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WaPo Iowa Poll: Women Heart Huckabee

With just two weeks left for the crucial Iowa caucuses, former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.) has surged into the lead in the state thanks in large part to his burgeoning support among women.

Huckabee leads former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.) 35 percent to 27 percent in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, a lead built on the 18-point edge Huckabee enjoys over Romney among women. In the past month alone, Huckabee's support among women has more than doubled from 22 percent to 45 percent and there are signs in the internals of the poll that suggest he has far more room to grow. Roughly 40 percent of women say that the more they find out about Huckabee the more they like him -- more than double the amount of women who like Huckabee less the more they know about him.

As Jon Cohen and I write in a story on the poll, it seems likely that Huckabee's rapid growth among female voters is tied in to his message of conservatism with a smile. Huckabee has entirely avoided negative attacks on the campaign trail, focusing instead on the need to bring people together and end the divisions that have riven the country. Women -- as well as the electorate more broadly -- have clearly responded.

The poll suggests that what was once a wide-open race in Iowa has narrowed to a two-person contest between Romney and Huckabee. No other candidate measured in double digits. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani took eight percent, a five point drop since the Post's last Iowa survey in November; former Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.), who sees a strong finish in Iowa as critical to his campaign's chances, took nine percent, a fall of six points over the last month.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 19, 2007; 5:11 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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