Mike Huckabee comes out on top in a poll of support for potential 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls, CNN reported.
Barack Obama is more than six weeks away from assuming the presidency, and the next Iowa caucuses are more than three years away, but a national poll out Friday suggests that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin top the list of potential 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls.
Huckabee leads in the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Friday. The survey is an early measure of possible support for the next GOP presidential nomination.
Thirty-four percent of Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP said they are very likely to support the former Arkansas governor as the Republican nominee in 2012.
Huckabee surprised many by winning this year's Republican Iowa caucuses and seven other contests before dropping out of the race in March and backing Sen. John McCain.
Palin, McCain's running mate, is 2 percentage points behind Huckabee, at 32 percent. Considering the survey's sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points, Palin and Huckabee are basically tied.
"It might come as a surprise to some that Palin does better than Huckabee among GOP men, but that Huckabee beats Palin among Republican women. Palin's strength is also concentrated among older Republicans, but Huckabee may have a slight edge among conservative Republicans," said Keating Holland, CNN's polling director.