOP candidates.
    2. The GOP is totally disconnected from the real lives of real Americans.
    3. The GOP has NO platform other than Hate, Bigotry, Lies, and Amorality.
    4. There are not enough certifiably crazy citizens able to vote that could identify with their platform to ensure them a win in 2012.
    5. Sarah Palin.
    6. Sarah Palin.
    7. Barack Hussein Obama.

    Enough said.

    November 5, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. A Southern Lady - Raleigh

    The once-proud Republican party has no qualified leader. Huckabee is a nice guy but is anti-science and is too much of a religious fanatic. Romney has changed positions many times and far-right evangelicals will not vote for a Morman.
    Sarah Palin is so totally unqualified in every sense fo the word that she would never be elected. They have no defined leader. However, Barack Obama is the best person to sit in the Oval Office. He will keep on cleaning up the mess left by Bush/Cheney , some type of health care reform will pass, employment will start to pick up and he will emerge as the leader the free world has been looking for. I am proud to call him President.

    November 5, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. Suzan

    What this tells me is that the Republicans still don't have a reliable canidate to run for President........they will have to do better than Huckabee, Romney, Palin, Gingrich,.......but the republicans won't take advice from anyone.......they think they have the answers to all and everything.........they have to verbally distance themselves from the one's that are distroying this Party like Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Palin and these Birthers and Tea Baggers......or no one is going to take the GOP serious.....it isn't that the rest of the country isn't Christrians but we are not and will not let the Fanatic right wing conservative religious take over this country

    November 5, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. voreason

    I think the republicans should run Glenn Beck for President.

    Yeah, that's it, with Michele Bachman, no, Sean Hannity, noo Rush as VP

    Sarah Palin for Chancellor or maybe Christian in Chief

    November 5, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. 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 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. D. Tree

    the reason is because the fringe is all that's left of the Republican party.

    The majority have either gone independent or they supported Obama.

    November 5, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. Jim in San Mateo

    I agree. The GOP has many, many issues to deal with right now. The do not have a positive message for Americans, they only say No and other negative things. The Democrats are behaving like spoiled cats. Each seems to be willing to vote for their own bill and no one else's.

    The strength of our government depends on compromise around a common purpose while partisanship based on individual concerns weakens the government.

    November 5, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. Bill Laberis

    As though anything CNN says about Republican presidential candidates can be believed...

    November 5, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  15. Emma

    What polls show Palin will blow Obama away in a presidential election?Those who believe this is a valid prediction are dreaming.

    Huckabee is fine with me. He would not be difficult to beat nor would his Republican cohorts: Palin, Romney, Gingrich, Jindal, Pawlenty.

    November 5, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  16. Conserva-Baggers are bad for America

    Isn't Huckabee one of the ones in that Republican't debate who said he doesn't believe in evolution???? Oh yeah . . . that's who I'd want as MY president! A flat-earther . . . .great.

    November 5, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. Ruty

    None of them are capable of being president. You gotta do better than that. Ya betcha.

    November 5, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. Ruty

    The republicans have done this sorry mess to them selves by acting like infants and cry babies. Oh by the way, Limbaugh and Hannity didn't help you any.

    November 5, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. Val in MA

    It will be soooooo easy to beat Obama in 2012 that anybody could do it. So it's really not a question who is better fit to beat Obama, but who will be the best candidate for our country as a whole. And that , no doubt, is Gov. Mitt Romney.

    Go Romney!

    November 5, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. Nija

    I can't stand Mitt.

    November 5, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  21. Mark

    By the time Obama and Pelosi bankrupt the country after three years the country will even be willing to take GW back!

    November 5, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  22. GOP 2010 2012

    LOL. We will see after 2010

    November 5, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  23. Billthegreat

    Just gotta love it, CNN (Clinton or Communist News Network, take your pick) poll says Republicans could NEVER win against the Great One in the White House. What has he DONE to get you people to roll over and pant like you do? It really can't simply be his charisma, or can it? I don't really like any of the candidates mentioned myself, but hopefully someone will come along and stop our country from being turned into some kind of European socialist paradise. What happened to us, people? Why do we want to do this to ourselves?

    November 5, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Problems with the GOP? How about problems with the Democrats as well? I see no difference, both are for big brother Government, both what to continue the ruling class of nobles over the worker serfs. Both support unconstitutional policies.

    November 5, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  25. Oscar

    Gov. Pawlenty is the only formidable 2012 GOP candidate, who in my opinion can give President Obama the biggest run for his money. And this is coming from an Obama supporter. He needs to work on getting his name out there more.

    November 5, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
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