Mike Huckabee: GOP Dark Horse?

Mike Huckabee: GOP Dark Horse?

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From TIME:

On the Republican side, the Hawkeye poll showed that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has widened his overall lead by 8 percentage points, to 36.2%. But Mike Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas, has gained ground despite spending just $1.7 million compared to Romney’s $53.6 million. Huckabee is up from less than 2 % in the same poll in August to 12.8%, putting him in a statistical tie for second place with Rudy Giuliani who garnered 13.1%. Giuliani had spent $30.2 million as of September 30, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

“If Huckabee can motivate religious conservatives to attend the caucuses in large numbers, he may well threaten Romney and close some of the overall gap,” said Redlawsk. About 44% of Iowa Republican caucus-goers consider themselves Evangelical or born again.

If this poll is to be believed, it looks like that straw poll “win” really did give him a lift. But even if Huck shows strongly in Iowa, does anybody really think the evangelical vote will carry him to the nomination? It seemed to propel Bush, but there were more forces at work than the religious right in 2000. All Huck would have is the social conservative base.

Thoughts?

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  • oscar

    Huck is for real. He is a climber. There is the “buzz” around his campaign which is gathering increasing momentum.

    This poll under represents Huckabee’s support. He now has a legitimate shot at the nominataion

  • Eric

    I don’t think Huckabee stands up to scrutiny.
    I don’t think he will win Iowa, and I don’t think he will win New Hampshire. At this point, I think Huckabee is out of the race.

  • Don Hannaford

    I think Huck has a great shot at doing well in Iowa, and across the nation. He and Ron Paul seem to be the only 2 Republican candidates who have any grass roots support. Romney spent a ton of money and bussed in tons of people for the Iowa Straw Poll. I like the underdog this year. If Romney or Giuliani get the Republican nomination this year, I’m not even going to waste my time going to the polls to vote.

  • Angela

    The grassroot support is a key factor in this election. People have better access to participate in these campaigns for 2008. Paul and Huck have a better shot outside of their parties from this support; Paul especially appeals to non-Republicans who can’t often vote for him in primaries. A great litmus for this will be to watch how the Unity08 nomination unfolds. Voters there can nominate candidates from any party. The winner there will no doubt be the grassroots favorite.

  • Joel

    Huckabee is not out of the race! He is tied for 3rd place nationally, ahead of Mitt Romney. And he wouldn’t have the social conservative vote only. He has a broad appeal. He wins more debates, and the Democrats are scared of him. These is the type of comments you find on their discussion boards: “Huckabee scares me. He sounds intelligent and sane most of the time… He’s clearly the Republican candidate with the highest chance of winning in the general.” “This guy is good. Ridicule him all you want, he has an attractive product and he knows how to sell it. He almost had me convinced, he’s that good. He seems so reasonable. The only thing that saved me from becoming his supporter is my diehard dedication to rid this country of radical Republicanism.” “You want to know who the strongest GOP candidate would be, the one that would make me lose sleep at night? Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The guy is a scary good politician and the more Republican voters see him around the country, the more support he’ll get.”

  • Rob

    Isn’t he the candidate that doubts evolution in the face of all the facts? That’ll be a fun talking point if he gets the nod.