October 15, 2007

October 15th: Poll and News Round-Up

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Today's Rasmussen Presidential Tracking Poll shows Huckabee at 8 percent nationally, just 1 percent behind John McCain — and the highest level of support for Huckabee reported by Rasmussen so far. Unlike other candidates, he's going up.

When you consider this alongside the Gallup poll from last week, which showed Romney ahead of Huckabee by a mere 2 percent, it is incredible that people are so impressed with the fundraising record of Romney and McCain. Combined, these 2 candidates have spent more than 40 times as much as Huckabee, and yet he is on the verge of overtaking them in national polls.

Seacoast Online had some good things to say about Huckabee on Sunday:
Huckabee is a very popular former Republican governor of Arkansas (a rare species indeed), with no shortage of faith (a Baptist preacher), quips and potential political star power — it's not every presidential candidate who sits with a rock band and plays bass for an hour as Huckabee did recently in Londonderry.

He's also got plenty of brains ("big ideas") and a relaxing public composure that suggests "come to my revival tent and sit for a spell."

He's got a conservative populist perspective and has even risen to the level of getting that double-edged sword of legitimacy: favorable and respectful coverage from that dreaded mainstream media.

Huckabee is planning (and I do mean planning) to pull off the Hope, Ark., double, and follow in the footsteps of fellow Hopeite President Bill Clinton, which raises the question — just what is it about Hope as a presidential breeding ground?

But more importantly, Huckabee seems to me to represent the man of the hour for the Republican Party (yes, I know some would consider that faint praise), a seductively charismatic leader who could realize the GOP "big tent" ideal. With the exception of a few conservative heresies in terms of small tax hikes in Arkansas, Huckabee is pleasantly pro-life, anti-gay marriage, loves the Second Amendment, and sincerely questions the concept of evolution. He's on board for the most part with the GOP thinking on Iraq, the war on terror, Iran, and Guantanamo Bay (though he admits that not talking with bad guys is rather self-defeating).

Huckabee talks about renewable energy and education in life-changing rather than factory-delivery analogies. He's the only candidate in either party who talks consistently about wanting to enhance music and art programs as important for education, the economy and life. He also speaks in populist tones, which can frighten away Wall Street conservatives. At the debate in Michigan, he didn't buy the du jour GOP dogma that the economy is a golden river of fortune. It's going, in Huckabee vernacular, "not quite so swimmingly well."
And Jonathan Martin at Politico made the following insightful observation:
Social conservatives can stop looking for their perfect presidential candidate. There is one Republican who, given his credentials, would appear the likeliest to rally evangelicals and others on the Christian right.

He is resolutely anti-abortion, supports a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and is a man of deep faith. He has been elected — and reelected — to statewide office in a Democratic-leaning state.

And he’s right under their noses: Mike Huckabee.

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