New Insider Advantage polls are out today for Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina — and it's all great news for Huckabee. Momentum has not ceased, it's increasing.
In Iowa the Governor polls at 13 percent, tying him for third with Fred Thompson and putting him ahead (still) of John McCain. In New Hampshire he polls at 8 percent, again tying with Thompson. In South Carolina he polls at 11 percent.
But those numbers are not the whole story. As Race 4 2008 points out:
According to Gallup’s recent party identification poll, men outnumber women at a 52 to 48% rate. In every one of the state polls released by Insider Advantage, they polled women at a higher rate than men by 53% to 47%. This tilts polls in favor of candidates that are favored by women.This means that Huckabee's numbers are actually higher than these latest polls show, because in each one he draws a higher percentage of the male vote.
This comes on the heels of another Iowa poll from Newsweek that also shows Huckabee ahead of McCain and virtually tied with Guiliani, the latest ABC/Washington Post poll that shows Huckabee at 8 percent nationally, his highest numbers to date.
Last month, a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed Huckabee and Romney nearly tied in respective head-to-head match-ups against Hillary. The poll also gave Huckabee the lowest negative ratings among all GOP candidates for President.
I believe endorsements are coming. Yesterday, Dobson wrote the following for an op-ed in the New York Times (HT: One Mom):
Speaking personally, and not for the organization I represent or the other leaders gathered in Salt Lake City, I firmly believe that the selection of a president should begin with a re-commitment to traditional moral values and beliefs. Those include the sanctity of human life, the institution of marriage, and other inviolable pro-family principles. Only after that determination is made can the acceptability of a nominee be assessed.This morning, in an article in the Washington Times, Don Wildmon of the American Family Association (sponsors of the Values Voter Debate) — who is considered "one of the two most influential evangelicals in the country" along with Dobson — is quoted:
Polls don’t measure right and wrong; The other approach, which I find problematic, is to choose a candidate according to the likelihood of electoral success or failure. Polls don’t measure right and wrong; voting according to the possibility of winning or losing can lead directly to the compromise of one’s principles. In the present political climate, it could result in the abandonment of cherished beliefs that conservative Christians have promoted and defended for decades. Winning the presidential election is vitally important, but not at the expense of what we hold most dear.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has backing of the leaders of many small-to-medium sized evangelical congregations and interest groups but not the most widely influential leaders like Mr. Wildmon and Mr. Dobson.Add all of this to the following facts:
"It would seem that Christian leaders could well rally around Mike Huckabee if they are in search of a candidate they like," said Republican election-law attorney Cleta Mitchell. "It isn't as though there isn't any candidate they could support."
Mrs. Mitchell supports no candidate but thinks Mr. Huckabee "is actually a pretty impressive candidate and is doing a credible job of making his presence felt in this race."
Mr. Wildmon agreed. "Could the social conservative leaders support Huckabee? Yes. Have they done so yet? No." He then added that he is "part of a group who have pledged not to go public to endorse anybody until the end of October."
- The campaign pulled in $160,000 in the first 3 days of the fourth quarter, with another large fundraiser on Sunday.
- According to the AP: "[Huckabee's] campaign is drawing more interest from donors, including a group of 100 pledging to raise $100,000 apiece." That's $10 million.
- Huckabee's poll numbers are rising in Michigan (6 percent) with a presidential debate coming up (i.e. Huckabee up, Thompson down).
- Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton both have said that Huckabee is the candidate with the best chance to break out and win the nomination.
- The Family Research Council Straw Poll is coming up, an opportunity for Huckabee to prove himself (again) the candidate for social conservatives.
- MeetUp.com is coming — jump-starting even more grassroots support for Huckabee. Bravo to Kevin Tracy.