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Huckabee Gunning for the Front-Runners

Huckabee, pheasant hunting in Iowa. (AP).

What to make of Mike Huckabee?

The former Arkansas governor has been treated, so far, like a second-tier candidate, thanks largely to his failure to raise money and his lack of name recognition outside of a National Governor's Association annual meeting.

But has that all changed? Has he become a legitimate, top-tier challenger for the Republican nomination? And, more importantly, are real voters flocking to his Christian populist message?

There is evidence that the answer to all three questions might be yes.

In Iowa, two polls have shown him surging into second place behind former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. And a strong second at that. A New York Times/CBS poll has him at 21 percent in Iowa, behind Romney's 27 percent.

Is that a real reflection of Huckabee's support among Republicans in the state?

Perhaps. Huckabee has basically moved his campaign to the state (see story) and believes that his support among white, evangelical voters will help him catch up to Romney's superior organization.

In a Washington Post-ABC News poll of likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers conducted earlier this year, 17 percent of protestant evangelicals said they supported Huckabee, just behind Romney. Huckabee has said money is now rolling in and is hoping to surprise everyone.

"In Iowa, people auction their cattle, but not their presidential candidates. It's not so much about how much money you spend. It's about whether your message is connecting with the people," Huckabee said on Fox News today. "Clearly the folks in Iowa are used to this process. They sort through the fluff and they get down to the stuff."

But polling in a caucus state can be unreliable, since someone's voting intention--communicated to a pollster--can change when they walk into a caucus, where their neighbors can try to persuade them.

Romney's aides are taking Huckabee seriously, since their entire strategy depends on Romney winning the Hawkeye State before heading to New Hampshire.

"Mike Huckabee's second place finish in Ames is just one indication of the strength of other campaigns in Iowa," wrote Romney spokesman Kevin Madden in an email briefing for reporters yesterday.

Madden was trying to raise expectations for Huckabee (and lower them for Romney). In the memo, he wrote that "don't forget: SOMEONE has to finish second in Iowa."

--Michael D. Shear

By Washington Post editors  |  November 14, 2007; 3:41 PM ET
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Mike Huckabee is not only skyrocketing in the polls, he is becoming a Rockstar celebrity! This guy knows how to move the crowd. Voters like the guy because of his 10 year Governor experience, voted by Time Magazine as one of the best ever and he has super dynamic speaking abilities the crowds just love.

He is the only canidate that has cross over appeal, wanting to take the American people up not just a hard left or hard right. And his fiscal policies are top notch, reducing taxes 94 times, wanting to bring back 10 trillion dollars parked off shore and wanting to increase "ALL" american's take home pay by 25%! This guy totally ROCKS!!!

The video link below shows his skyrocketing poll numbers that the media sources are reporting all over the place:

Posted by: vote4mikehuckabee | November 28, 2007 7:06 AM | Report abuse

The democrats will underestimate likeability to their own peril. The mean smug, condescending, know it all types are why the Democrats keep losing ...Bill Clinton was the only one of them that was ever likeable enough to win-I have to give him credit(although I didn't vote for him). My mom and Dad live in Ark..told me about Huckabee ..I thought his name and his lack of $ backing word hurt him ...but I am realizing those liablities are turing into assets-- peope are sick of the smug condescending types and if you trace it back ..alot of people vote on likeability.. People in politics who like to call names and brand people who disagee with them-will find that this will backfire on them(some democrats(see rolling stone article- VERY MEAN SPIRITED) would have been a great catholics back in the day- watch the MSM go on a witch hunt because he was a pastor...they will try to do their brand job and overlook that he was a Governor for 10 years!!!!! Longer than Hillary or Barack have been in office.
Go governor Huck!

Posted by: timklly747 | November 15, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse


Please people everywhere! do a little research, perhaps 30 min on a few google ought to do it.

I'm amazed no one in the media has grasped that yet.

As for using it against huckabee? not a valid argument since the theory is not even credible. i'm surprised no one has told huckabee this yet. but please someone do.

Posted by: MoniQue2 | November 15, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

what to make of Huckabee? do we really have to ask that?

of course he is going to win in iowa.

i'm an indenpendant and have voted republican and also democrat and i don't play their silly partisan games, nor am i interested in them. the dems are not very intelligent for picking of all people, hillary clinton, and then the republicans are acting the same by leaning towards giuliani. not a smart move on either side.

i can tell you this: there is only one candidate that can beat hillary: it's mike huckabee. he's got mass appeal for everyone of both sides and in between like me.

does anyone think for one minute that the scorned obama voters are going to vote for hillary if obama doesn't get the nomination?

if the replicians really despise hillary so much, they would see they have a secret weapon: huckabee.

huckabee would get major votes from both the dems AND the republicans.

mary madeline and the thompson ilk need to wake up to that.

i think they will see the checkmate soon enough. no one can beat hillary except mike huckabee.

not sure why the republicans are not seeing this. the democrats do.

Posted by: MoniQue2 | November 15, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes, there may be smear articles on the internet about Huckabee. Guess what? You can do "one lousy hour of research" on any one of the TOP TIER candidates, and find lots of vitriol.
Truth prevails over lies, and thus far, Mike has not shown himself to be mad or worried about any of these attacks. He just presents the truth. He knows it's a sign that his candidacy is beginning to soar.
Get ready for President Huckabee!

Posted by: all4Him | November 15, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Barrack Hussein Obama and/or Hillary Clinton CANNOT beat Huckabee! 'Huckabee is Lincolnesque': frugal beginnings, a great visionary, and a man of deep spiritual & moral conviction. He is also 'Reaganesque': a great communicator, iconic optimist, and a strong former governor. Huckabee will draw more conservative & moderate dems away from the democratic ticket than Reagan ever dreamed about. Mike Huckabee gives new meaning to the words 'Charm offensive'!

I Like Mike! He actually believes what he is saying. 'Flip Flop Romney' will say anything to get elected. Lets go James Dobson - Endorse this guy already!

HUCKAPPEAL! Pat Robertson can go sell insurance!

Posted by: bryantew | November 15, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I was very interested in him, but after one lousy hour of research on Arkansas news, I have some serious doubts. There are many public accusations of him receiving illegally large contributions from "The Lord's Ranch" which is a state funded religious school. Also, there seems to be a consensus that he gets mad if he doesn't get his way and many articles mention that he quashed investigations into his perks, etc. I knew he trusted religion over all science, but I don't want another zealot like Bush in there. Sorry, I'll wait for these stories to surface and clear to make up my mind.

Posted by: midwestmustang | November 15, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I feel the same way River. I'm a Democrat who wouldn't vote for Huckabee, but at least if he were in charge I could trust his judgement and instincts.

Posted by: thegribbler1 | November 15, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee is gaining momentum fast, but he needs more funds to be competitive. That's why I'm donating $100 for Children's Day, November 20th. Will you join me? Together we can win.

Posted by: gtb38 | November 15, 2007 12:21 AM | Report abuse

What a breath of fresh air this guy is, in these days of blow-dried, focus-grouped, spun-beyond-recognition fake hairpieces. It's also nice to see a self-professed Christian politician who is not only not hostile to the teachings of Jesus, but actually sees (gasp!) merit in them.

Posted by: B2O2 | November 14, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee has a message that all Americans would do well to consider. His ideas about health, education, social services, immigration, defense and other areas are all very progressive. He just might be the right man to lead this country.

Posted by: Andersod7 | November 14, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I am a democrat, and will vote that way, but I think Huckabee is a very interesting story, and am rooting for him to win Iowa and the nomination.

He just might beat whoever the democrats nominate/

Posted by: river845 | November 14, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I love Mike Huckabee. There's an honesty and genuineness that's very rare among politicians. When he speaks, I believe him, I trust him. When he's asked a question, he actually ANSWERS it as thoroughly as the setting allows. How refreshing! I believe as the rest of America gets to know him they will come to feel the same way that Iowa is beginning to feel about him.

Posted by: michaelLitz | November 14, 2007 8:32 PM | Report abuse

When a person has a message, even before having to buy one, and a refreshingly candid delivery - it is like a warm strong wind that expels winter.

This is, as far as I can tell, the case with the Huckabee campaign - and the stories of success that are being reported.

Posted by: commandr | November 14, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I just love it!!!! When people get to know Huckabee they Love him. It's only a matter of time and everyone will be talking about Huckabee winning the Presidential election.

Posted by: branam1 | November 14, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Huck is no trophy buck.There is not one cross hairs on him. His scatter gun [rifle] Is not the weapon of choice against an expert sharp shooter . It is a very bad day for Rudy with the Judith Regan story on all the MSM but Fox .The story is on the Drudge Report.

Posted by: chuckthetruck | November 14, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee seems to be one of the most likeable republican candidates. If he finishes second in Iowa, he will certainly be worth serious consideration for those searching for a GOP candidate.

Posted by: cel1ery | November 14, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Really, Mr Shear, you've just got to switch over to the Dem primary. I'll sign a petition if you like.

Posted by: zukermand | November 14, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

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