July 16th, 2009
05:08 PM ET
13 years ago

Poll shows tight race for 2012 GOP nomination

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/16/art.threeway.gi.jpg caption=" Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee appear to be locked in a three-way race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination."](CNN) - The Republican presidential primary process doesn't kick off for more than two years, but perhaps it's never too early to take a measure of where a race that's far from starting stands.

It appears to be a three-way race between former White House hopeful Mitt Romney, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee - also an ex-presidential aspirant. Romney stands at 26 percent in the new survey, compared to 21 percent for Palin, and 19 percent for Huckabee.

But the poll, which surveyed 455 Republicans and Republican-leaning voters between July 10-12, carries a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points, meaning all three are essentially locked in a dead heat.

Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker and current conservative commentator stands at 14 percent while Tim Pawlenty and Haley Barbour - the governors of Minnesota and Mississippi respectively - are each in low single digits.

The Gallup survey shows similar results to those of a recent CNN poll that also indicated the same three Republicans are locked in hypothetical race for the party's nomination.

But while Romney, Palin, and Huckabee are clustered on top, the survey shows voters hold a much higher favorability rating of the soon-to-be ex-Alaska governor than the other two Republicans. Palin scores a 72 percent approval rating compared with Huckabee's 59 percent and Romeny's 56 percent.

Though Palin, who has firmly remained in the headlines since she was tapped to be the party's vice presidential candidate last August, appears considerably better known than both men: only 7 percent of Republicans have no opinion of her compared to 28 percent who said the same of Romney and 25 percent who lacked a view of Huckabee.

Of course, polls more than two years before an election are far from predictive: A Gallup survey in 2005 showed Hillary Clinton would win the 2008 Democratic nomination over John Kerry while Rudy Giuliani would edge out McCain on the Republican side. President Obama was not included in the poll.

Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney • Sarah Palin
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. B Lewis in Austin

    I just hope these three are still at the top of the heap in 2012. If this is the best the GOP can come up with, it should be a cakewalk.

    July 16, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    Its good to see a story about people who understand government's role in America. It gets kind of old reading over and over,"...the democratic leaders have passed another $1 trillion bill for..." whatever.

    July 16, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. The Unshrub

    Everyone involved needs to go out and get a job because they have way too much time on their hands. This is way to soon to be valid.

    July 16, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. John from SC

    That picture does not look good for the GOP. Have they thrown in the towell already?

    July 16, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. Molly B

    I am 100% for President Obama!!
    However, here are my comments:
    Huckabee is a likeable man
    Romney is a smart man – perhaps too smart
    mmmmmm..........no more comments!!!

    July 16, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. beth

    So this is what Republicans are concerned with....winning the next election? What about working to fix the economy, healthcare, the war...

    Our president has only been in office 6 months and they are consumed by winning an election that is over three years away. This is sickening. Whether you like it or not, we need to work together and support our government. I wasn't a fan of George W. Bush, but while he was in office, I wanted the best for our country. I could have dwelled on the fact that my candidate had lost (twice) but that doesn't make it any better, so the right thing to do is get on with it and work to make this country a better place.

    July 16, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    We haven't even got out 2009 yet and these knuckleheads thinks they'll be the next POTUS. What a crock.

    Worst – Huckabee
    Worser – Romney
    Worsest – Failin Palin

    July 16, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. Confused in Chicago

    Two days ago CNN reported that only 1/3 of Republicans (with a sampling over a thousdand people) thought that Palin had the credubility to be President.

    Now CNN is reporting that Palin has a higher 'favorability' rating than these other 2 candidates-to-be?

    These two results together are ambiguous and mutually exclusive.....WHICH one is true? One day Palin is down, two days later she is the favorite?? WHICH is true? You cannot have both!

    July 16, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. Uncle Fester

    Of the three I would have to go with Palin. The other two are the same old same old politicians. I know a lot of comments in here knock her intellegence but there's not to many people in here smart enough to be governor and run a state. They could probably be a community organizer!

    July 16, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  10. Larry

    If the Republicans had any brains they'd just save their money and sit out the next several elections.

    July 16, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. letsgetreal

    Really, Palin for President when she can't even handle her PERSONAL FINANCES????? Go ahead Republicans, choose this one–Puhhhleeeezzzeee!!!!!

    July 16, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. JR

    Brother, the republicans never fail to UNDERhelm. But then, given the sad group of losers they have to choose from, only a loser could get chose.

    July 16, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. ron

    Wow - this is the best they got? The GOP must have official decided to call it quits.

    Bought the farm, clean out your lockers, major fail, end game, done, finito, kaput.

    July 16, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. KM

    Is the GOP serious?? Is this really ALL they have to offer the American public? These candidates are just a bunch of failed, has beens from last year's elections. Each was either not wanted as a Presidential candidate or failed as a VP candidate. If the GOP doesn't find more to offer in the way of leadership and potential candidates for their party, they will continue to die a slow death. And it's ashame because the US needs TWO strong political parties in order to maintain a healthy balance in government. I can't believe this sorry bunch is all they have to offer. I'm still shaking my head.

    July 16, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. A-Wax

    This list laughable-

    Palin? Really? When will the media stop pretending that this woman is a viable candidate?

    I'm sure someone will come along and ask "why are we so afraid of Palin? Blah blah blah" but even that person knows Sarah is a functioning idiot.

    Huck blew his chances when he agreed to that ridiculous talk show, and started writing silly poems to Obama and whatnot.

    Romney? Maybe... but he'll still get crushed in the general.

    July 16, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. kevin

    For the love of Pete. I'm still not over being sick and tired of the LAST presidential race and now we're already starting? This is worse than retailers keeping all their Christmas stuff up all year!

    July 16, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. Dave C - NJ

    The only person that has even a slight chance of beating Obama out of this sorry batch is Mitt.

    July 16, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. JMac

    Who cares??

    July 16, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. Obama Victim

    the good news is that any of these are better than the loser we have now.....the Obozo clock is ticking

    July 16, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. Peace

    You people who are doing polls, can you please stop the disturbance. The president is few months since he took the Office and you are taking the polls for the next President!!! What kind of the game is this one???????
    Presidents are elected to work for people. Can you tell me 7 months is enough period for a President to show he is capable to work for the people!!!!. This is silly to take the polls now!!!!!!! Remember the President is elected to serve the people for a 4-year-term!!!! Right!!!!

    July 16, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. manny

    will Americans trust repubs with the economy again? though i don't have a clue what obama is doing to revive us. nobody is talking of problems facing the manufacturing sector. we import everything and we are talking of green jobs. hahahahahahahaha

    July 16, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. Sid from Brooklyn

    I wish you would stop showing Tina Fey's picture

    July 16, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Whatever

    a.k.a. easy win for Obama

    July 16, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. justsane

    what race? it has not even been 6 months since the new president was sworn in–try to stick with reporting the news of the moment!!

    July 16, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. Obama 08/12

    What a bunch of losers.

    July 16, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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