A columnist at the Kansas City Star is predicting that Huckabee will win Iowa or New Hampshire:
Stick this one in your bonnet: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will win either the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary.The Christian Post reported this morning on a new NAE survey which showed Huckabee leading among evangelical leaders:
Whaaaat? You’ve never heard of Huck?
Get him on your radar screen. Huckabee has supplanted John McCain as the hot GOP contender on the circuit these days. With the Republican field remaining a jumble, look for the unexpected to trump the expected.
Also this past week, the 30-million strong National Association of Evangelicals released a survey that showed Huckabee leading the list of 2008 presidential candidates in the October 2007 Evangelical Leaders survey.The NAE's press release showed Huckabee far ahead of the rest of the GOP field:
The survey questioned 100 members of the NAE board of directors that include heads of evangelical denominations with about 45,000 local churches, executives of para-church organizations and colleges.
When making a specific choice Huckabee was clearly the leader with Sam Brownback, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson tying for a distant second place.World Magazine has a great cover story on the Values Voters Summit in their upcoming November 3rd issue:
National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) President Leith Anderson: “Huckabee is a clear first choice but there is concern that he is too far behind in the polls to catch up. If he does well in the Iowa caucuses or early primaries then Evangelicals may suddenly rally to his support.”
Tricia Erickson runs a production company and consulting business, and she sat in on a closed-door meeting with evangelical leaders at the Washington conference to follow up on their recent Salt Lake City meeting.
Erickson told WORLD she couldn't discuss the content of the meeting but did say she expressed her concerns over Romney's Mormonism.
Another source who attended the meeting, but asked not to be identified by WORLD, said that while the group (Dobson, Perkins, and Bauer were not present at the meeting) did not unanimously settle on a candidate to back, most people in the room expressed interest in the candidate who drew the most buzz over the weekend: Mike Huckabee.
Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, was the last candidate to speak but drew the most enthusiastic response. The former Southern Baptist minister warned the group to remember that while some political matters are negotiable, others aren't: "the sanctity of human life, the definition of marriage, the purpose of our freedom, and the opportunity for us to worship as we please."
Huckabee called for a Federal Marriage Amendment as well as a constitutional amendment to protect the unborn. He also called for welfare reform that would not penalize recipients for getting married, and for repairing a tax code so broken "not even duct tape and WD-40 can fix it."
Huckabee, who acknowledges he has far less money and recognition than his top-tier opponents, ended with a plea not to allow "expediency or electability to replace our principles as the new value."
In a private meeting with supporters after his speech, Huckabee expressed frustration over Christian leaders' reticence to back him: "It's a little bit like a soldier who goes to war and his own army won't give him the supplies he needs to win."
But evangelicals at the conference handed Huckabee a huge win over the weekend: In a straw poll conducted by the FRC, Huckabee garnered 51 percent of those who voted on-site, swamping every other candidate. Romney trailed in second place with 10 percent of the on-site vote.
Eric Lupardus, a 20-year-old Huckabee supporter from Illinois, hopes that Huckabee's win in the FRC on-site straw poll will prompt more voters to coalesce behind the former governor, especially Christian leaders: "What they're looking for is right there in front of them."