November 5th, 2009
05:16 PM ET
13 years ago

Poll: Potential problems for possible 2012 GOP candidates

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Poll: Potential problems for possible 2012 GOP candidates."]

A new national poll indicates that more than seven out in 10 Republicans say they would seriously consider voting for Mike Huckabee for president in the next race for the White House, giving the former Arkansas governor more potential support than Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, or any other Republican tested.

But the USA Today/Gallup survey released Wednesday morning also suggests that none of those potential Republican hopefuls could win the votes of a majority of all Americans if they won the GOP nomination in 2012.

The poll finds that 71 percent of Republicans questioned say they would seriously consider voting for Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and 2008 GOP presidential candidate.

Sixty-five percent say they would seriously consider voting for Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who also ran for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. An equal amount indicate they'd seriously consider voting for Palin, the former Alaska governor who served as John McCain's running mate last year. Six in 10 saying they would take a serious look at voting for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, but far fewer respondents say they would support the much less recognized Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (32 percent) or Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (26 percent).

Among all Americans, the poll suggests that only around four in 10 would seriously consider backing Huckabee or Romney, with one in three saying they would seriously support Palin, 29 percent seriously considering voting for Gingrich and less than one in five backing Pawlenty or Barbour.

"The latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll had Huckabee ahead of Palin and Romney in a head-to-head match-up among Republicans," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "So Huckabee not only has more support now, but the potential to gain even more backers that his possible opponents as 2012 approaches."

These surveys are very early hypothetical looks at the next race for the White House. It's the pre-season in the next presidential contest, as possible GOP contenders form political action committees, campaign for fellow Republicans, write books and address conservative conferences and party dinners.

The USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted October 31-November 1, with 1,021 national adults questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points for the overall sample and plus or minus 7 percentage points for questions of Republicans only.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2012 • GOP
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. Real Republican Base

    We want Sarah...she is so smart and perdy.
    She is coming Mayberry on her book signing tour.
    Aunt Bee is so excited she leaked her depends

    November 5, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  2. Rick

    Such a "sad" lsit! NOTHING NEW! NO innovation! NO excitement! NO creativity!


    November 5, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. just saying

    The Republican party is screwed if these are their choices. Eazy re-elect for the President.

    November 5, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  4. mark

    Romney 2012 – Please save America!

    November 5, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. CNN do you job right

    Why not change the worst president (Obama next to Bush) right now before he ruins everything? Both biggest government in history. History proves big government, socialism just never work.

    November 5, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    With "Oxycontin Limbaugh" and "The Iquitarod Queen" as heads of the party of NO, the Obstructionists of ANY AND ALL progress for this country, it's not likely to change - unless it gets worse for them. Let them weed out a few more of the sane ones and we can just put a net around them and haul them off.

    They are Corporate Shills, taking money to do the dirty work for Corporate Profits. RIP GOP. We don't need hate, fear, and lies.

    November 5, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  7. cm

    As long as your republican does not search for a viable candidate who can win the election you are in the woods. Sara Palin is the biggest joke that I have ever seen; she should have continue to be Governor and educated herself on foreign affairs plus many other subjects. I agree Newt is the smartest of any of these candidate but he also has a bunch of baggage. The republicans need to change and get out of the tea part mode for their great hope.

    November 5, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  8. They call me "tater salad"

    Romney is nothing but an uber-wealthy, stuffed suit, who got chased out of office in Mass. after only one term for being an ineffective,as well as, incompetent, Govenor that was more interested in grandstanding and "photo op's" than anything else! It didn't take the people of Mass. very long to see it and realize what this clown was all about!!!........As for Huck-a-Bee Bee?.....Can you say "Bible thumping" nut job that want's to erase our Constitution and replace it with the "good book"?............NOT ON MY WATCH!!!!!!!!

    November 5, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. Audrey in Georgia

    The only republican candidate I would consider as president is not a
    republican: President Obama.

    November 5, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  10. Ndubueze Chuku

    None of these Republican names being bandies about will emerge as the Republican candidate for 2012 presidential elections. My dear CNN and infact other news media, haven't you guys learnt from past mistakes of trying to predict what will happen in presidential elections. Anyway, whatever these Republicans do, Democrats will have the White house again in 2012. Sorry, NO VACANCY!!!!!!

    November 5, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  11. Ndubueze Chuku

    None of these Republican names being bandied about will emerge as the Republican candidate for 2012 presidential elections. My dear CNN and infact other news media, haven't you guys learnt from past mistakes of trying to predict what will happen in presidential elections. Anyway, whatever these Republicans do, Democrats will have the White house again in 2012. Sorry, NO VACANCY!!!!!!

    November 5, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. Simmy

    Interesting how many blame President Obama for the lag in the economy, etc......Yet it's Republicans trying to keep him down, and Blue Dogs trying to keep him who are holding up progress.....Let's stay focused.......

    November 5, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  13. Todd (not the Alaska Separatist)

    Let's start with potential problem number one: they are Republicans. Please run Sarah. It's always a hoot to see Repugs turn on each other like vicious dogs.

    November 5, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  14. Mike in Texas

    The economy worse? Right John....The Stock Market is up...other indicators are showing improving signs. Unemployment is always a lagging indicator. Gas Prices here are still 33% lower than their all time high. The only reason gas was so cheap a year ago was the economy was at it's worst point. Islamic terrorism will never go away regardless of what party is in power.

    Your prediction is premature, but people like you only think in the moment and have no forward vision to think 3 years out. You probably hope that the country is still in the tank in 3 years. You don't care about the country, you only care about your selfish self. Did I hope the country would tank when Bush was elected, no I did not. It seems like you hope it will.

    Sad indeed.

    November 5, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  15. Operation Replacement

    Obama is slowly self-destructing. His ideas on taxes, immigration,
    the environment, education, healthcare...are not shared by most
    Americans. He can bluff us once into thinking he's got the
    experience to rule 300 million; but not twice. Even getting enough
    flu vaccine out on time is too much for him. Not to mention that dumb
    laundress he picked for the Supreme Court! His visits to Virginia and
    New Jersey produced two new Republicans. Sorry, Barrack, but you
    don't have the right stuff.

    November 5, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  16. Hank from Seattle

    I didn't think it was possible for a political party to be consist solely of a fringe without any center at all, but I see the Republicans are giving it their best shot. Hmmm...the Donut Party...Homer likes donuts!

    November 5, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  17. Briana the college student

    republicans if you care about your party please no mitt.

    November 5, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  18. WeThePeopleofVirginia

    What the Republican Party has yet to realize is President Obama will be unseated for a second term from with in his own Party.

    Both Hillary and Kerry smell blood in the water and will mount campaigns in opposition to Obama. Can't say who would win and I would never vote for any of this clan, but I'm pretty certain Obama is on his way out.

    November 5, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  19. Jayden,FL

    Haha such good news

    November 5, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  20. Kevin

    The first problem with this poll is they only asked registered Republicans. To get a clear picture of what will happen in 2012, you also have to ask Independents and Libertarians. Second, we don't know exactly what was asked in the poll. Did they ask if the voters would consider voting for Ron Paul? I bet they didn't. What I'm getting at is that these polls don't have any real value whatsoever.

    November 5, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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