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. Matthew

    Any Republican is better than this idiot!!

    November 5, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  2. Florida Joe

    If this group is the future of the Repub party.......the party has no future........

    November 5, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. Chris in CA

    Seems to me the base of the GOP are folks that have never left their hometown never mind their home state and have NO CLUE what the "real" America is all about.

    November 5, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  4. Ari

    As a former Republican, I will *never* vote for this party again until it gets it's head back on straight, and puts this country ahead of it's psychotic wing.

    President Obama, in my opinion, has done a good job considering what he's up against – if we really want to see "change", we have to do more than fix the top – we have to fix Congress top to bottom – get out those who have been there too long and use their positions to benefit themselves. We all see the press conferences – all they care about is to have their team *win*.

    November 5, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  5. Johnny DC

    Keep criticizing, Liberals.

    You are so blinded by your own arrogance that you don't see things shifting around you, even as clearly as 70% of Independents voting for GOP candidates just two days ago. If that trend even remotely holds in 2010 and 2012, you will be eating your words. All of you.

    Just wait for more spending, more money printing, and more lack of truly measurable "change".

    November 5, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. marc in california

    personally I would love it if any of these clowns ran in 2012. It would just make Obama's reelection all the more sweeter!

    November 5, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    First of all, it's nutty to be even talking about the next presidential election.

    Second of all, Huckabee doesn't understand the separation of Church and State explicitly stated in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, not to mention the fact that he doesn't believe in evolution.

    With the human and technological challenges facing our nation for many years to come, the last thing we need in the White House is a person like Huckabee.

    November 5, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  8. Eric

    Palin is the Republicans own Nader. The gift that keeps on giving just in time for the holidays!

    November 5, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  9. Jason

    The only candidate the fate of America can hope for is Ron Paul, a true patriot and defender of the Constitution. I voted for Obama to end the senseless and illegal wars, and to stop defending the opium fields in Afghanistan, to get rid of Bush's Patriot Act, wiretapping, and indefinite detention. All of which he increased. And he surrounded himself with wall street. Until we have a president with the spine to get rid of the Federal Reserve, which is a PRIVATE bank, we will never have to prosperity this nation is capable of. The American Dream will stay just that.

    November 5, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. A. Smith

    I sincerely hope Mitt Romney spends many more Millions of Morman Dollars in yet another unsuccessful bid to become President of the United States.

    Mitt, is the typical slippery eel politician who is completely in the pocket of large American Corporations and totally unable to give the American citizen a straight answer to a clearly asked question.

    I hope Mitt is the Republican candidate, he'll go down in defeat.

    A. Smith

    November 5, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  11. New Independent

    I plan to resign being a member of the Republican party. It is no longer what my dad called the "Grand Old Party" and I am ashamed to be a member of the organization. Their most recent efforts to derail the political process that resulted in Scozzafava declining to run in NY is the final straw. The party's refusal to even sit at the table to discuss the world's environment is another sign that they are not living up to their responsibilities as elected officials.

    One would hope that they would learn from all of their mistakes, but I refuse to remain a party to them. On Monday I plan to go down to the election office and sign up as an Independent.

    November 5, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  12. Peter s

    May be the GOP is planning to bring on Senator Joe Lieberman the republican/democrate, may be thats why Glenn Beck works tirelessly to make President Obama look bad. Is it time for Becks to show loyalty and pay back lieberman the gratitudes of taking him to Yale? is it the reason why lieberman has the guts to say he will filibuster the healthcare bill? May be all along he knew the tea baggers led by becks have his back!!!!

    November 5, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  13. Don't make me laugh Val

    Yeah right, none of these fools stand a chance against BO.
    If the repubican'ts had so many answers, why have the past 8 years been so great? 2012 is a long time off, a long time for the economy to turn around, housing to turn around, and the finance industry to get back on its feet. If these 3 things happen, NO ONE will be able to beat BO, much less any of these losers!

    November 5, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  14. Kevin in Ohio

    Three more years of the incompetence we are currently seeing from this administration will change these findings significantly. Obama continues to screw things up.... and God only knows how bad it will be in 2012.

    November 5, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. C Spurgeon

    UGH..Not a candidate among them. Wow we need the new generation to step up or we are all done. Lets hope an Independent steps forward....

    November 5, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  16. Pragmatic

    With only 20% of Americans willing to 'fess-up to being republicans .... 71% off 20% is not enough to "win."

    The GOP keeps kicking the moderates to the curb ... wanting only the "pure" conservatives ... you can't win with those numbers .. too many of us remember the past administration ... we are all watching to see what
    the "winners" in NJ & VA really accomplish.

    November 5, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  17. Robert H. Tourtelot

    The way this Administration is recklessly spending the public's money, the disappointing figures on emplyment, and the worsening situation in Afganistan, I think the GOP could run Big Bird in 2012 and take the WH, as well as make substantial gains in both the House and Senate.

    November 5, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  18. Moderate Democrat

    When Obama is re-elected in 2012, I'm gonna love it. Laughing at the little retards that have been seething for four years and knowing they will suffer fits of unjustified anguish for an additional four year. I wish pure unhappiness to every moron in the country, that sums up all the republicans.

    November 5, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  19. Dennis

    I'd like to see Romney run against Obama. Romney can kick Bo"s butt on economic issues.

    November 5, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  20. Palin helps Democrats win elections

    Palin's book tour will raise her profile and poll numbers. There can be no doubt Palin is not only an attractive candidate with her charisma and folksy charm, but that she is the GOP frontrunner. There is a growing consensus that Palin is the most qualified person in America to be President.

    November 5, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  21. Liam

    If those are their options Obama can start writing his second inaugural adress tomorrow. Tuesdays elections meant nothing. Virginia always changes their Governor to the party opposite the President, and Christie won in NJ because people were unhappy with Corzine, not because the GOP is making a comeback. Not only that but the in the mid term after any President is in office the other party almost always picks up seats. Democrats will clean house in 2012.

    November 5, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  22. Robin

    It does not matter, since it will be a Republican Congress and Senate in 2010.

    November 5, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  23. Looney Lefty

    Remember, until the GOP gets rid of conservatives, people who go to Church and those who stand for the constitution and are to the left of Blue-Dogs, none will ever get voted to office.

    Va and NJ are tricks and dopes who watch Fox News shouldn't get fooled, the Dems won ALL elections yesterday including an election that hasn't been won by a Democrat since Alexander the Great.

    Remember NY23, beating an independent conservative by 5% points after the Republican candidate dropped out and endorsed a moderate Democrat is PROOOF that no one will vote for conservative.

    Did I mention that everybody hates people who go to church and vote GOP? They shouldn't be allowed to vote. Did I mention I hate Sarah Palin so much I want to get on CNN.COM and call her every name in the book and repeat endlessly how irrelevant she is and how no one likes her.

    November 5, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  24. Amazing 1

    Tell me how can people assume that this country could be turned around in 4 years. It will take 8 to start a recovery effort of what the GOP has done to this country. If you have any common sense you would know that it will take the patience of Job to start.

    November 5, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  25. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Does anybody in the Republican Party know the difference between the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. If so please teach your Rep. Boehner each so he won't continue to be in front of the medial and make a worst fool out of the GOP.

    November 5, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
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