June 2nd, 2009
03:16 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN Poll: No frontrunner in GOP 2012 presidential race

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll of Republicans suggests that there's no front runner at this extremely early moment in the next race for the White House.

Three possible candidates are all bunched at the top of a CNN/Opinion Research
Corporation survey released Tuesday.

The survey suggests that 22 percent of Republicans would most likely support former Arkansas governor and former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee for their party's presidential nomination in 2012. Twenty-one percent say they would most likely back Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, with an equal number supporting former Massachusetts governor and former White House hopeful Mitt Romney.

Taking into account the poll's 4.5 percent sampling error, Huckabee, Palin and Romney seem to be locked in a hypothetical dead heat.

The poll indicates that 13 percent of Republicans would back former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 2012, with 6 percent supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Ten percent of those questioned say they would most likely back someone else.

"The Republicans have three very well known candidates. No one is a clear favorite among the three. The race appears to be wide open at this very early date," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.

"Republicans typically nominate someone familiar who's run for president before, such as Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, and John McCain. But since the party appears to be in trouble right, Republicans might want to do what Democrats typically do, and look for a fresh face," adds Schneider.

The poll's release comes on the same day that Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced that he won't run next year for a third term. Pawlenty's decision to avoid a potentially difficult re-election bid in 2010 is seen by some political analysts as the first step in a possible presidential run in 2012.

The poll's release also comes as Romney's recent schedule gives the impresison of a man intent on running for the White House again. On Monday, Romney criticized the Obama administration over national security at a speech sponsored by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Friday he was the keynote speaker at a major Republican Party dinner in Virginia. He's campaigned recently for GOP gubernatorial candidates in Virginia and New Jersey, and he's a frequent guest on cable news programs and Sunday talk shows.

Asked Sunday about a bid in 2012, Romney told Fox News that "I'm not going to close that door" - although, he added, "I'm not going to walk through it either."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted May 14-17, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for Republican presidential nomination question is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Filed under: GOP
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. CTGOP

    I'd love to see Giuliani go for it after he mops the floor with Cuomo/Patterson in the race for NY Governor. Once that is done Rudy will be back in the limelight. Notice he isnt stepping in front of the freight train like the rest of the gop'ers right now, he's playing it low key.
    GO RUDY2012!!!

    June 2, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Fenarkleman

    Meaghan McCain. 'Nuff said.

    June 2, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. Pragmatic

    ... and these 3 "hot prospects"will have nothing more to offer than they did last year! The party of "no" – no solutions – no apologies for running the country off the rails – and a alternative budget proposal that was only 19 pages long – and without any numbers!!

    June 2, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Expat American

    Please....Sarah Palin as the front runner in 2012.

    When she is crushed....then the Conservative Christians Zealots, with their doctrine of racial and religious bigotry founded upon their American bastardization of European Christianity can be destroyed along with her.

    Wouldn’t it be beautiful if the Muslim-American vote defeated the Christian Right Party of Hatred?

    June 2, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. NObama is our downfall

    The Republicans better hurry up and find someone to start campaigning.

    Obama has been campaigning for 2012 since November 08!!!! You will come to find that his "presidency" will be more like a 4 year campaign run.

    June 2, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. David CA

    Anyone but Obama... I will even vote for Palin If I have too...

    June 2, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. 4 and The Door

    Any one of them would have an unfair advantage over President Obama. As his administration has proven since day 1, the Democratic "ideology" doesn't work. Bailouts don't work. Uncontrolled spending doesn't work. A foreign policy based on apologies doesn't work. Making decisions before the details of implementing them doesn't work. When the votes are in, Nancy, Harry, Barry and Joe will not be working either, at least not in their current jobs.

    June 2, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. Jerome

    I sure hope it's Palin as that would cement Obama in the Whitehouse for another 4 years to be followed by Clinton for another 8 years.

    June 2, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |

    To All the Republicans....

    Please stop crying already and stop hating. You guys sound so despearate, that you'll just pick anyone.

    And remember this; Obama's cleaning the mess created by the Republicans.


    June 2, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. donttreadonme

    Wow neo-libs commenting here forget that Repubs had the support of 47% of all voters last go around. This fact will become very relivant in 2012.

    While Obama will be tough to beat I am sure we will find a more electable candidate than John McCain.

    We only need a 3.1% swing.

    June 2, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. the southern progressive

    why are they considering themselves "runners" at all.. who knows, maybe they will wake up with parkinsons disease and on the wrong side of progression and stem cell research.. they should be concentrating on the jobs they have now, if any.. and if they dont, then maybe they should go get one, before they tell the rest of us how to live our lives as we struggle from day to day.. must be nice, mitt..

    June 2, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. PaulMoATX

    RobWhomever it will be, in 2012 he or she will a much welcome relief from the torture that will be Obama's one and only term in office.

    Whomever it is in 2012, I just hope they have better grammar than you. ;~)

    June 2, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. buckwheat

    Republicans do not need to run in the next election. Wait around and let this change take place everyone was promised.That will be all it takes if we get all these freebees we been promised. I would like to know how these things will happen when 50 percent of the people have been keeping up the other 50 per cent and now we are out of a job. Probably will give the rest of the treasury away when he meets the Arabs this week. Seems he is partial to them for some strange reason-can't figure why.

    June 2, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. luan isuffi

    We all know that inteligent people are mortal enemies for GOP morons and junkies.
    They have to have somebody like idiot George or stupid moosehunter Sarah to control them.

    June 2, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. gl, Pittsburgh

    Sara Palin will give President Obama another 4 years. If she didn't bet him the first time what make the Repubicans thank she can bet him the second time. Most women have very low opinion about her views.

    June 2, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Mark - Obama/Biden 08

    The only hope the Republican'ts have is if Tom Ridge runs – but he wouldn't be crazy conservative enough for them, so here's to a couple more decades of Democratic rule (and I'm all for it).

    June 2, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. Jason from NJ

    Front Runner????

    It's 2009! for God sakes!

    June 2, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Fitz in Texas

    Fitz in Texas June 2nd, 2009 3:29 pm ET

    Oh wow, please let this be right. Nothing sounds better for the Democrats than Huckabee/Palin 2012.

    That will gaurantee Republican defeat and give President Obama some more time to clean up the mess that repugs made over the last eight years.

    Plus more funny skits on SNL!

    Looks like someone decided to use my call name without my permission. Like I'm surprised. Guess I'll have to change now because of some JERK out there. Just the way these people like to work. They slither like SNAKES. Why don't you tell us who you really are if you have a spine!

    June 2, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. Peter

    If Sarah Palin is the nominee, I question if any state would vote for her over Obama, Alaskans made a mistake, I hope they won't make the same mistake once more...

    June 2, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. the southern progressive

    @Matthew June 2nd, 2009 4:00 pm ET

    he's got you drinking the kool aid by the gallon!


    why is it that those on the left say those on the right are koolaid drinkers , and those on the right say those on the left are koolaid drinkers... guess that means, everyone is drinking koolaid, except for those in the middle.... long live the moderates.

    June 2, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |

    You people all talk about hate, what about obama sitting in Rev. Wrights church for 20 years and the spew he sold to his flock??

    June 2, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. gl, Pittsburgh

    Taking into account the poll's 4.5 percent sampling error, Huckabee, Palin and Romney seem to be locked in a hypothetical dead heat.

    What a sad pick. Palin cause McCain to lose, Romney couldn't be Mcain in the Premiary and Huckabee is a religion fruit cake.

    June 2, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. changing my screen name to see if it help getting my comments posted

    Good, because there shouldn't be. It's 200f-ing9! We are not even 6 months into Obama's term. Can't we get a break from Presidential elections?

    Next thing you know there will be articles discussing who the front runner for the 2020 election is.

    June 2, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. TimD

    This doesn't look that good for Romney, Gingrich or Huckabee. They've been all over TV and other media practically 24/7 (at least a a few times a day on cable news). I haven't seen anything of Palin for several months-nada. If she can remain in a dead heat by being a stealth candidate, she may well pull ahead if and when she surfaces.

    June 2, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. John B. From New Hampshire

    i love it! all "winners" here! haha... this democrat sits back with a HUGE grin! GOP your days are over... you F*CKED this country up enough! time for us to fix it once again as we did after the first bush! as my stepsister would say,"the only bush i trust is my own" lol Here, Here!!

    June 2, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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