November 5th, 2009
05:16 PM ET
9 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.

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. sfguy118

    Geez....Its 3 years away. Go away with election results for at least 2.5 of them.

    In any event, none of these contenders are viable; the independents will throw up en masse over any of them. I suspect the GOP knows this and will keep looking for someone more appealing to the middle.

    November 5, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. mgc6288

    Helping others is one thing; giving others no incentive to help themselves is another.

    November 5, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. Gavin

    Some of us may hate his policies but BO is still the greater candidate. He'll take 2012 and people will still be angry just because they like being angry. We all hate the Yankees but they are the better ball club just like BO!

    November 5, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. rocky

    None of these GOPers appeal to anyone other than teabaggers.

    November 5, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. kimberly

    first off, it not even CLOSE to election time, so WHY are we talking about it now, you people are like the stores putting out Christmas stuff the day after Easter, GEEZ...Second of all, I think we all know not ONE of the candidates for the republican party has a shot at winning, Obama WILL be here folks deal with it. I know you are the same people that thought Palin would be the saving grace for mccain, but seriously folks, reality is NOT a bad thing...

    November 5, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  6. Bassman

    Politco is reporting that even Sarah's children were stalked by 2 authors who were writing a book. Of course the national media will ignore the story. Why ? Because it makes Sarah seem sympathetic. I thought I had heard it all until I read the media is EVEN critizicing her choices of what cities she will sign books in. She is the first politician to be bashed for that. Did the media question Pres, Obama's choice of which cities he attended?

    November 5, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    I heard Romney got a call from BVD...they want him and his anchorman hairdo to promote their new line of magic undies. [insert rimshot here]

    November 5, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  8. Stu- SW Florida

    I can't, for the life of me, understand just how the name Palin is even in this article. Are the Repubs aerious??.
    Time to leave Palin out of any talk that shares the same subject as "the White House" at any era. By including her name the GOP shows just how NOT SERIOUS that truly are.

    November 5, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  9. DaveM

    Mike Huckabee is just another hateful extremist conservative, pushing an agenda that has no place in the real world. If he and Sarah Palin are the best the GOP can pull out of their rears, then the Republicans have no business leading this country. It appears, despite several spankings at the hands of the American voters, that they have failed to learn their lesson. If they continue to push their party to the extreme right, they will sink into to irrelevance. No big loss, I suppose...

    November 5, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  10. John in Tampa

    I've been an independent for 30 years. I supported Obama in 2008. I don't mind Republicans, except there is not one of them out there who has a solution (let alone a working solution) of his/her own.

    The problem in being 'the party of NO' is that change IS inevitable, and you have to roll with it one way or the other. 'No' stops nothing. So show me a plan, or get out of the way.

    November 5, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. JK in Orandlo

    Republican: I only help those who can already help themselves...That has got to be one of the best droll comments from the monicker on down. Thanks for the chuckle.

    November 5, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. Hannah

    I hope we aren't going to speculate and ruminate on who is going to win the presidential election for three years. We are all weary form the last election. But I will say that if people are ready to go back to the repugnants so soon, this country might as well hang it up. The conservatives have nearly driven us off a cliff and President Obama is trying to bring us back. bush/cheney sat on their hands and let the economic crisis happen, let millions of jobs go overseas, let China get a head start on alt fuels. If you are a working person in America don't vote republican, you are voting against your own self interest.

    November 5, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  13. Marion

    As I've said over and over, the GOP's main problem is that it's a shrinking party. Those on the right are pushing moderates out in the belief that they aren't conservative enough. If this is allowed to continue, the Republicans could end up with a scenario where they could easily nominate a candidate that is unelectable in a general election.

    Look what happened in NY-23. The conservatives put up "their" candidate, and he lost in a district that has been a GOP stronghold for over a century. Unless the GOP is going to argue that this was a liberal district, then they've got serious electability issues.

    November 5, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. Tony

    Doesn't matter who the GOP puts up there, this is a one term president. The farther lefty of all of the presidents so far. American is a right leaning country, so this lefty is doomed. With all of the lies he spewed duning the campaign about being a centrist and being transparent, those will all come back to haunt him. He will be another Clinton next November, neutered by the election, he will have to actually be bipartison. That will stop the socialist agenda. By 2012, I expect the GOP to have majorities in both house and the White House, then we can repeal all the freebies and handouts, and start to reguild our country devestated by this deficit growing newbie.

    November 5, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    How likely is it that there will even BE a "GOP" in 2012?
    Democrats have disagreements on policy, but generally come together on a common course of action.
    Republicans (of late) treat EVERYONE, even each other like "the enemy," even their own.

    I'd say it's sad, but, HEY, maybe we can get some Government "for the PEOPLE" for a change.

    November 5, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  16. Richard L

    Will Mike Huckabee select his good friend Chuck Norris for VP or will Norris be campaigning for the nation of Texas? Fascinating that Republicans who talk about secession can claim to be patriotic at the same time.

    November 5, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  17. not alone

    Untell the repulican party drums out the right wing conservitive barons and dumps the other loons for it's rolls it's going to be on the outside looking in.Americans are for the most part in the middle and intell they relize thats the way we vote then the will not gain but lose more membership tell a party that is truely in the middle appears.That will be the party I will most likly vote for. To the RNC the folks speaking for you are scaring the hell out of everybody, or they are insiting hate.
    WAKE UP!!

    November 5, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. John

    With the worsening economy, rising joblessness, rising gas price and rising Islamist terrorism around the world, the Repubican will win easily in 2012.

    November 5, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. Rob Johnson

    Republicans may be riding high after their victories in Virginia and New Jersey yesterday, but they need to pay attention to this fact:
    Only 30% of people would even CONSIDER voting for Sarah Palin. That isn't saying they definitely would vote for her, just that they would consider voting for her.

    Do the math, and that means 70% of Americans won't even think about voting for the woman many conservatives think is the future of the GOP.

    If that is their future, it's a pretty grim future indeed.

    November 5, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  20. Sea.gem

    I doubt anyone mentioned in the articel will be on the ballot...way to early and people are sick of the races...all incumbents are still hated.

    November 5, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  21. Ray

    I've got a new slogan for the Republican Party!

    Ready? Okay, here it is:

    "The Grand Old Party of 2009. Doing all we can to ensure Obama's re-election in 2012!"


    November 5, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  22. Drone Pilot

    Ron Paul is the only republican candidate that can win AND reduce the size of government AND actually end wars AND stop printing phony money. Obama and the old Bush crowd are the same, let's get real change and get Ron Paul in office before it's too late.

    November 5, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. Black Viper

    I can't wait for 2012 to come fast enough?
    Economy and growth in double digit
    Unemployment at 5% or lower
    High speed railroads everwhere
    Education system improved
    Al quaeda Diminished
    Green Jobs growing everywere
    Immigration problems solved
    People finaly have health care they can live with until universal healthcare in 2016
    Many of this republicans will commit succide because their head will blow up out of Anger because the black man they hate so bad will win another term.
    They will push for more violence and organized crimes but I trust the FBI to put them all in jail.

    November 5, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  24. Pat

    Do you want change or a welfare state? RON PAUL for real change!

    November 5, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    I hope the GOP does nominate one of these nutcases for President, that way I won't have any second thoughts about voting for Mr. Obama.

    Bob J
    Kansas City, Mo.

    November 5, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
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