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. Julie in AZ

    That's scary. Although I would kill to see President Obama debating EX (not even 1 full term) Governor of ALASKA. She can't even get through an intelligent interview with softie Katie Couric! That would be some serious entertainment.

    July 16, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Pegasus

    OMG! Please say it ain't so. I'm glad that poll was directed at republicans only because a lot of them still believe that Palin can run this country so that's probably why the numbers are the way they are right now. But God knows, Palin doesn't have a chance of winning...she can't win alone on just her base supporters voting for her. She needs the votes of all races and it ain't happening. So many people do not like this woman, including republicans and definitely democrats.

    July 16, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. Senior Lady in NC - Independent Voter

    For the good of the country, it is vital to have two strong political parties. The Democrats hava a total winner in Barack Obama. The Republicans, who this article states are favoring Sarah Palin, would be a disaster as a presidential candidate. Mrs. Palin in under-educated , has little knowledge of the world outside of Alaska, never met a single world leader, has never before traveled except to meet the Alaskan troops in Iraq, has great difficulty articulating her thoughts. is seen by many Americans as a source of entertainment because of her personality and is viewed by a majority of Americans as totally unqualified for high public office. There are many qualified Republican leaders -- find them and rebuild the party. That would be in the best interest of this country.

    July 16, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. not a Jackson or a Palin fan

    God help us all if that woman gets anywhere near Washington.

    July 16, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. eric

    Look at these people....are you kidding me. Why in gods green earth would anyone take any of these jokers seriously. WHY???? If this is the best the GOP has to offer....you know what to do AMERICA stand up yell loud and clear and rally against the GOP... get them out in 2010... Sarah Palin is leading this pack.... WHAT????? She is an idiot... really American... they are like drugs..

    JUST SAY NO to the party of NO... in 2010!!!! They will go away and we will not have the THREAT of any of these birds getting into our government and our homes, listening to our phone calls, illegelly killing our servicemen in bullcrap ego wars, rapping the middle class so the rich can get richer ( thats GOP Socialism... and redistribution of wealth at its best ). SAY NO!!!!

    GET THE WORD OUT!!! DON'T WAIT....... if we united against the GOP strongly we can stop this racist white collar crime train that is the GOP!!!!!

    July 16, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. Big Ed

    Let's see...Larry, Moe or Curly... How about "none of the above"! (My apologies to The Three Stooges).

    July 16, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. a little sad

    She's in a tight race for the next job she'd quit half through?

    July 16, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. mk

    A tight race in an obsolete party with <20% national support and dropping lie flies. This is not saying much. None of these have a chance.

    July 16, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. Jackson

    hahahahaha..thats all I have to say

    July 16, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  10. Johnnieg

    Tell me i'm not dreaming .Palin in a close race ?Palin scores a 72 percent approval rating compared with Huckabee's 59 percent and Romeny's 56 percent. ?
    Sad to say ,the GOP just doesn't get it !.They just don't get it ! .Wake up America,she is a beauty queen . Period!! She talks like she is answering a pageant question .
    Palin as president scares the hell out of me .

    July 16, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. P S

    Republicans dont seem to have many options. A quitter running for president! Shame on the Republicans for choosing her (if they do). What is the guarantee she wont quit office when she is the President?

    July 16, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. Andrew, Buffalo NY

    Are you serious CNN? The last election was 8 months ago! We have over 3 years!!!

    You guys are sinking below the level of MSNBC!!

    Try reporting on some real news, like Cap and Trade, ObamaCare and how we plan on paying for 16 Trillion in debt?

    July 16, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. DX in TX

    If the Republicans spent more time on fixing the mess they made as much as they spend on winning then maybe Americans will repsect them!
    There will not be another Republican president in the white house until 2024..I predice it will be Jeb's son George P. Bush! Hopefully he is nothing like his father and smarter than his uncle!


    July 16, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. Alex

    Why are we constantly looking at polls on this? Come on now, this is three years away! There is going to be so many changes in that time and these polls aren't going to mean a thing. The media is getting way too obsessed with who's going to run in 2012 and not focusing on what's relavent to today.

    July 16, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  15. HJA

    It doesn't matter who they run. I'll never vote for a Republican again. EVER! I am so sick of those liars and whiners.

    July 16, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. jc

    palin is an uneducated buffoon. but let's keep her around for laughs – check her out on you tube if you haven't done so in a while! she makes gw look like a genius in comparison.

    the disparity here is unbelievable – huckabee is the author of six books. one wonders whether sp can even read a book.

    July 16, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Steve

    .....however, Huckabee's numbers among all Americans look better by comparison. Although each GOP contender receives a similar favorable rating from the American public - 43% for Palin, 37% for Romney, and 42% for Huckabee - Huckabee's negatives are lower. As a result, his +19 net favorable score is much better than Romney's +8 and Palin's -2.

    July 16, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  18. Chris - Denver

    Why anyone would vote for Palin for anything is quite beyond me.

    July 16, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  19. Drew

    How dumb are people to think she is qualified at all? This is just amazing. It truly show how incompetent the Republicans are when it comes to voting for a president. These are the same people that think Bush was a good president.

    July 16, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  20. nancy

    just cant believe people still think palin is experienced enough and capable of running this country some day. frightening!!!

    July 16, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. Fla.

    Give us a break. Who frigging cares about the next presidential election when we are barely 6 months into the new administration?

    I would NOT even consider any of them...

    We have huge issues to address that are important to our country. If these power-hungry Republicans would focus on governing (instead of quitting), we might actually solve some issues together for a change.

    Enough of the nonsense.

    July 16, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. GI Joe

    That's it for the GOP?

    July 16, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  23. AndrewDoD

    Yes, CNN. It CAN be too early to look at a race. You're trying way too hard.

    July 16, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  24. Tree Grows in Brooklyn

    Vat's dis? Da Three Stooges?

    July 16, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  25. David Newport, OR

    21% of the GOP would vote for a quitter...how sad.

    July 16, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
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