December 11th, 2007
05:00 AM ET
14 years ago

New poll shows Huckabee losing to leading Democrats by double-digits

WASHINGTON (CNN) – While Republican White House hopeful Mike Huckabee is surging in new surveys evaluating the GOP presidential horserace, a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday suggests he might lose to all three leading Democratic candidates by double digits in a general election match up.

In head-to-head face-offs – the first to include Huckabee – the former Arkansas governor loses to New York Sen. Hillary Clinton by 10 percentage points (54 percent to 44 percent), to Illinois Sen. Barack Obama by 15 percent points (55 percent to 40 percent) and to former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards by 25 percentage points (60 percent to 35 percent).

The poll comes on the heels of a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday showing that Huckabee has doubled his support nationally among likely Republican voters in the last month and now is in a statistical dead heat with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

But according to CNN Polling Director Keating Holland, Huckabee's double-digit deficits with the leading Democrats likely suggests that the Arkansas Republican still lacks widespread name recognition nationally.

"Americans tend not to support candidates they're not familiar with, and it's possible Huckabee's numbers are low in these hypothetical match-ups because he is still not very well-known nationally," Holland said.

The poll also suggests Arizona Sen. John McCain would do best against the leading Democrats. He beats Clinton by 2 percentage points (50 percent to 48 percent), ties Obama (48 percent to 48 percent), and loses to Edwards by a smaller margin (8 percentage points) than the other Republican candidates do.

In addition to Huckabee, Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney lose to all three top Democrats in the survey.

On the Democratic side, Edwards performs best against each of the leading Republicans. In addition to beating Huckabee by 25 percent and McCain by 8 percent, the North Carolina Democrat beats Romney by 22 percentage points (59 percent to 37 percent.)

While the survey shows McCain and Edwards performing best in their respective fields, both candidates continue to significantly trail the frontrunners of their party. In the national horserace numbers released Monday, McCain trails Giuliani by 11 percentage points and Edwards trails Clinton by 26 percentage points.

"Edwards is the only Democrat who beats all four Republicans, and McCain is the only Republican who beats any of the three Democrats," Holland said. "Some might argue this shows that they are the most electable candidates in their respective parties.

"But Edwards is in third place among Democrats and McCain is in fourth place on the GOP side. Maybe electability is not as important as it was in 2004."

The poll, conducted on December 6-9, surveyed 912 registered voters and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Independent in IA

    Surprise, surprise....

    December 11, 2007 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  2. mark wilkes barre pa

    This is a CNN opinion research corporation poll based on hypothetical match-ups,,,,,,, Come on CNN ,,, You can do better than this,,, try just reporting the news

    December 11, 2007 05:34 am at 5:34 am |
  3. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    Riiiight, the poll of 912 liberals that CNN has on speed dial.

    December 11, 2007 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  4. Christian, Tampa FL

    Oh, I do hope that Huckabee wins the nomination then, and keeps refusing to recant his statements about AIDS in 1992.

    December 11, 2007 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  5. Mike, Texas

    Of course McCain would have the easier time beating the Democrats in a general election compared with his colleague. Romney and Giuliani flip and flop way too many times, and they aren't nearly right wing enough for the Republican party. Even though Huckabee is a good speaker at the debates he has said some really stupid things. Thompson isn't energizing enough. Tancredo, Paul and Hunter don't stand a chance at the nomination, but unfortunately neither does McCain, it will be interesting to see who the Republican nominee is since Huckabee is the closest to a lock-step Republican

    December 11, 2007 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  6. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Huckabee's vision is limited by his evangelical beliefs. Most Americans simply don't buy in to the evangelical world view, and that includes me. I see the evangelical movement as a passing fad. It didn't exist fifty years ago and it won't exist fifty years from now. Some other form of religious expression will take its place, and hopefully that future vision will be more responsible and realistic.

    What would Huckabee do to solve these problems? Children Health Issues, Abortion, Consumer Issues, Corporate Crime, Crimes against property, Crimes of violence, the Distribution of Income, Drug Use, Education (lack of excellence), Employment (lack of good jobs and good benefits),the Energy Crisis, the degredation of the Environment, Family Values, Foreign Policy, Homelessness, Immigration, the Border, decaying Infrastructure, predatory Marketing and Advertising, Medical Care (lack of), the Population Problem, Poverty, Separation of Church and State, Taxation, Veterans benefits, Low Wages, the War on Terror, and Women's issues? Give folksy speeches? Ask Americans to pray for him? He seems to be a nice guy, but he is in way over his head.

    December 11, 2007 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  7. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Maybe if he brings out his Bible and holds a revival or two, he could increase his numbers. Wouldnt it be just like the republicans to nominate a hate filled bible banging baptist preacher?

    December 11, 2007 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  8. Joseph H, Warner Robins, Ga

    Not surprising here that the Huckster, Giuliani and Romney would lose to the leading Dems. Only Ron Paul's campaign is growing like wildfire and he has the $$$ rolling in to prove it. Watch this guy keep rising. People are sick and tired with today's political scene and want real change – Ron Paul represents that. Watch us smash another campaign fundraising day on December 16th.

    December 11, 2007 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  9. Wayne, Greenville TX

    If that's the case, I only have one thing to say: GO HUCKABEE!!!

    The only thing that will fix this country is a Democrat in the White House on January 20, 2009.

    December 11, 2007 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  10. Thomas,San Jose, CA

    Ignore RON Paul at your own risk.Hes gonna make a spectacular comeback considering the kind of grass root support hes mustering

    December 11, 2007 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  11. Mary, Kirksville Missouri

    I'm a lifelong Democrat, but I have to agree that it seems this CNN poll is not taking into account that there are several months and debates before the general election where Huckabee can get that name recognition. I watched the GOP debates and saw that Huckabee is the most real of that bunch. If he gets their nomination, I'm concerned that none of our Dems can stop the independents from flocking to him. That fair tax just makes sense.

    December 11, 2007 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  12. Anonymous

    Didn't CNN publish the same story in 2004 with John Kerry?

    December 11, 2007 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  13. WV4Huckabee, Morgantown WV

    Poll again in 30 days. After the major news coverage of Huckabee's big win in Iowa, there will no longer be a lack of knowledge and his numbers will increase dramatically. There was a recent poll of voters in Arkansas, where certainly voters know both Mike and Hillary-Huckabee won decisively over both Clinton and Obama.

    December 11, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. Kristi D. Hamilton, NJ

    The problem is the extremes of both parties want to rule this country and, lo and behold, that's not what the American people want! Democrats what "big bother" watching us and spending our hard earned money on people who don't want to do for themselves (for those not understanding: illegal immegrants and those who are professional Welfare recipients). Republicans want all of us to give up the rights women have for their own bodies (I'm only for 1st trimester abortions) and tell our daily Ted Kennedy jokes.

    Obviously there will be no one canditate whom everyone agrees on...that's the point of a Democracy. I'll readily say that I'm a strong Giuliani supporter but I'm just one person among millions. The main thing this country does not need and will NEVER need is a candidate who is hung up on her own ego and who is trying to show the world how much better a President she would be than her husband was (there's a VERY scary thought).

    December 11, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    Of course – it's very obvious. This is not a rocket science. Huck should NOT be a Republican nominee.

    December 11, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. Alex, Winter Springs FL

    I'm a Republican, and I don't like Huckabee as a candidate. I'm sure he is a good man, but he has a very narrow base. This poll is yet another reason to nominate John McCain.

    December 11, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |