Poll: Huckabee most liked, Palin provokes most negative reaction
January 10th, 2011
08:46 AM ET
12 years ago

Poll: Huckabee most liked, Palin provokes most negative reaction

(CNN) – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee appears to have the clear advantage out of the gate when it comes to the 2012 battle for the GOP presidential nomination, enjoying a significantly higher net-favorability rating and name identification among national Republicans than any other potential candidate.

According to the new survey by Gallup, Huckabee has a net-favorability rating (the difference between those who hold a favorable view and those who hold an unfavorable view) of 30 percent.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is six points back with a net-favorable of 24 percent with former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and former GOP presidential candidate Sarah Palin are close behind at 23 percent and 22 percent respectively.

Several more possible candidates, including dark horse favorite Mike Pence, Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Rep. Ron Paul, former Sen. Rick Santorum and Sen. Jon Thune, registered in the high teens.

The survey also shows a clear divide in name identification - with Huckabee, Palin, Romney, and Gingrich considerably more well known to Republicans than the rest of the field - a fact that suggests their favorability ratings may be more static than those of the lesser know candidates because voters have already had ample opportunity to form opinions about them compared to those who are new to the national scene.

Moreover, in what is an ominous sign for Palin and Gingrich, the two generate higher levels of negative reactions than any other leading candidate, a factor that significantly decreases their net favorability rating.

In fact, Palin by far generates the most negative reaction among some Republicans, with 8 percent saying they strongly disfavor her. That compares to 1 percent who said the same about Mike Huckabee and 4 percent who strongly disfavor Gingrich.

The Gallup poll was conducted Jan. 4-5 among 923 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents interviewed by telephone. It carries a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Filed under: 2012
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Randy, San Francisco

    Why should anyone be surprised by Palin's negative poll numbers? She is the least qualified candidate with a limited appeal to the most extreme conservative members of the party.

    January 10, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. StrategicBob

    What's really sad is that any of these clowns has a net positive rating among any group, Republican or otherwise. I long for the days when the Republican Party was not in the iron grip of lunatics.

    January 10, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. charles bowen

    Nice list of Psychotic Potential Candidates. Whats the new republican theme Psychotics For America. Good luck With that Republicans. You Have Shown Your Worth to My Country --–= All Negatives. Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    January 10, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. Jim Smiley

    Can we stop with the inane Palin polls? How many times do we have to hear that she has problems. We knew that back in 2008.

    January 10, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. MikeyH

    I'll just go ahead and state the obvious: If Republicans run with Palin or Gingrich, it'll be over before it starts. Huckabee won't take it either.

    January 10, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  6. Grundoon

    And SArah's negativity rating is about to get worse . . . .

    January 10, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. SMJ

    "Palin generates the most negative reaction..." DUH!

    January 10, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. Robert

    I am not surprised. I don't really like Huckabee's positions, but he is mild mannered, he is reasonable and he has not peddled in hatred. The same cannot be said of Palin. Historically, the American people have rejected demagogues and merchants of hate. I am hoping there are enough moderate Republicans to make this pattern continue to hold true.

    January 10, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. Robert

    No surprise about the negative reaction to Palin - she's a very negative person. Her whole shtick is spewing snarky, hateful, taunting, shallow comments just to get attention. She should run for president of a grade-school student council.

    January 10, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. If You Want To See The "Real Haters"

    The Liberal Left will attack this man in the same hateful way they attack Sarah Palin......why? Because they believe that the government should "take care" of everyone and they also believe the money should come from people who "have more than they do" ......nothing else matters.
    Redistribution of wealth is what the loud mouth liberal crowd wants; Here is a scenario I have seen played out many times in my lifetime. When most receive money of which they did not work for, they are soon parted w/that money! That is why most Lottery winners are broke and in bankruptcy in a short period of time. If we divided the wealth among the populus, it will be squandered in less than a year and those same people who want this will be back begging for more!
    One of the reasons people who have money......have the money in the first place, is they know how to use it wisely and sometimes the wisest thing to do is to keep it.

    January 10, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  11. H

    923 people is a tiny, tiny sample size. This isn't really worth reporting with a number that low.

    January 10, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. independent

    Gov. Huckabee is a Baptist Minister. If you would have trouble accepting a priest, rabbi or Imam running for and holding the office of the President, then you should not vote for Minister Huckabee. Churches which let their ministers, rabbis, priests and imams run for office should lose their tax exempt status.

    January 10, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. betty

    Please stop writing about SP. She is not news any more. Most readers now know she is nothing but a money-grubbing loudmouth. You only contribute to her coffers and not to a national dialogue about meaningful issues. You are losing credibility.

    January 10, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. P.D.

    After what happened in AZ, Sarah can kiss her political ambitions good-bye. Many blame her and her violent rhetoric AND the fact she had the gall to place Gabby Giffords and other Democrats in 'Crosshairs' on her political map. She is unfit to run for any office. PERIOD.

    January 10, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. Al-NY,NY

    Go ahead GOP. Run the preacher with his faith-based political agenda and see what happens. Can you say "Obama wins re-election by a landslide"?? 'cause that's what would happen. The same for the Alaskan nitwit and the super-hypocritical Newtie. Any of those 3 guarantee Obama's reelection. Add Santorum and Thune to that list too. Romney MAY be OK but since he belongs to a cult, well you know how Republicans are with anything but strict Christian adherance.... You'd better either come with a different candidate or make a major change in the philosophy of religious tolerance in your party

    January 10, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. Charlie from the North

    Really CNN, Really??? You had to do a study to find out that Huckabee is more likable than Palin. I hope you didn't have to work too hard on that one.

    January 10, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. Former Republican - Now Independent

    Coming in behind Mike Huckabee? How humiliating! Looks like Sarah's free ride is almost over.

    ... of course it's not like she has done anything constructive or useful since the '08 election, execpt to extract large sums of money from rich boneheads who thought they might buy some influence if she actually got elected and then stayed in office.

    January 10, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  18. ThinkAgain

    Huck is unelectable for several reasons:

    1) He doesn't believe in evolution. In this day and age, the US cannot afford to have a president who doesn't believe in science.

    2) He does not support the First Amendment of the Constitution, which says, "the government shall establish no religion." Ours is not a theocracy; Huckabee doesn't understand this.

    3) He showed an incredible lack of character during the 2008 campaign (May 16, 2008 when he made a joke to a meeting of the NRA about someone taking a shot at then-candidate Obama. A noise was heard off-stage and Huckabee said, "That was Barack Obama. He just tripped off a chair. He was getting ready to speak and somebody aimed a gun at him, and he dove for the floor," Huckabee told the NRA convention in Louisville, Kentucky.

    Too many problems, not enough character.


    January 10, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. joe blow

    run simple sarah run

    January 10, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  20. bailoutsos

    Palin doesn't care. She will have $50-$100 million in the bank by 2012.

    January 10, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. cj

    I also liked him until his latest infomercial about health care and every time I see that I cringe!!! Here is a priviledged ex Gov, who wants to be President and he is wanting to undo what will help thousands less fornunate than he is .
    Yes let us lhelp the big insurance companies over the people.....read this bill and then make up your mind , if you want to help big insurance comoanies get richer or to help millions who do not have insurance! I was disappointed he wants to stand with the big insurance companies , just another Republican , so not so likaable anymore!

    January 10, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. Paul, Pheonix

    Huckabee is ok but he belongs in the pulpit, not politics. Sarah Palin is a zeitgeist demagogue, and is very dangerous for
    this country. As we have finally seen in Arizona.

    January 10, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  23. Former Republican, but never again!

    Huckabee seems like a decent man, Palin is totally unqualified to be President. She's the P.T. Barnum of the GOP.

    January 10, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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