CNN 2012 Poll: Obama and Palin going in different directions?
December 28th, 2010
10:00 AM ET
4 years ago

CNN 2012 Poll: Obama and Palin going in different directions?

Washington (CNN) – As the start of the next presidential campaign nears, a new national poll suggests that President Barack Obama's tax-cut compromise with congressional Republicans did not hurt his standing among Democrats, while former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may be dropping in the eyes of Republicans.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday, 78 percent of Democrats questioned in the poll say they want to see Obama at the top of their party's ticket in 2012, with only 19 percent saying they would prefer someone else as the Democratic presidential nominee. The 19 percent figure is the lowest figure since March, when the question was first asked.

Full results (pdf)

Many liberal Democrats opposed the tax rate compromise because it included provisions that helped the wealthy. Although previously released numbers indicate the president's approval rating among self-described liberals dropped from 79 percent in November to 72 percent in December, the survey suggests that when it comes to the next presidential election, the tax deal may not be hurting him with the progressive wing of the party.

"Among liberal Democrats, 85 percent say they want to see the party re-nominate Obama in 2012," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Among moderate Democrats, his support is almost that high."

In the battle for the GOP presidential nomination, the survey suggests Palin may have some work to do if she throws her hat in the ring. Only 49 percent of Republicans say that they are likely to support Sen. John McCain's running mate in 2008 for the Republican nomination in 2012.

"That's a huge 18-point drop since December of 2008, when two-thirds of GOPers said they were likely to support Palin. It also puts her well behind potential rivals Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, and a bit behind Newt Gingrich as well," adds Holland.

Two-thirds of Republicans questioned say they would likely support Huckabee as their nominee in 2012. The former Arkansas governor and 2008 GOP presidential candidate is considering another bid for the White House. So is another candidate from the last election, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Fifty-nine percent of Republicans say they would likely support Romney. That number drops to 54 percent for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, who is also contemplating a run for the White House.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted December 17-19, with 1,008 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

Check out CNN's new Polling Center, which provides the most comprehensive polling data covering national questions and the top 2010 election races of any news organization in the political landscape.


Filed under: 2012 • CNN poll • Polls • President Obama • Sarah Palin
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Gordon Shumway

    Depending on the wording and characterization of the poll, both of these could also win a who do I detest the most poll.

    December 28, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  2. Ruth

    It's good to know the crazies haven't totally taken over the country. I was worried for a while.

    December 28, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. DIANA

    It took two years for them to catch up with ther rest of the country. Maybe the media will follow and ignore her too.

    December 28, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. blake

    I greatly appreciate all that Palin has done to promote conservative values, but she is not the future face of the Republican party. To insure the defeat of Obama in 2012, she needs to come to terms with that. She is not electable. She needs to continue in her important role as head cheerleader, but not seek to become team captain.

    December 28, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. James

    I keep seeing the headline "Bad news for Palin" and I know it sounds hateful, but I keep hoping each time it means her and her followers finally drank the koolaid...

    December 28, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. PalmReader

    Comments coming from the right confirm that Palin is losing her standing within the party. Astonishing enough, the same GOPers who spent two years taunting Democrats with each and every Palin article are now the same GOPers who are demanding Democrats STOP posting comments over her articles, somehow suggesting it is the Liberals who are keeping Palin in the news while GOPers themselves would prefer she just fade away. What a hilarious turn around.

    December 28, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. Tony Z

    No Suprise! America is catching on that she is not leadership material.

    December 28, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. TCM

    haha...I love how the article is fabricated by the "CNN Political Unit." Maybe should change their name to "The Obama liberal propaganda re-election," machine....it's a shame that so many, especially in the media, hate this country so much that they thrive on destroying someone who supports the American way such as Palin. While I'm not a huge fan of hers, she's far more trustworthy and American than Obama could ever be...he's done nothing but create massive debt, increase racial tension and heighten the sense of entitlement for minorities...kill our defensive posture and relationships with our allies, and create an undercurrent of civil unrest in this nation. It's a shame that our country has sunk to new lows with the likes of him and Soros....

    December 28, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  9. Name king

    The liberals are rationlizing that Obama is the best chance the dems have to keep the presidency, woa if they should give the repugs the presidency, you can kick America as we know it good by, the only alliance the the repugs have is to their rich corporate biddies, that keep shipping America's jobs overseas, depleting the middle class and with it the high end items, such as houses, and vehicles. How can we expect the poor to buy these items, and support our economy.

    December 28, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. Itsa Circus

    Did Palin ever really have any chance at winning a national election anyway? No.

    A poll that takes Palin seriously as a candidate is just as much rubbish as a poll as asking Minnie Mouse's chances of running against Obama.

    December 28, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  11. MiddleOfTheRoad

    The more exposure Sarah Palin gets, the lower her numbers go. It might take a while, but eventually everyone will deny they ever supported her.

    December 28, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. E1atoM

    How's that Learning Channel thingy workin' for ya' Sarah? (-; (-;

    December 28, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  13. Jay

    That's because one has genuine intelligence and the other one genuinely doesn't.

    One's in the spotlight because he deserves the respect he has earned by doing good things for this country, especially cleaning up the mess that absolutely horrible president before him created.

    The other is clearly in it for the fame and money off people too stupid to realize that.

    I do hope you run Palin. Anything that makes Obama's 2nd term possible is what I'm for. Go Stupid Go..I did it again...I mean Go Sarah Go.

    December 28, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  14. Jake

    Palin has a legitimate role in the political arena... she simply is not presidential material... Americans understand this. Palin will remain deeply popular to a segment of the population. Presidential aspirants will denigrate or ignore her at their peril.

    December 28, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. Sue

    Lets hope the Republicans are putting more intelligent thought into Sarah Palin......she might sell books and she might be good in reality shows but that is the limit to her capabilities.......she is not a President in the making not now or ever........

    December 28, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  16. Katie

    Can we please stop having a story/day about Palin? Let us talk more about the serious candidates who have the experience and intellectual depth to hold the highest office in the land. Mrs. Palin has shown herself to not be that person. What is with the media obsession? The general public obviously does not share it.

    December 28, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. Pat W.

    Glad to see Republicans are not completely brain dead!!
    !As a liberal, I will probably vote Democratic in the next presidential election. However, I believe the country benefits greatly from having two intelligent, competent candidates vying for the position.
    Palin is not intelligent enough to run for political office.

    December 28, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  18. Jeff in TX

    Bachmann 2012!

    December 28, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. Guest

    49% of GOP support Palin running for President? No wonder your country is in such a terrible state.

    December 28, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  20. ST

    Oh! poor Sarah, with all her efforts in her "Reality Show", still people are not impressed. Wait when it comes to her rumbling in interviews, she will learn a second lesson in which she pretended to ignore the first lesson in 2008!

    December 28, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. Dave

    Whatever... Huckabee, Palin, Romney, and Gingrich all have one thing in common: Obama will mop the floor with them. Palin is an idiot who doesn't have the brains or the maturity needed to tie her own shoes. Romney flip-flops like a fish out of water and is a spoiled brat whose life was delivered to him on a silver spoon. Huckabee is a self-righteous religious zealot who will do his best to install a Bible-thumping theocracy. And Gingrich, well, he has proven over and over again that he is the very definition of hypocrisy and ineptitude.

    The only people you have a chance with are Mitch Daniels or Tim Pawlenty.

    December 28, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. Edward

    This underscores a large issue that Republicans will have in 2012. They want Obama to lose in 2012 but who are they going to run against him? The most popular person in their party, Sarah Palin, cannot be elected national because she is far too partisan. There's no way she could possible bring the country together as I'm sure that she turns independents off as well as moderate democrats. The only person I can see them running would be Huckabee but I'm not sure that he has what it take to be Obama. If the economy is recovering going into 2012 then it in certain that no one will be able to beat Obama and it would also almost certainly mean that Hillary Clinton will be elected in 2016.

    December 28, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  23. Monster Zero

    If the 112th Congress does not get a handle on the spending and deficit this year and next, 2012 will not matter as it will be total collapse of the economic system with ensuing civil unrest and anarchy. Right in line with ACORN philosophy and purpose.

    December 28, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  24. kcl

    There is no way she is even considering running people......get a clue.......she's raking in the money while she can.

    December 28, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  25. Brandon R

    WIll CNN ever stop posting links on its main page with the title "Bad News for Palin?" Seriously, every few days, sure enough, there's a story labeled "Bad News for Palin." Get over it, CNN.

    December 28, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
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