Usual Suspects at the top of the 2012 polls
January 20th, 2011
09:10 AM ET
12 years ago

Usual Suspects at the top of the 2012 polls

Washington (CNN) - Two new polls, but as of now the same old story: Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and Sarah Palin remain the leaders of the pack in hypothetical 2012 GOP presidential nomination matchups.

According to an ABC News-Washington Post survey, 21 percent of Republican or independent leading Republicans say that as of now, Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate, is their choice for their party's presidential nomination, with 19 percent supporting Palin, the former Alaska governor and Sen. John McCain's runningmate in the last presidential election, and 17 percent backing Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who also ran for the White House in 2008.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was a distant fourth, at nine percent, followed at eight percent by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has repeatedly said he is not going to make a bid for the White House in 2012. Everyone else was in the low single digits.

Similar results from an NBC News-Wall Street Journal survey that was also released in the past 24 hours. That poll indicates that Romney with the support of 19 percent, followed by Huckabee at 18 percent, Palin at 14 percent, Gingrich at ten percent, and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who made a bid for the last GOP presidential nomination, at eight percent. Everyone else is at five percent or lower.

Polls conducted late last year from CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, Gallup, Pew Research Center, Quinnipiac University, and McClatchy-Marist, also all had similar findings.

To be fair, polls at this stage in the race for the White House are heavily influenced by name recognition and popularity.

While many potential contenders for the GOP nomination are making moves behind the scenes, this cycle appears off to a slower start than the past two battles for the White House. Only one person, businessman and conservative radio talk show host Herman Cain, has taken the first official step in setting up a presidential exploratory committee.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted Jan. 13-16, with 1,053 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was conducted Jan. 13-17, with 1,000 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2012 • Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Polls • Sarah Palin
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Northdakotax

    The "usual suspects"?? Way to go Paul!!

    January 20, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  2. Irma in North Carolina

    I wonder how much Palin has to pay to have her name on this list. By now the american people should be aware of what Palin is about. Of course this doesnt stand true of her followers. It will never sink into their head.

    January 20, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  3. AEK

    These people represent the party that is now in control of the House of Representatives and that party just took some of the precious time available to them to repeal the health care law. This is a law that only 18% of Americans, when polled, said they wanted repealed. Pandering to the basest of their base? This bill will not be heard in the Senate (remember when the Democrats just wanted an up or down vote, Mr. Cantor?), and on the odd chance that it would be passed, it will be vetoed by President Obama. WIth that in mind, how about you folks hustle up all the jobs you promised during the election.

    January 20, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  4. Patriots Salute the Flag! Traitors don't!!!

    Cme on Palin you're the one we want or a Huckabee/Palin would be good. I doesn't matter as long as both of you get in there. PALIN/HUCKABEE 2012 or HUCKABEE/PALIN would be so far out of reach for Obama.

    January 20, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  5. GL

    After all the mess Sara Palin caused last week, she is beating Romney. 2012 Obama/Biden

    January 20, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. GL

    Huckabee is going to have a very hard time beating Sara Pallin. 2012 Obama/Biden

    January 20, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. Qi

    Run Sarah Run, Please Run.

    January 20, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  8. AMERICA 1st

    Sarah for prez with Rush for vice prez!

    January 20, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. GI Joe

    There they go again – giving the most votes to the biggest losers. When will republicans learn?

    January 20, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  10. Lolo

    This is going to be fun when they have to pick the republican nominee. Can't wait. Is this all they have to offer?

    January 20, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. Eric

    Seems to me that the 'I'm with Romney' is holding steady at about 20%. Huckabee is up a little and 'good old' SP has lost just about the same amount. I'd put my money on the former Ark governor to ultimately get the elephant's nod, but it'd be a long, hard primary battle with a lot of 'hurt feelings' in the red camp.

    January 20, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. T'sah from Virginia

    Yes – they are SUSPECTS – WANTED for THINKING they will beat President Obama in 2012!!

    CNN needs to STOP putting Sarah Palin's picture in the mix! AND, they always put her FIRST – like she is the Cream of the Crop!!! The 'other' RepubliCAN'Ts are most likely PISSED about it too but would NEVER say it. They're afraid of their QUEEN BEE!!

    But we ALL must be CAREFUL!!! One of these suspects are "armed" and "dangerous" and is ready to RELOAD instead of RETREATING – Whoa, we should be "shaking in our boots!"

    Let's support our current leader, President Obama, as he continues to MOVE AMERICA FORWARD in a positive direction!!! Yes We Can!

    January 20, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  13. Chas in Iowa

    "Usual Suspects at the top of the 2012 polls"
    Now that is just a shame.

    January 20, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. Gene Carr

    Recent allegations against Sarah Palin do not seem to have dented her chances of getting the nomination. The only place she can go now is up. Okay libs, you are going to think of something else. 'Blood libel' didn't work.

    January 20, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    We still don't even know about others like Pense. This kind of survey will be more relevant when it gets closer to the first debates.

    January 20, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. Adalbert

    None of the are even remotely qualified.

    January 20, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. The unsub

    None of the above!

    January 20, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. vic nashville tn

    Republican establishment will push Sarah in to the corner before the primary

    But if she runs she will win the primary so lot of entertainment in GOP primary

    January 20, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  19. Darko

    I guarantee that not one of these 4 will be the GOP nominee. Please, for the love of God, stop propping these 4 up as the only choice for Conservatives. You screwed us by propping up McCain during the primaries only to dump on him after.

    The nominee will likely be a Thune, Pence, Pawlenty or some other governor with read credentials. These 4 either have super high negatives or they represent the old establishment GOP that we've been sending home for the last 6 years. There are better candidates out there and they are interested in running.

    January 20, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  20. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Hmmm, wasn't she at 27% last week? Or are the number of people actually sampled the total number of people in the country who want to see her as POTUS?

    January 20, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  21. LGNY

    Polls this far ahead of the campaign are meaningless. At this point prior to the 2008 election, all the polls had HIllary Clinton as the de-facto candidate and never even mentioned Obama in the surveys.

    Frankly, I hope the Republican Party finds new blood to replace all of the above leaders. We need someone who can articulate conservatism in an inclusive collaborative approach instead of all the shrill screaming that characterize the current leadership.

    If it keeps going the way it is now, the party is painting itself into a corner.

    RINO: means there is only one orthodoxy and everyone else should be kicked out.

    FLIP-FLOP: means no one can learn from experience and revise their positions.

    FAMILY VALUES: We want to tell you how to live your life and regulate personal behavior.

    Smart conservatism will find ways to back away from such nonsense or morph them into a more positive perspective.

    January 20, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  22. Liz the First

    Love the headline!!! Suspects is the perfect description of this bunch. the whole GOP should be branded a criminal syndicate.

    January 20, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. once upon a horse

    if THIS is the best the GOP can come up with in 2012 I fail to see why Obama will not win a second term.

    January 20, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  24. lynn

    How can the public be so blinded by Huckabee. Just ask any Arkansan, we have a laundry list of horrendous policies Huckabee used.

    January 20, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  25. Name king

    The same old fox pondits with Romney, can someone tell me how the hell are going to debate if one of them jace the same right wing mentality. Romney is going to get pummelled because he's the only one with some independent thinking, the rest are like fox robots with talking points and no substance. How the hell fox going to choose which one to back, since three of them works for the station, mm enteresting!

    January 20, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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