Poll: Huckabee most liked, Palin provokes most negative reaction
January 10th, 2011
08:46 AM ET
10 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. Tulsa

    I cannot vote for someone who believes his decisions come from some make believe sky God. Let's get back to having SMART people in government.

    January 10, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  2. ex-gop

    They all make me cringe. Not a moderate in the entire group.

    January 10, 2011 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  3. Ken in NC

    Among Republicans, I find Sarah Palin to be the most disgusting figure I have ever seen in all my 62 years. In fact I think more of the late Richard M. Nixon than I do of Palin. She is like a divisive "Snap Turtle". All she can do is snap back with a negative response to any and everything said about her and anything that happens is always someone elses fault. She can only critisize, and is unable to offer solutions. She has the mental ability of a walnut and in my opinion couldn't be elected dog catcher in any city in this country except maybe in the state of AZ and even that is in doubt now.

    January 10, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  4. Seattle Sue

    Palin is appalling and Huckabee is not much better.

    January 10, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  5. Purnell

    The guy is smart – but crazy – when people get to know him better he will sink like stone.

    January 10, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. Eber

    the former governor has the ideas and respect from others, he will be the nominee of gop. and palin will be a wannabe.

    January 10, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  7. AEK

    After the tragic events in Tucson, Ms. Palin will be lucky if her negative favorability rating isn't in double digits. Regardless of her adamant denials, the rhetoric of the right wing lunatics does fuel the hatred of their base. We saw this repeatedly during the election in 2008 and the health care debate last summer. It will be interesting to see how Sister Sarah attempts to "spin" her responsibility in this latest tragedy.

    January 10, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  8. Switters

    You think "Palin provokes most negative reaction" now?
    Just wait until the next poll about 'Madam Crosshairs"

    January 10, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  9. karen from Charlottesville

    Huckabee is a reasonable, smart guy. I think, whether we want to admit it or not, we have now seen first hand the extreme result of the divisive rhetoric of a hatemonger like Sarah Palin. I hope we never have to hear from people like her again.

    January 10, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  10. Dave

    As someone who is open to voting republican the NUMBER ONE qualification is can they talk to all politicians about solutions, not j just people in their party. If they can't, they lost my vote.

    January 10, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  11. Frankly Speaking..

    Cant wait for her tweet on this one! Come on sarah i am craving for that laugh riot you always stir!!

    January 10, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. TangledThorns

    Sarah Palin will be a awesome president, better than any GOP member. She'll also fix Obama's failures after she wins the WH in 2012!

    January 10, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  13. Name king

    These repugs think that lower taxes and less spending will grow the economy. History have shown this is not he case. If you lower spending you are not stimulating the economy by taking the spenders in the economy money away, they are not creating demand so businesses are not having the customers to spew their business, forcing them to lay folks off driving up the unemployment rate and tanking our economy, this will cause the budget rise and government have to do more extreme measure to stimulate the economy before we fall into a depression, lesson government don't make jobs businesses does, the president and dems had created an environment where the economy is set up for success by creating demand from the spenders; the problem is big business are using technology and consolidtions to save money and cut their work force to make profit.

    January 10, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  14. Greg Rogers

    I believe that Sarah Palin will win GOP nomination with the support of the Tea Party

    January 10, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  15. RUexperienced

    Expect Sarah Palin to double down and dig deep to get her small group of supporters to like her even more. But don't expect her to rise much higher with everybody else.

    We've seen her. We now know her. Nothing there. Time to move on.

    January 10, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  16. ST

    I thought that the polls were taken after the Arizona incident which has shocked the nation and the world. Instead it was taken Jan. 4-5.
    If the polls are taken now, the lady will fly with only 2% from her family and close friends!

    January 10, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  17. Bill, NY

    The same Mick Huckabee that made a joke about the future president being shot with a hunting rifle. Makes total sense to me.

    January 10, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. Ancient Texan

    Huckabee seems to be the real deal; an open, honest, outgoing, witty, and knowledgable man. If he were the nominee, I'd support him, but it's a little early and there may be many more possible candidates out there waiting to be heard from in the future.

    January 10, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  19. Observer

    Too bad the poll wasn't taken after the Tucson massacre. Regardless of the final determination of the killer's political beliefs, people like Palin and Beck have had to grow up a little and you won't see Palin's violence-themed slogans and ads like in the past.

    January 10, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  20. don

    How about a poll to see how many Americans want to stop talking about her?

    January 10, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  21. Sam Sixpack

    ...and that, boys and girls, is why left-wing propaganda rags keep Palin front and center in their spotlights.

    January 10, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  22. GG1968

    Wait a minute ... Gingrich polls higher than Romney?? Well considering I rank Gingrich alongside SP as to who I would vote for and I would consider voting for Romney that's not good IMO. Really, Romney, IMO, I think is the only Republican who stands a true chance of winning the general election. The problem is I doubt he can win the primary. Huckabee can probably win the primary and he could possibly win the general, but I think his chances are lesser of winning the general than Romney's are, because most Americans don't want anyone too far to the right or to the left. They really want someone more in the middle.

    January 10, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  23. Monster Zero

    I believe Huckabee would be like a Jimmy Carter style protege' in the Whitehouse in many ways, simply due to his religious ideologies. America needs something Huckabee has not got, something that America is in dire need of, LEADERSHIP CAPABILITIES to make the hardest decisions for our Nation, the ones no one wants to address. Leadership to do what must be done to save our Nation, whether our citizens agree or not, it is economic crunch time. If our Leaders do not step up and take a big bite of the cost cutting pie themselves to LEAD by example in reducing spending, balancing the budget and paying down debt, we are done. Million dollar mansions, jet setting, social elite, government funded everything....Lead by example or else they will all be trying to squeeze through the eye of a needle as they fiddle us a tune!

    January 10, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  24. boocat

    Palin is a dingbat. Gingrich is a perfect example of a sleezy lying politician. Can't stand either of them.

    January 10, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  25. hank kelly

    With Palin's talk and postings about reload and gunsights and the subsequent shootings in Arizona, it's buh bye Sara. The "real America" doesn't want you. Keep yourself and your guns in the tundra.

    January 10, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
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