November 30, 2007

Nov. 30: Huckabee News Roundup

Tonight, the Huckabee campaign met their November online fundraising goal of $2,067,521. This means they raised more money in the month of November than was raised online from the start of the campaign through October 31.

A new ARG Iowa poll shows Huckabee and Romney in a dead heat for 1st place (Huckabee 27% to Romney 28%). But here's the fascinating part:

56% of those saying they support Romney say their support is definite.
89% of those saying they support Huckabee say their support is definite.
And the Baltimore Sun has an interesting article about Huckabee's post-debate surge. Notice how Huckabee's numbers surge after viewers watch him debate, while the undecided numbers drop significantly and the other candidates remain static or lose support:
The narrative following the Republican presidential debate in St. Petersburg, Fla. has been that the greatest beneficiary of the debate was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Here's one more piece of evidence supporting that storyline.

HCD Research and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion showed segments of the Wednesday night debate to 637 Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Using their MediaCurves technology, which is essentially the dial-testing of voter perceptions over the Internet, they found that Huckabee experienced the largest, post-debate bounce.

If the Republican primary for the 2008 presidential candidate was held today, and you were asked to vote for a Republican, which candidate would you vote for?


Prior to viewing debate segments:

Rudy Giuliani - 30%
Mitt Romney - 12%
Mike Huckabee - 11%
Undecided - 29%

After viewing debate segments:

Rudy Giuliani - 28%
Mitt Romney - 11%
Mike Huckabee - 21%
Undecided - 24%


Prior to viewing debate segments:

Rudy Giuliani - 26%
Mitt Romney - 7%
Mike Huckabee - 5%
Undecided - 30%

After viewing debate segments:

Rudy Giuliani - 27%
Mitt Romney - 6%
Mike Huckabee - 15%
Undecided - 22%

Huckabee Endorsed by Georgia Right to Life

When the Georgia Right to Life organization explored the positions and voting records of the Republican candidates, they found just one man who combined both electability and a solid, consistent pro-life record: Mike Huckabee. Here's the press release from Insider Advantage Georgia:

Parting company with National Right To Life, which has endorsed Fred Thompson, Georgia Right To Life is giving its endorsement to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, the organization announced Friday.

The big issue for the Georgia group: Huckabee’s support of the proposed Human Life Amendment in Georgia, also known as the Paramount Right to Life Amendment.

“We appreciate and respect the pro-life positions of all pro-life candidates,” the Georgia group said in its statement. “We commend Rep. Duncan Hunter, Dr. Alan Keyes and Rep. Tom Tancredo for their strong pro-life positions, but find that Gov. Mike Huckabee is the only candidate which qualified under Georgia Right To Life PAC guidelines.

“We examined three factors in our decision to endorse Gov. Mike Huckabee: the positions of the candidates on the life issues, their records on the life issues and their ability to win.”

The Huckabee Surge in South Carolina

A new American Research Group poll for South Carolina has Huckabee in 3rd place at 18%, far ahead of Thompson and McCain:

Giuliani 23
Romney 21
Huckabee 18
Thompson 13
McCain 10
Paul 3

Tied for Second In New Hampshire

Rasmussen Reports has a new poll for New Hampshire, and Huckabee continues to surge ahead. The former Arkansas governor is now tied with Giuliani and McCain for second place:

In New Hampshire’s Republican Presidential Primary, the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey shows former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney with 34% support and a nineteen-point lead. Making the most of his home field advantage, Romney has steadily increased his lead from fifteen points earlier in November, nine-points in October and three-points in September.

The new primary election poll shows a virtual three-way tie for second place between former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Senator John McCain at 15% and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee at 14%. For Giuliani and McCain, those figures are a very slight dip from earlier in the month while Huckabee has gained four more percentage points.

Support for Romney and Huckabee in the current survey is the highest yet recorded in a Rasmussen Reports New Hampshire survey. For Giuliani, the 15% reflects his lowest level of support in the six New Hampshire primary election polls.

Huckabee attracts 39% of the Evangelical Christian vote in New Hampshire while Romney earns 20% support from that group.

Whether Huckabee is simply enjoying fifteen minutes of fame or has become a serious contender for the Republican nomination remains to be seen, but his campaign is certainly enjoying the ride at the moment. In September, his long-shot campaign attracted just 4% of New Hampshire voters and even less support nationally. Now, in addition to his strong showing in New Hampshire, the bass-guitar playing candidate is a frontrunner in Iowa and essentially tied for second nationally.

In September, Thompson earned 19% of the vote in New Hampshire. That has fallen to just 3% today.

In fact, Thompson now trails Ron Paul who earns 8% support in the latest poll.

November 29, 2007

Alex and Brett Mentioned on National TV

Quite to our amazement, Alex and Brett were mentioned tonight on the FOX News show On the Record with Greta Van Susteren -- with another mention on the Huckabee blog.

November 29: Huckabee News Roundup

Here's some more post-debate Huckabee buzz:

From the Des Moines Register:

Huckabee has come out of single digits to play in the big leagues of this campaign, and his good-natured performance Wednesday shows he can swing an oratorical bat with the best of them.

While other candidates fumbled around when dealing with biblical questions, Huckabee's background as a Baptist minister came in handy when he said that there are some things in the Bible no one can understand, so it's more important to follow the things that are understandable.

Huckabee also fended off an attack from Romney over Huckabee's plan to provide in-state tuition for children of undocumented workers in Arkansas.

Huckabee shot back that he worked his way through school and that the nation shouldn't punish children for what their parents did. "We're a better country than that," he said.

McCain criticized Huckabee's support for a national retail sales tax to replace the income tax, a proposal supporters call the Fair Tax. Huckabee observed later something his minister once told him: "When they are kicking you in the rear, it's just proves you are out front."

Later, when one questioner asked what Jesus would do about the death penalty, Huckabee said, "Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office, that's what Jesus would do."

Huckabee is rapidly becoming the hot story in the 2008 presidential campaign. After Wednesday night, he's likely to get a whole lot hotter.
From Real Clear Politics:
It is not about Iowa only any more. Mike Huckabee has a real shot to be the Republican nominee.

The GOP race is usually characterized as either a two-person contest (Giuliani vs. Romney) or a wide open field among the five viable candidates (Giuliani, Romney, Thompson, Huckabee and McCain). However, what we are fast approaching is a three-man race between Huckabee, Romney and Giuliani.

An important signal to watch for over the next month will be whether Huckabee overtakes Romney in the national polls leading up to Iowa. If that were to happen concurrently with Huckabee continuing to head toward a win in Iowa that would be an important tell that Republican voters are moving toward ultimately a Huckabee vs. Giuliani showdown.

Giuliani remains the favorite, but at 10-1 odds that would be a showdown that Mike Huckabee might just be able to win.
Big night for Mike Huckabee. On a night when many voters were looking at him in a different light thanks to the dramatic increase in attention the media's been giving him, he delivered big time. Unlike previous debates, he didn't open with a joke but instead sounded very presidential in his first answer; He had his share of one-liners, but he seemed to balance the funny with more presidential rhetoric.

Huckabee stepped up his game tonight. The rest of the field better be glad that the GOP debates end on Dec. 12, a full three weeks before the Iowa caucuses and that's enough time for his potentially dominant debate performances to fade from voter memories. Surprisingly, he didn't get attacked too much. Romney took a shot, but nothing too harsh (Iowa nice, right?). Most importantly for Huckabee, he'll likely be declared the winner of this debate by every member of the Amtrak Corridor media elite and that should get him some serious buzz. The question for the rest of the field: when will others begin to take him as a more serious threat.
From the Washington Post:
If candidate debates were any indicator, Mike Huckabee would be entering the month of December as the front-runner for the Republican nomination.

On stage with his rivals in St. Petersburg Wednesday night, Huckabee once again demonstrated a mastery of the moment that none of the others could match. He had the night’s most memorable lines, as has often been the case, mixing humor with a facility to think on his feet under pressure.

But more than that he appeared totally comfortable in his own conservative skin -- enough to say he does believe that every word in the Bible is the literal truth or to remind Mitt Romney that the children of illegal immigrants should not be punished for the crimes of their parents.

NY Daily: Don't Look Now, But Huckabee's Rising

Michael Goodwin of the New York Daily News has a great article on Huckabee's strong debate performance and recent surge in support:

Huck is rising, and now we know why.

News reports that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is sprinting toward the front of the Republican pack have provoked lots of head-scratching and questions of "Who?" But anyone who watched Wednesday night's debate now understands much better who he is and why he is suddenly the GOP man to watch.

Huckabee demonstrated a smooth, folksy style and a sharp mind. He was funny, bright and direct. He was the only one who could answer a question about which agency he would abolish - the IRS, because he favors a form of national sales tax.

The former Baptist minister's defense of the death penalty while expressing anguish over how hard it was to sign off on executions made him seem both tough and human.

It didn't hurt that, a minute later, he was quoting the Bible. There were times when he could have sold snake oil to the audience - he was that good.

Of course, Huckabee could be getting a boost just because nobody else in the field has closed the deal. Even so, his timing is impeccable. Peaking just as voters are making up their minds is how you pull an upset early, then build on it in later states. Stranger things have happened.

And Huckabee's opponents clearly are flawed. Those flaws were on display Wednesday night.


All of which means now is shaping up as Huckabee's best chance. If he can seize it the way he did last night, there soon won't be any doubts about who he is.

Post-Debate Polls Show Dramatic Huckabee Win

Polls taken following the CNN/YouTube debate by Insider Advantage and the Florida Chamber of Commerce revealed a convincing win for Governor Huckabee in both Florida and Iowa -- two critical early states:

The Florida survey conducted with the Florida Chamber of Commerce showed the following results:

Huckabee: 44%
Giulani: 18%
Romney: 13%
McCain: 10%
Thompson: 5%
Paul: 4%
Hunter: 1%
Tancredo: 1%
Rest: undecided

The survey of 341 Republicans who stated they were undecided, intended to watch the debate and agreed to phone in their opinion immediately after the ending was weighted for age and gender. It has a margin of error of +/- 6%.

A survey of Iowa Republicans of over 1,035 Iowa Republicans taken in the last twenty minutes of the debate showed Huckabee the winner in that state as well. The numbers virtually mirrored Florida. They were:

Huckabee: 32%
Romney: 16%
Giuliani: 12%
McCain: 10%
Thompson: 7%
Paul: 6%
Tancredo: 2%
Hunter: 0%
Rest: undecided

Interestingly, the Iowa poll did not survey only undecided voters. Yet, both a survey of undecided voters in Florida and a general survey in Iowa showed Huckabee the winner.

In the media Spin Room, most of the major candidates were left with little if any media attention as virtually all print and broadcast media circled Governor Huckabee.

YouTube Debate Round-Up

Another impressive debate win for Governor Huckabee. Below are just some of the post-debate reviews:

CBS News:

But Huckabee, who has distinguished himself in the debates all year, turned in the strongest performance of the evening at a time when he’s beginning to become a force in the race. Time and time again, Huckabee stood out, giving thoughtful and eloquent answers to questions about immigration, taxes, the death penalty and the bible, which for an ordained Baptist minister is a familiar subject. He also once again delivered the best punch lines. When asked what Jesus would do in regards to the death penalty, Huckabee said, “Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office.”

Generally it’s not easy to declare true winners and losers in these debates, but there’s no doubt that Huckabee made the most headway. As his campaign – smaller, lesser funded and out-organized – struggles to capitalize on the sudden surge he’s seen in the polls, this nationally televised debate allowed him to reintroduce himself to GOP primary voters. And he did not disappoint.

Jim Geraghty, NRO:

[T]ime and again, he’s the smoothest, funniest, most natural campaigner on the stage, and that goes a long way. He saved the rest of the field on the question about whether they believe every word of the Bible, and had the line on the night, saying Jesus was too smart to run for office.

Byron York, NRO:

[Huckabee] has helped himself more than any other candidate on stage tonight. He's clearly on the rise in Iowa and South Carolina, and perhaps elsewhere, and my guess is that people who are considering supporting him liked what they saw tonight.

Patrick Ruffini, Townhall:

Huckabee actually won. I wasn't a fan of his previous debate performances, but he dialed down the schtick. This was a debate performance he needed at a critical time.

Erick, RedState:

Mike Huckabee scored the debate points on rhetoric and is the winner of this debate. He did really well. He showed up Romney. He showed up Rudy.

Ankle Biting Pundit:

Mike Huckabee continues to impress, and comes off as the most genuine guy up there. He’s obviously a darling of social conservatives (for good reason) but doesn’t come close to being the MSM stereotype of a “wacky preachy religious guy”. His answer on why it’s impossible to understand the Bible was pure genius. On substance he’s a great salesman for the Fair Tax. I’m not quite sure I’m on board with it, but it does intrigue me, in large part because something about Huckabee makes me trust him and the decisions he makes.

He also gave a good answer to whether he would accept support from the Log Cabin Republicans (”I’ll accept anyone’s support, but I won’t change my views just to get it. We can disagree on things but still support each other on others”).

I also get another vibe from Huckabee. I’m not a very religious guy, and the subject usually bores me, and I can’t stand people who constantly talk about it, because it just turns me off. But I think Huckabee is the kind of guy who you could sit down and talk to about religion that would get you to start thinking positively about religion and get yhou to make it a bigger part of your life, not by bashing you over the head with it, but just getting you to think about its role in your life. Not that I’m at all interested in that (although I should be), I’m just saying I could see him being that kind of guy.

Captain's Quarters:

Now, who won among the candidates? I'd have to lean towards Mike Huckabee. He steered clear of personal attacks, allowed his natural personality to emerge, and used his sense of humor to great effect. If people wonder why Huckabee has made a major move in Iowa, they saw why.

David Brody, CBN:

[I]t was Mike Huckabee who may have had the best night.

Put aside the issues for a moment. Don’t you get the sense that Huckabee comes across as an extremely effective communicator? Whether you agree with him or not, it seemed like every issue he talked about Wednesday had a well thought out, coherent argument behind it. When he speaks, the tone and words flow harmoniously. I mean his answer about the Bible being the word of God came across as humble, accurate and inclusive. Hard to do. On a question about “What would Jesus do” when it comes to the death penalty, Huckabee’s answer was heartfelt conflict yet strong. And then this line of the debate: “Jesus was too smart to run for public office!” Even on the tricky question of whether he’ll accept the endorsement of the gay Log Cabin Republicans group, Huckabee said that he needs all the help he can get. So sure he’ll accept but won’t change his position on same sex marriage. He even said he wants to be that group’s President and everybody’s President. Good answer, right? Or how about the line about space exploration when he said, “Maybe Hillary can be on the first rocket to Mars.”

Huckabee really didn’t come under attack tonight. At one point Mitt Romney got on him for Huckabee’s desire to see the children of illegal immigrants get tax payer funded money for college but Huckabee’s answer came across as compassionate and reasonable. He didn’t get harmed. It was a night where Huckabee could have been a major target. Instead, he continues to move right along. He’s tied for first in Iowa and you can see why after tonight’s performance. His eloquence on stage is what he’s doing on the campaign trail everyday.

Miami Herald:

The debate could mark a pivotal moment for Huckabee, whose confident performance and hefty air time reflects his recent surge in polls in Iowa and Florida.

He came across as affable and sincere. Asked what Jesus would do with the death penalty, the ordained Baptist minister and former governor said he was the only one on stage who had had to order an execution.

''I believe there is a place for the death penalty,'' he said. ''Some crimes are so heinous, so horrible that the only response that we, as a civilized nation, have for a most uncivil action is not only to try to deter that person . . . but also [to give] a warning to others.'' But what would Jesus do? ''Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office,'' he quipped.

Huckabee, who barely registered in most polls until recently, topped a post-debate survey of 340 undecided Republican voters in Florida, conducted by Insider Advantage and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Huckabee got 44 percent, compared to Giuliani with 18 percent and Romney with 13 percent.

Political Radar, ABC News:

[T]he biggest night belonged to Mike Huckabee. At a moment when many voters are just tuning in, and hearing about this Huckabee guy, he turned in a really strong performance, showing flashes of humor, and defusing tough questions. I thought going in that he would have a rough evening, but he really soared.


If you had walked into last night’s GOP YouTube Debate without any preconceived notions or exposure to the campaign so far, you might well have thought that Mike Huckabee was the clear GOP frontrunner. He tuned down some of his harder Christianist positions and played the inclusive card while confidentially displaying the executive style he developed as Arkansas governor.

Rolling Stone:

Huckabee was on tonight. Love him or hate him, he’s comfortable in his own skin, he doesn’t have Romney’s deer-in-headlights moments where he’s trying to hone in on the least-offensive answer. He knows where he stands and speaks with confidence about positions he knows some people hate.

November 28, 2007

Surging in South Carolina

The new Clemson University Palmetto poll reveals a tightening race in South Carolina, with Huckabee in 3rd place, just 4 points behind frontrunner Mitt Romney. Huckabee's support (13%) has more than doubled since the last Clemson poll in late August:

In the Republican contest, Mitt Romney (17 percent) and Fred Thompson (15 percent) are within the margin of error of the poll. The surprising third place candidate was the fast-closing Mike Huckabee (13 percent) with John McCain next at 11 percent. Huckabee is the most improved candidate in the GOP field since the last Palmetto Poll in August of 2007, rising to “top tier” status in South Carolina. The candidate who has lost the most momentum is Rudy Giuliani (9 percent) who has dropped from being a leader in August to a trailing fifth now.

Huckabee is a Fiscal Conservative

From Dick Morris on Real Clear Politics:

As Mike Huckabee rises in the polls, an inevitable process of vetting him for conservative credentials is under way in which people who know nothing of Arkansas or of the circumstances of his governorship weigh in knowingly about his record. As his political consultant in the early '90s and one who has been following Arkansas politics for 30 years, let me clue you in: Mike Huckabee is a fiscal conservative.

A recent column by Bob Novak excoriated Huckabee for a "47 percent increase in state tax burden." But during Huckabee's years in office, total state tax burden -- all 50 states combined -- rose by twice as much: 98 percent, increasing from $743 billion in 1993 to $1.47 trillion in 2005.

In Arkansas, the income tax when he took office was 1 percent for the poorest taxpayers and 7 percent for the richest, exactly where it stood when he left the statehouse 11 years later. But, in the interim, he doubled the standard deduction and the child care credit, repealed capital gains taxes for home sales, lowered the capital gains rate, expanded the homestead exemption and set up tax-free savings accounts for medical care and college tuition.

Most impressively, when he had to pass an income tax surcharge amid the drop in revenues after Sept. 11, 2001, he repealed it three years later when he didn't need it any longer.

He raised the sales tax one cent in 11 years and did that only after the courts ordered him to do so. (He also got voter approval for a one-eighth-of-one-cent hike for parks and recreation.)

He wants to repeal the income tax, abolish the IRS and institute a "fair tax" based on consumption, and opposes any tax increase for Social Security.

And he can win in Iowa.

When voters who have decided not to back Rudy Giuliani because of his social positions consider the contest between Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, they will have no difficulty choosing between a real social conservative and an ersatz one.

Romney, who began as a pro-lifer and switched in order to win in Massachusetts, and then flipped back again, cannot compete with a lifelong pro-lifer, Huckabee.

But Huckabee's strength is not just his orthodoxy on gay marriage, abortion, gun control and the usual litany. It is his opening of the religious right to a host of new issues. He speaks firmly for the right to life, but then notes that our responsibility for children does not end with childbirth. His answer to the rise of medical costs is novel and exciting. "Eighty percent of all medical spending," he says, "is for chronic diseases." So he urges an all-out attack on teen smoking and overeating and a push for exercise not as the policies of a big-government liberal but as the requisites of a fiscal conservative anxious to save tax money.

Huckabee Leads in Iowa Poll

From the Rasmussen Report's latest Iowa poll:

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the Iowa caucus finds former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee with 28% of the vote, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney with 25% support, and everyone else far behind. National frontrunner Rudy Giuliani gets just 12% of the vote in Iowa at this time while former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson is the only other candidate in double digits at 11%.

Given the margin of error, the challenges of determining the relatively small number of people who will participate in a caucus, and other factors, the race is far too close to call at this point in time. However, the fact that Romney is no longer the clear frontrunner in Iowa reflects a stunning change in the race.

Compared to our prior survey, the trend is unmistakable—Huckabee has gone up and just about everybody else has gone down. Huckabee’s 28% support represents a twelve point increase from a Rasmussen Reports poll conducted earlier in the month. Romney is down four points while Giuliani and Thompson are each down three points from the previous survey. John McCain is down two points and earns just 4% support. Ron Paul picked up a point and is now at the 5% level.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of Evangelical Christians support Hucakbee. That’s more than all the other candidates combined. Romney attracts 16% of the Evangelical vote.

November 27, 2007

Huckabee Surging in Florida

From the Real Clear Politics blog:

There's a new Insider Advantage poll out for the GOP primary in Florida showing a huge surge for Mike Huckabee:

Giuliani 26 (-7 vs. 10/19 poll)
Huckabee 17 (+9)
McCain 13 (+4)
Romney 12 (-5)
Thompson 9 (-4)
Paul 3 (na)

November 26, 2007

The Most Electable Candidate

Mike Huckabee is the GOP's best bet to beat Hillary Clinton in the general election, according to a Zogby poll released today. In an online survey of over 9000 likely voters, Huckabee received 44% to Clinton's 39%, the biggest lead among all of the Republican candidates. In a Clinton matchup with Romney or Giuliani the race becomes tighter, both GOP candidates with a narrow lead of 43% to 40%.

A new Zogby Interactive survey shows Democrat Hillary Clinton of New York would lose to every one of the top five Republican presidential contenders, representing a reversal of fortune for the national Democratic front–runner who had led against all prospective GOP opponents earlier this year.

The online survey included 9,150 likely voters nationwide, and was conducted Nov. 21–26, 2007. It carries a margin of error of +/– 1.0 percentage points.

November 25, 2007

November 25: Huckabee News Roundup

Roger Simon has a good article about Huckabee at Politico:

It is not easy to say just who the Republican front-runner is right now.

The candidate leading in the early states, Mitt Romney, is not doing well in national polls.

And the candidate doing well in national polls, Rudy Giuliani, is not doing well in the early states.

One candidate is surging, however, both in the national polls and in Iowa, where the first votes in the nation will be cast on Jan. 3.

That candidate is Mike Huckabee, and because he is doing so well he has left that pleasant zone called “attention” and has entered that less pleasant one called “scrutiny.”

“The surge for Huckabee is remarkable in size and intensity alike,” said Gary Langer, director of polling for ABC. “He’s attracted not just support, but enthusiastic support from core Republican groups including conservatives, evangelicals and strong abortion opponents.”

Whoever the front-runner is right now, it is not Mike Huckabee, but he says not being ahead of the pack is a good place to be. He knows all about timing.

A marathon runner, he once told me about those who break from the pack too early and hit the wall before reaching the finish line.

“You can go out too quick, too early,” he said. “Those are the ones I pass.”
The Concord Monitor has an interesting piece about Huckabee's early days:
"He was very serious about his faith, but he was also a fun guy to be around," said Rick Caldwell, who shared a room with Huckabee freshman year. "He was never a religious stick in the mud."

In college, Huckabee was organized and driven, finishing in just over two years. He worked afternoons at a local radio station, something he'd done since he was 14, and pastored a tiny Baptist church to help pay his tuition. That spring, he married his high school sweetheart, 18-year-old Janet McCain.

Caldwell recalled Huckabee's early political ambitions.

"We used to sit in the dorm room and talk about what we wanted to do, around our popcorn popper," he said. "He said, 'What I'd like to do is help Christian people get involved in making our nation better.' "

But Huckabee's first stump speech would have to wait. After working in Christian communications for a few years after college, Huckabee was asked to head Immanuel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, Ark.

Soon after arriving in 1980, Huckabee dove into the community.

"Everybody knew Mike Huckabee," said Dewayne Tanton, director of the Harmony Baptist Association, an organization of area churches. "He meant a whole lot to Pine Bluff while he was here."

Television was a big reason why. In both Pine Bluff and Texarkana, where Huckabee went to preach in 1986, he hosted a show called Positive Alternatives. In Pine Bluff, it was a 30-minute weekly spot that focused on community events. It aired on the church's station, Channel 65, "The Channel with a Heart."

Huckabee was comfortable on camera and made others feel the same.

"He made you feel better about yourself," Tanton said. "On the show, he interviewed different churches. Any pastor could come on . . . and talk about upcoming programs. If it was the Christmas musical, he'd ask what musical you were doing, who wrote it, how many are in the choir."

But the show wasn't all religious. It also covered the local Little League, and it featured cancer telethons and events at the mayor's office. Huckabee believed that being a good Christian meant more than just going to Bible study, congregants said. It meant taking your kids to ball games and the county fair.
And Tech President says Huckabee is running the best web campaign, making mention of Huck's Army among other things:
Mike Huckabee's campaign has the most effective online operation of any of the candidates.

He has the best use of video in the year that YouTube matters the most. He is the only candidate consistently--every day--sharing user-created videos on his blog, the videos that many predicted would dominate this election. The user-created videos are far more irreverent (even tweaking Huckabee himself) than videos other campaigns will share, and they are far more interesting. They compare Huckabee to other candidates directly, mashup images and music. And the videos are popular enough to make people return--and then create their own.

He encourages independent action. He encourages people to go to Meetup. He encourages the growth of Huck's Army (a very active independent Huckabee forum).

All of this has led to massive rise in traffic (now well above Clinton's and Obama's, only lower than Ron Paul's). And like Ron Paul's supporters' use of the internet, it is helping him in the polls and in support around the country. Unlike Ron Paul, the "help" may lead to winning key states and the primary.

He has shown a sustained effort at using the web as a tool for empowering people, and it shows. So has Ron Paul, but Huckabee is a more important example for many, because it is Huckabee's team--not the supporters--who have led the charge on this.
Read the whole article...

Tied for Second on Super Tuesday

On February 5, often called "Super Tuesday", 20 states will hold Primaries or Caucuses. Rasmussen has done some polling in the February 5 states, and they find Huckabee tied with Fred Thompson in 2nd place, leading both McCain and Romney.

In states holding Primaries or Caucuses on February 5, the races for the Republican and Democratic Presidential nominations look broadly similar to the competition on a national level.

In the race for the Republican Presidential nomination, Rudy Giuliani attracts 27% in the February 5 states and holds a double digit lead. Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee are tied for second with 14% support. Arizona Senator John McCain is close behind at 11% while former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney earns the vote from 10% of Likely Primary Voters in these states. Texas Congressman Ron Paul is supported by 4%.

These results are based upon survey interviews conducted for the two weeks ending November 21. Voter preferences in the February 5 states may shift dramatically based upon what happens in the early voting states.

States participating in the February 5 festivities include Alabama, Alaska (caucuses), Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado (caucuses), Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho (Dem primary), Illinois, Minnesota (caucuses), Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico (Dem caucuses), New York, North Dakota (caucuses), Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah.

November 23, 2007

November 23: Huckabee News Roundup

In a poll released by The Economist this week, Huckabee, McCain and Romney are statistically tied for 3rd place in the nation:

Giuliani 28
Thompson 22
McCain 11
Huckabee 10
Romney 10
Paul 5
Among Republicans, Huckabee was viewed as somewhat or very conservative by 73%, closely trailing Thompson by 4 points but ahead of Romney by 4.

Huckabee was described by Republican primary voters as the most honest candidate among the top-tier candidates:
Huckabee 57
McCain 54
Thompson 53
Romney 48
Giuliani 43
64% of Republicans said Huckabee says what he believes, compared to just 41% for Romney.

Canada's National Post had a colorfully descriptive piece today on Huckabee:
He's a former 300-pound governor of Arkansas who looks like a bit like Gomer Pyle and plays bass guitar in a rock band that covers Bachman-Turner Overdrive tunes. He denounces "Wall Street Republicans," has been branded a "tax-hike liberal" and has a soft spot for Bill Clinton.

His most famous supporters include mullet-headed TV tough guy Chuck Norris and Ric Flair, a former pro wrestler famous for wearing feather boas and sequined bathrobes into the ring.

So, just what exactly is Mike Huckabee doing in the Republican presidential race? Answer: Running second in Iowa, and scaring the heck out of Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Huckabee has clawed his way into the top tier of GOP candidates, and he's done it by running one of the most unconventional presidential campaigns since Ross Perot.

The 52-year-old Arkansan, an ordained Baptist preacher, quotes Biblical passages as easily as he does Aerosmith lyrics.

At a time when Republicans are struggling to find their voice for the post-Bush era, Huckabee preaches a folksy populist message that says poverty, the environment and child hunger should be bedrock conservative issues.

"Huckabee has successfully positioned himself as the choice for Christian conservatives in the state," says Peverill Squire, a University of Iowa political scientist.

"I am not surprised that Huckabee is being well-received by Iowa Republicans, but I am amazed that he has been able to do so well without spending much time or money in the state."

November 22, 2007

Washington Time: Word-of-Mouth Boosts 'Huck'

A great article in the Washington Times on Huckabee's support:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has gone from near zero to a statistical tie for first in polls of Iowa Republicans, not because of a superior organization or from spending money, but because of a tactic few candidates can copy: Religious word-of-mouth.

"He hasn't used direct mail and his very first commercial is airing on TV now," Iowa Republican Party executive director Chuck Laudner said. "The word on Huck is being spread by the news media, on the Internet — and the faith community is pushing Huck by word of mouth, phone trees, e-mail and also through caucus training sessions that occur all over the state."

The cause aspect of Mr. Huckabee's appeal extends beyond the intense loyalty of his evangelical Protestant supporters to secular conservatives and some Republican centrists, Mr. Laudner said.

The other Iowa Republican leader agreed with Mr. Laudner, saying that in candidate debates, speeches and interviews, Mr. Huckabee conveys the image of a genuine foe of abortion and homosexual "marriage" who nonetheless "doesn't shove his views down people's throats" and speaks compassionately about homosexuals and immigrants.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has similar views but, according to a former Iowa Republican operative who is neutral in the race, "working for Romney was a way to be against John McCain while waiting for a white knight. Some thought it would be Fred Thompson; that didn't turn out. And for many, Romney is purely a job. Huckabee is a cause."

A month after coming in second behind Mr. Romney in the Aug. 11 Iowa Republican straw poll, Mr. Huckabee was still polling at just 4 percent in some surveys of likely Iowa GOP caucus-goers. But the campaign of the former Arkansas governor has since taken off.

In the Real Clear Politics survey of six polls since early November, Mr. Huckabee is second in all of them and averages 20.3 percent, behind Mr. Romney's 27.8 percent and ahead of former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani in third at 13.7 percent. In two of the more-recent samples — an ABC News/Washington Post poll and an American Research Group survey — Mr. Huckabee trails Mr. Romney by just 4 percentage points and 2 percentage points, respectively, less than the polls' error margins.

The internal numbers on "enthusiasm" in the ABC News/Washington Post survey, taken Nov. 14-18, are even more encouraging for the Huckabee camp. Fifty percent of his supporters are "very enthusiastic" about him, 48 percent say their support is "definite" and just 26 percent say there's a "good chance" they will shift candidates. By contrast, 28 percent of Romney backers are "very enthusiastic," 29 percent are "definite" supporters and 42 percent say there is a "good chance" they will change their minds.

Also nationally, Mr. Huckabee is now more than the blip on the radar screen he was for so long. A Zogby poll shows him at 11 percent, behind Mr. Thompson's 15 percent and Mr. Giuliani's 29 percent, but ahead of Mr. Romney at 9 percent.

Read the whole article...

November 21, 2007

Huckabee the Most Reagan-Like Candidate

Every GOP presidential candidate designates himself as the next Ronald Reagan. But although Reagan is often invoked by the other front-runners, it is Mike Huckabee who is the closest match to the Gipper. So says author and political observer Nicholas Wapshott, in an interview with One News Now:

A British author and political observer has written a new book that compares the current Republican presidential candidates to the one they want to be compared to -- Ronald Reagan.

Nicholas Wapshott, founding editor of London's Times, recently published a book called Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher: A Political Marriage. Wapshott has spent a great deal of time comparing the current top-tier GOP candidates to the Reagan model and says former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani falls far short, while Fred Thompson, John McCain, and even Mitt Romney have some Reagan characteristics. But Wapshott says former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is the closest match -- especially in one important category.

"Like Reagan, he is a true Christian. He has very sure principles. I mean, he's a Baptist minister," says Wapshott. "In the same way ... Reagan learned many of his core values in his family and from his mother's church. [Reagan's] mother was from the Disciples of Christ [denomination] in Dixon, Illinois, where Ronald Reagan learned all his fundamental beliefs."

The author believes Huckabee would be much different than the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

"Look at the way that he is so different from Hillary Clinton, too. Huckabee is an open-hearted, honest-looking, and honest-sounding regular sort of guy -- so very different from that sort of chilly calculation that you get from Mrs. Clinton," he points out. "So he might turn out to be actually a very good national candidate."

Wapshott believes that like Reagan, Huckabee has great communication skills. He adds that Huckabee, whom he describes as "spectacularly underestimated," has the ability to "come right through" television screens and make the viewers feel as though he is talking directly to them -- another skill he says Reagan had.

November 21: Huckabee News Roundup

Rasmussen's latest national poll has Huckabee tied for 2nd place nationally:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows a three-way tie for second behind national frontrunner Rudy Giuliani in the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination. Giuliani attracts 24% support from Likely Republican Primary voters nationwide while Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee are each preferred by 13% of Likely Primary Voters. John McCain is close behind at 11%, Ron Paul's is at 6% and no other Republican candidate reaches 2%.
The latest Zogby/Reuters national poll shows Huckabee in 3rd place, ahead of Romney and McCain.
Giuliani 29
Thompson 15
Huckabee 11
Romney 9
McCain 9
Paul 5

A growing number of Republicans, 21 percent, said they have not made up their mind, leaving room for more changes in the field. The shifting numbers, after months of a relatively static race, could indicate voters around the country are beginning to pay attention to the 2008 race, Zogby said.

"There is a real fluidity to both races," he said.
And Huckabee has also surged into third place in South Carolina. According to the latest Rasmussen poll, Huckabee is up 9 points from September, with 12% of the vote:
Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson are tied for the lead in South Carolina's Republican Presidential Primary.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds both men earning 21% of the vote from Likely Primary Voters. That’s a big change from September when Thompson was on top with support from 24% and Romney trailed the frontrunner by nine percentage points.

Trailing the two leaders are Rudy Giuliani at 13%, Mike Huckabee at 12%, John McCain at 9%, and Ron Paul at 8%.
ABC News has a good article covering the Huckabee surge in Iowa:
Propelled by little more than his message and political skills, Republican presidential contender former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has vaulted into a statistical dead heat for first place in crucial, first-in-the-nation caucus state Iowa, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Huckabee's surge is equal parts size and intensity, having gained considerable ground among key parts of the GOP base in the Hawkeye state — evangelicals, conservatives, weekly churchgoers and abortion opponents — with 50 percent of his supporters "very enthusiastic" about him, compared with 28 percent of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's supporters.

The affable underdog achieved all this on a shoestring budget with little national infrastructure and close to no support from the Republican establishment.

"The people of Iowa are pretty savvy when it comes to politics," Huckabee told ABC News in an interview. "They are folks who, you know, they auction their cattle, but not their presidential candidates. And so just because somebody's gone in there and spent a bunch of money doesn't necessarily mean the people of Iowa say, 'He's my guy.'"

Huckabee, who placed second in the Iowa Straw Poll in August, suggested that for the last "11 months, everybody's been writing my political obituary each month, saying, 'He can't go on, he can't go on, he doesn't have enough money.' And here I am, tied. I mean, that's not supposed to happen. But it's happening because Americans are electing a president, not somebody who's going to head the fundraising for the United Way."

November 20, 2007

Tied for First in Iowa

A Washington Post-ABC News poll released today shows Huckabee statistically tied with Romney for first place in Iowa:

Romney 28
Huckabee 24
Thompson 15
Giuliani 13
McCain 6
Paul 6

Key elements of the Republican base are coalescing around Mike Huckabee in Iowa, lifting this comparatively little-known candidate to the first rank in the first state to cast votes in the 2008 presidential contest.

The surge for Huckabee is remarkable in size and intensity alike. He's attracted not just support but enthusiastic support, from core Republican groups including conservatives, evangelicals and strong abortion opponents.

Huckabee's support in Iowa has gone from 8 percent in an ABC News/Washington Post poll in late July to 24 percent now, up threefold. Mitt Romney has 28 percent support, essentially unchanged from 26 percent in July. With sampling error, they're about even.

FIRED UP – And Huckabee supporters are fired up. Fifty percent say they're "very enthusiastic" about supporting him, compared with just 28 percent of Romney's. Similarly, 48 percent of Huckabee supporters are "definitely" for him; that applies to just 29 percent of Romney's. Indeed, 42 percent of Romney's supporters say there's a "good chance" they may change their minds; among Huckabee's, that falls to 26 percent.

Looking at it another way, among likely caucus-goers who are "very enthusiastic" about their choice, Huckabee leads Romney by 37-25 percent. Among those who say they've definitely made up their minds, 34 percent support Huckabee, 24 percent Romney. That makes for a better turnout profile for Huckabee.

Tied for Second in Texas

A new IVR Texas poll finds Huckabee tied for second place with Fred Thompson.

Giuliani 23
Huckabee 16
Thompson 16
Romney 12
McCain 9
Paul 5

November 19, 2007

New Endorsements: Zig Ziglar & Jerry Jenkins

Zig Ziglar is an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker/ teacher who has written 26 books. He is founder of Ziglar, Inc, which is built upon the same philosophy he expounds to his audiences – hard work, common sense, fairness, commitment and integrity. Ziglar is an active member of Prestonwood Church in Dallas, Tex.

“I’m excited to be supporting Mike Huckabee for president of the United States. I’ve observed him throughout his political career and believe he is the best representative of the conservative movement on the American political scene,” Ziglar said. “I will be encouraging all voters to look closely and seriously at Mike Huckabee, the man I believe will best represent the values and beliefs of conservative Americans.”

Jerry Jenkins is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 170 books. He owns the film making company, Jenkins Entertainment, and the Christian Writers Guild. He is former vice president of the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago and now serves on its board of trustees. In 2003 he was named for the second straight year as the forty-second most powerful person in entertainment by Entertainment Weekly.

“This is the first time I have ever publicly endorsed a candidate, that's how strongly I feel about Mike Huckabee,” Jenkins said. “I resonate with his values and personal character and believe he is the kind of man who can guide the country through difficult times.”


November 18, 2007

TV Ad: "Chuck Norris Approved"

This ad is sweeping the blogosphere and being played (for free) nationally by major networks. A terrific start for a whole slew of future ads. Go to YouTube, give it a five-star rating, save it as a favorite, and leave a positive comment. Click here.

Here is a letter from Governor Mike Huckabee:

This morning on Fox News Sunday I previewed the first of our television ads for Iowa.

The ad can be found here on our website.

Chuck Norris and I filmed the television spot a few weeks ago. I hope you enjoy it. Reaching new voters and reminding folks that politics doesn't have to be a bloodsport were some of our goals for this first ad. Running for President is serious business, but I am not afraid to have some fun while I am doing it. We also hope this ad will create some buzz about the campaign and draw people to our website to learn more about where I stand on the issues.

The media buy we put behind the ad is $60,000. A small amount targeted towards key areas of Iowa. If you would like to see this ad played statewide and in other states such as New Hampshire and South Carolina, I encourage you to make a contribution now. When you contribute $1 (a buck for Huck!), $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, $1000, $2300 you will give us the money we need to expand the reach of this ad and develop more traditional, issue based ads.

So please make a contribution today and spread the word about our first ad.

As I said this is the first of our television ads. Thanks to your financial support we will have many more that we will be able to air. THANK YOU!

Help us spread the word about our campaign. Contribute $1(a buck for Huck), $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 or even $1,000 today!

I will have another email update for you soon.

With deep gratitude,

Mike Huckabee

IMPORTANT: Donate on November 20th

If you have not yet donated to Mike Huckabee; or if you've been meaning to donate again and haven't; or if you really could donate more if you were willing to sacrifice something else for the cause -- then I have great news for you:

Monday, November 20th is the date of a big grassroots fund-raising push for Mike. This is your chance to put your resources behind the best candidate in the race -- and be part of an important effort.

Don't procrastinate. Go pledge your donation right now:

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November 17, 2007

Dark Horse Huckabee

Dan Rather weighs in on Huckabee in his column for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

With less than six weeks to go until the first real test of the 2008 election season, both the Democratic and Republican presidential fields are supplying their allotments of drama.

But if you're looking for a true, race-changing moment in Iowa, you're far more likely to find it among the Republicans than you are with the Democrats.

Over on the Republican side, things are less clear. Some see clarity in the prevailing sense that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is the GOP front-runner. And if the nomination were decided by a national primary, he might be -- or maybe it would be Fred Thompson.

But look at the polling for the actual contests approaching in Iowa and New Hampshire and you'll see Mitt Romney with a strong lead in both of these tone-setting states. It's just the kind of situation that cries out for the arrival of a dark horse, the kind of leap from relative obscurity to top-tier candidate that seems to happen at least once in every election cycle. Enter Mike Huckabee.

The former governor of Arkansas currently stands in second place in most Iowa polling, and he, like Edwards on the Democratic side, is staking his campaign on a strong showing there. Interestingly, no less an observer of presidential politics than James Carville recently told your reporter that Edwards was finished, but Huckabee bears watching.

There's still plenty of time to go until Caucus Day, Jan. 3. Plenty of time for a front-runner (or perceived front-runner) to stumble, and maybe, just maybe, time for a candidate such as Huckabee to inject some new life and ideas into a race that feels as if it's been going on forever -- even though it hasn't even really started.

November 16, 2007

Huckabee Poll Update

With each day that goes by, the primary season gets closer, and state and national polls become increasingly frequent. And the poll numbers for Huckabee keep getting better and better. Here are the highlights from this past week:

In Michigan, a Detroit News poll has Huckabee at 9%, his highest Michigan numbers to date. He is now within striking distance of McCain (12%) and Thompson (13%).

In Iowa, the latest Rasmussen poll finds Huckabee in second place:

Romney 29
Huckabee 16
Giuliani 15
Thompson 14
McCain 6
Huckabee also holds second place in a new Research 2000 Iowa poll:
Romney 27
Huckabee 18
Giuliani 16
Thompson 10
McCain 6
A Strategic Vision poll in Florida shows Huckabee breaking into double digits. Huckabee is at 4th place in FL, with 10% of the vote, trailing Romney by 2 points. McCain and Thompson are tied for 2nd at 13%.

Finally, in the national polls, Rasmusssen has Huckabee tied with Romney and Thompson for 2nd place at 12%, ahead of John McCain at 10%.

Huckabee comes in at 10% in a new Gallup poll, trailing close behind Romney (12%) and McCain (13%).

And in a FOX News poll, Huckabee is tied with Romney at 8%. This is the highest number for Huckabee in any FOX poll to date.

Video: Huckabee on Hannity & Colmes

As Huckabee is recognized as a legitimate threat to win the Republican nomination, negative attacks will only increase. Tonight the Governor did a masterful job responding to every accusation in an interview with Hannity & Colmes. His clear, honest, and vertical politics were on display. Friends with questions about the attacks? Send them here:

November 15, 2007

The Huckabee "Taxes" Video

A video has been circulating that attempts to paint Huckabee as a "liberal tax and spender." Any thoughtful, intelligent viewer can tell that the video is clearly taken out of context. But if you or any of your friends need further proof, just watch this one-minute clip below for additional context, read this background news article (excerpt below), or view the entire speech here and here:

From an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette news article in October:
The 2003 and 2004 sessions are instructive because they show how Huckabee wrestled with a tumultuous economy, a Supreme Court unafraid to exercise its authority and a Legislature controlled by Democrats.

“The government’s job is to provide basic necessities such as prisons to keep us safe and good roads to drive on,” he said through a spokesman via e-mail. “As Governor, that’s what I tried to do while being responsible with the revenue and state budget.”

In January 2003, legislators faced a slowing economy and a ruling from the state Supreme Court that the state’s system of funding public education was inadequate and inequitable.

Meanwhile, an economic downturn had reduced gross general revenue — most of that comes from income and sales taxes — to $ 3. 98 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2002, down from $ 4. 01 billion the previous year.

Some legislators favored a 10 percent income-tax surcharge, others increasing taxes on tobacco products. Still others sought to use money from a budget-surplus fund typically used to pay for pet projects in lawmakers’ districts.

By April, legislators and the governor hadn’t agreed on which taxes to raise or by how much, and the regular session dissolved into partisan acrimony. Lawmakers went home without passing any major tax increases or enacting a state budget.

When legislators returned on May 5 for a special session, Huckabee urged them to increase taxes and pass budget bills to stave off cuts in crucial state services. He said he would accept any of the increases lawmakers had proposed, including higher tobacco taxes, an increase in the sales tax or an income-tax surcharge.

“We’re no longer talking about merely shaving some excess,” he told legislators from the House floor. “We’re talking about amputating valuable and vital limbs if we don’t come up with necessary funding to meet the needs of those who depend on it.”

When times were easier and state coffers flush, Huckabee pushed through one of the largest tax cuts in Arkansas history.

In 1997, the first legislative session of his tenure, the Legislature doubled the standard income-tax deduction and adjusted rates to keep Arkansans below the federal poverty line from paying. That reduced revenues by $ 90. 6 million its first year in effect.

Read the whole thing here...

UPDATE: Tied for First Place in Iowa!

UPDATE: Take a look at these amazing graphs from Real Clear Politics showing Huckabee's upward Iowa trajectory.

A new Iowa poll from American Research Group has Huckabee in a statistical tie with Mitt Romney for 1st place. Romney's miniscule 2 point advantage is within the margin of error.

Romney 26%
Huckabee 24%
Giuliani 11%
Thompson 11%
Paul 3%

November 15: Huckabee News Roundup

Today's new Rasmussen poll numbers find Huckabee tied nationally with McCain and Thompson at 11%, and close behind Romney at 13%.

Randy Alcorn has posted some insightful commentary about Pat Robertson's Giuliani endorsement and the problem of political expedience and pragmatism:

Let me respond to the people, including some who commented on last week’s blog, who are adamantly ABC (Anybody But Clinton). Here’s a quote:

Christian Conservatives must decide on who is best to beat Hillary. That is THE most important point. Huckabee is great, but he WILL not beat Hillary. Whomever wins the Republican nomination must be supported by ALL Republicans. If we step back because we don’t like the candidate we as Christians will be voting in Hillary Clinton. This CANNOT happen.

I mean no disrespect, but actually, yes, there ARE worse things than Hillary being elected. In my opinion, having to stand before God to answer for compromising biblical convictions and acting as moral hypocrites by voting for an unprincipled man who will not defend the innocent and care for his own family is far worse. God will not judge me in light of whether I’ve followed conservativism or promoted Republicanism, but as to whether I have honored my Lord Jesus.

Jesus said if we love Him, we should keep his commandments. These include His commandments about the sanctity of life. As Christians we need to ask ourselves, do we love Jesus more than we dislike Hillary Clinton?

There are other options. At least a couple of them are prolife, and the one with the best chance of winning, I think, is Mike Huckabee. But regardless of what we think about his chances, why would we not choose someone who we have reason to believe will live by God-honoring principles and stand for the unborn and marriage and family and religious freedom whether in victory or defeat?

Sacrifice children on the altar of Republicanism? I won’t do it. The children aren’t expendable. The Republican party is. The logic that we’ll really save lives because fewer will die under Rudy than Hillary doesn’t cut it. No, I’ll vote for someone who won’t sacrifice children on the altar of expedience, pragmatism, partisanship or economic philosophy. And I won’t consider it a wasted vote, because if the two options on a ballot so blatantly dishonor Christ and His values, then the real waste would be voting for one of them.
Read the whole thing here...

Huckabee received a significant pro-life endorsement yesterday from Thomas A. Glessner, founder and president of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, a law firm that supplies legal services to Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs):
Glessner issued his endorsement in a letter to the more than 2,500 PRCs nation wide.

"Forty nine million abortions since 1973 is a moral blight upon our land that must be corrected and 1.2 million abortions a year continues to break the very heart and soul of this nation.... Life is an inalienable gift from our Creator that is the first and foremost of rights upon which all others depend. Our next president must be a person who believes this within the foundations of his soul. And we need a president who has the moral convictions and commitment to work to end the cultural nightmare of abortion.... I am convinced that Governor Huckabee is that person.

"Now is the time to make our voices heard loud and clear! We cannot sit on the sidelines at this crucial time in American history. And now is not the time to pragmatically endorse and support candidates who have questionable records on abortion simply because conventional political wisdom appears to tell us that they have the best chance of winning.

"This is not the time to hope for the best from the worst of candidates because it appears that they are the probable winners. No! There is too much at stake and if we fail to support the candidates who truly support us then we have failed ourselves. May this not be!

"I urge that all who read this letter commit to supporting Governor Huckabee with your prayers and your votes in your state primaries and caucuses."
A new South Carolina poll shows Huckabee with 12% of the vote, his highest numbers to date. He is gaining on McCain, at 14%.

November 13, 2007

Huckabee at 21 Percent in Iowa

Most polls have shown Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, with a strong lead in the Hawkeye State, dominating the GOP field. Recent surveys, however, have shown Huckabee picking up steam, and he is well within striking distance in the CBS News/New York Times poll, where he trails Romney, 27 percent to 21 percent, with a 5 percent margin of error.

Rudy Giuliani was in third at 15 percent. All other candidates were in single digits, including Fred Thompson, who had 9 percent support among likely caucus-goers.

While Romney still leads in Iowa, his support base is far softer than that of Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor whose campaign has gained momentum in recent weeks. Half of Huckabee supporters said they had made up their mind, compared to two-thirds of Romney supporters who said they could change their mind before caucus night. Overall, 57 percent of GOP caucus-goers said they haven't settled on one candidate.

More Truth About Taxes and Huckabee

J. Ritterbush over at Right Smart has posted a great rebuttal to the continued attacks against Governor Huckabee's fiscal records:

The Club for Growth, has invested no small amount of money and ad time to attacking Mike Huckabee's record in Arkansas. In so doing, the CFG has played fast and very loose with the facts, and ignores Huckabee's record of cutting taxes 90+ times during his 10 years as governor.

The Evangelical Outpost has already done a wonderful job of addressing the CFG's falsehoods. Here now is more historical background from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette which should further refute claims that Huckabee is a fiscal liberal. The taxes I address here are the same ones flagged by CFG.

Read the rest of the post...
After lengthy review, Ritterbush concludes:
I have far more respect for executives -- governors or mayors -- who had to balance tough decisions on cutting programs versus cutting taxes. I'll stack Huckabee's record of accomplishments and judicious fiscal management against any other presidential candidate. Any current or former senator can claim to have a conservative fiscal record, but the fact remains that those senators did nothing to stop runaway spending in Congress.

Huckabee on the Rise

Rasmussen's latest polls show Huckabee not only in double digits but tied with Thompson and close behind McCain.

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows Rudy Giuliani on top, Mitt Romney in second, and Fred Thompson sinking in the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination. Giuliani attracts 27% support from Likely Republican Primary voters nationwide while Romney has moved up a couple of points to 16%. John McCain remains in third at 13% while Thompson is now tied with Mike Huckabee at 11%.
New polling data released yesterday also reports Huckabee gaining ground on Fred Thompson in the quest for the "true conservative" mantle:
During the early stumbles of Fred Thompson’s Presidential campaign, his poll numbers and position in the race were sustained by the perception of Republican voters that he was the most conservative candidate in the Republican field. That is no longer the case.

Mitt Romney now tops Thompson and is seen as the most conservative candidate while Mike Huckabee is gaining ground fast on that front.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey data shows that 46% of Republican voters see Romney as politically conservative.

At the same time, the number seeing Thompson as politically conservative has fallen eleven percentage points to 40%. Thirty-four percent (34%) of Republicans now see the former Tennessee Senator as politically moderate while 3% say he’s liberal. As doubts of Thompson’s conservative credentials have grown, his support in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll has declined.

Moving up fast in the competition for most conservative contender is Mike Huckabee. Thirty-eight percent (38%) now view him as politically conservative, twenty percent (20%) say moderate, and 6% liberal. In July, before the Huckabee boomlet began, just 21% viewed him as conservative while 27% said moderate or liberal.

Huckabee is still less well known than the other contenders and 36% of Republican voters do not know enough to offer an opinion on his ideology. Among those Republicans who do offer an opinion on his ideology, 59% view Huckabee as politically conservative. That’s a point higher than Romney earns among those who have an opinion on his ideology.

November 11, 2007

Weekend News Roundup

A new Florida poll from the St. Petersburg Times has Huckabee in fourth place at 9%, ahead of Thompson at 8%, and close behind McCain at 12%.

The Washington Post features a conversation about Huckabee with popular Iowa senator Charles Grassley:

In 1996, Bob Dole credited Charles Grassley's endorsement as a key reason that he won the Iowa caucus and clinched the Republican presidential nomination.

This year, the popular veteran Iowa senator said he may skip picking a favorite, because he's skeptical that any Republican in the field can put away Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Like many of his GOP friends, Grassley believes she can be defeated, and with greater ease than some other Democrats in the field. But Grassley is still waiting for Mr. Right. "I want to know who can beat Hillary," Grassley said over a breakfast fit for the farmer that he is - three eggs, four sausages, and five pancakes.

There is a darkhorse candidate in the GOP field. "I think the guy who could surprise everybody is Huckabee," Grassley said, referring to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a second-tier candidate with minimal resources, whose support has been rising. "He seems to be catching on a little bit. His presentations are good. He fits in well with social conservatives."

Huckabee is the guy who matches up best with Iowa Republicans, Grassley said. "It's demeanor, background, personal beliefs, friendliness, stuff like that. How he conducts himself, things of that nature. I'm talking about who fits in with the average Iowan, who are they going to feel comfortable with."

So why not endorse him? Because, Grassley explained, he's not yet a national contender. "If he had $10 million to spend on television, to reinforce what he tells you personally, then I think it would make a difference," Grassley said.
The Observer also has a good piece today about how Huckabee could be the saviour of the Republicans:
He is a former governor of Arkansas from a town called Hope. He has a nice line in campaign humour and speaks like a Deep South preacher. He is also running for President.

But this is not Bill Clinton of 1992. This is Mike Huckabee, a long-shot Republican contender for the 2008 White House who has burst into the leading pack of the race for his party's nomination.

From barely appearing in the polls a few months ago, Huckabee has surged forward in recent weeks. Some surveys have placed him second in the key state of Iowa, ahead of better-known candidates including Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Fred Thompson. This has led to a flurry of positive press around Huckabee's campaign, including a profile in Newsweek and glowing praise from top political columnists. 'Mike Huckabee is on a roll,' said Dick Morris, a conservative commentator in the political newspaper The Hill. 'Huckabee could surprise everybody before the votes are counted.'

There is little doubt that Huckabee has forced his way into the top tier of Republican candidates. He has done it by representing the most socially conservative wing of the party. A former Baptist minister who used to have his sermons broadcast over his own Christian radio and TV station, he is firmly anti-abortion, regards the Bible as literal truth and does not believe in evolution. Such hardline views are endearing him to the powerful evangelical wing of the Republican party, dismayed by the liberal social views of the national frontrunner, former New York mayor Giuliani.

'Huckabee is the ticking time bomb of the party,' said Professor Cary Covington, a politics expert at the University of Iowa. 'Religious voters are soon going to realise that he is the candidate who best fits their profile and get behind him.'

Huckabee's support has rocketed in Iowa, where evangelical Christians play a significant role. In one recent poll he was at 19 per cent, just eight points behind the leader, Mitt Romney, and three ahead of Giuliani.
Read the whole thing here...

November 10, 2007

Gravitating Toward Huckabee

The Dallas News reports on Huckabee's many recent Christian conservative endorsements, as well as some possible support from Dobson next week:

Several Christian conservative leaders, troubled by the appearance the movement is divided, are moving toward Republican Mike Huckabee in hopes of making him the consensus candidate of the religious right.

The effort seeks to blunt the impact of recent high-profile endorsements for other presidential candidates, notably televangelist Pat Robertson's support of Rudy Giuliani.

"What you're seeing is a huge coalescing around Huckabee," said Kelly Shackelford of the Plano-based Liberty Legal Institute. "The vast percentage of pro-family leaders in the nation are going for Huckabee."

The Huckabee campaign is expected to announce the endorsement of several social conservative leaders, including Christian radio host Janet Folger and Matthew Staver, dean of the law school at Liberty University founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell.

On Thursday, conservative activist Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association joined East Texas evangelical leader Rick Scarborough in publicly supporting Mr. Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor.

The campaign has also attracted the backing of several influential members of the Southern Baptist Convention. Among them are former convention president James Draper of Colleyville and Prestonwood Baptist Church pastor Jack Graham.

Influential Christian leader James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, says he has problems with the front-runners.

Although it's unclear whether Mr. Dobson will endorse anyone, those familiar with his plans say he intends to say positive things about Mr. Huckabee on his nationally syndicated radio program next week.

November 9, 2007

November 9: Huckabee News Round Up

Huckabee continues to surge in the polls. The third in a recent string of national polls placing Huckabee in double-digits, the latest AP-Ipsos poll reports Huckabee at 10%, close behind McCain (13%) and Romney (12%).

Michael Gerson has a great piece in the Washington Post:

Huckabee is a fine debater and a compelling speaker who punches far above his fundraising weight. He has strong conservative credentials. He is solidly pro-life -- in our conversation he was highly critical of Fred Thompson's view that abortion policy should be left to the states. Huckabee supports the troop surge in Iraq. He boasts of being America's first governor to possess a concealed-weapons permit.

But he adds an element that distinguishes him from the rest of a Republican field competing for the title of Mr. Conventionality. "I'm a conservative," Huckabee told me. "But if that means I have to close my eyes to poverty and hunger, I'm not going to do that." This, he said, would be to "refuse a larger allegiance, to my own soul, and also standing before God."
Check out this article from the New York Times:
Mike Huckabee’s field staff had expected a modest crowd for a campaign event at a tiny rural community college near here on Wednesday. But as people began to cram into the shoe-box-size room, campaign organizers scurried to roll back a dividing wall and set up extra chairs.

To the Huckabee campaign, it was another small note in a recent trickle of encouraging moments. His fund-raising is up, the campaign just received its first major Christian conservative endorsement and most of all — to Mr. Huckabee’s obvious delight — opponents are beginning to take potshots at him.

With less than two months until Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, there are signs that Mr. Huckabee, a former Baptist pastor for whom Bible verses flow easily off the tongue, is charming, quipping and sermonizing his way from a long shot ensconced in the second tier of the Republican presidential sweepstakes to a possible contender here.

“The candidate du jour right now is Mike Huckabee,” said Chuck Laudner, executive director of the Iowa Republican Party. “He certainly can win. It’s still a wide-open race here in Iowa.”

On Thursday, Mr. Huckabee scored his first endorsement from a prominent Christian conservative leader, the Rev. Donald E. Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association.
And the Los Angeles Times also has some good coverage:
After months of dismissing Huckabee as a nice guy with no chance to win, Iowa's influential social conservatives are giving him a second look. The latest polls give him anywhere from 13% to 19% of the vote in Iowa, up from 2% to 3% a few months ago. Those numbers put him in second place behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

His campaign suggests he can win the state's Jan. 3 caucuses outright, then make a strong showing in New Hampshire, where he's polling fourth.

"I plan to surprise a lot of people," said Huckabee, 52.

No Imminent Dobson Endorsement

This Associated Press article confirms the report that Dr. James Dobson is not endorsing any presidential candidates at this time:

In a week that saw conservative Christian leaders scatter their endorsements across the Republican presidential field comes one notable non-endorsement.

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, in a radio broadcast taped Friday and to be aired Monday, said he isn't close to endorsing a candidate and if he does it likely will come "later in the campaign."

Dobson denied print and Internet reports quoting unnamed sources as saying he was about to endorse former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a favorite of social conservatives who has struggled to win support from the movement's leaders.

"I know Mike Huckabee personally," Dobson said. "I like him. We talk on the phone. I don't mean to be disparaging to him at all."

Huckabee released a statement saying his campaign was not the source of information about a Dobson announcement, and said he had spoken with Dobson about it.

November 8, 2007

UPDATE: Dobson to Endorse Huckabeee?

UPDATE: Tim Minnery, Senior Vice President for Focus on the Family, Dobson's organization, denied on Friday afternoon that Dobson intended to endorse Huckabee in the coming days. Minnery's denial was submitted to the Spectator after Dobson received calls from other social conservative leaders inquiring about the leaked endorsement plans from the Huckabee campaign and Dobson associates. "Dr. Dobson isn't close to an endorsement of anyone in the 2008 race," Minnery wrote in an email to the editor denying there was an endorsement planned.

Contacted again by The American Spectator, those who initially spoke on background about the Dobson endorsement insisted that as of last night, plans were being put in place by the Huckabee campaign for an announcement and endorsement tour, and stood by their account. Rumors about a potential Dobson endorsement of Huckabee have been swirling in Washington for several days, and would have come at a time when other social conservatives are beginning a serious run on endorsement events. The board of the National Right to Life Committee is holding a meeting this weekend to discuss a potential endorsement strategy, and Dr. Donald Wildmon in the past 24 hours has endorsed Huckabee.
From the Washington Prowler on the American Spectator:
Dr. James Dobson, who has largely been made irrelevant to the 2008 Republican presidential race, has apparently found his man, and according to an adviser, is ready to change the landscape of the Republican nomination race.

"He is the leader of the evangelical and social conservative movement in America, and he's going to reassert that position and leave no doubt that he's in charge," says the adviser based in Colorado.

Sources close to Dobson say that within the next ten days he is coordinating an endorsement plan with the presidential campaign of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. According to a Huckabee insider in Iowa, the event would be staged in that state at a rally, followed by a bus tour across the state, and an appearance by Huckabee on Dobson's radio show, which is heard nationally.

Dobson's endorsement, according to the Huckabee source, could mean millions in fundraising to the campaign, allowing it to compete at the same level with the top tier candidates Huckabee has been inching toward in the polls after a series of strong debate and campaign appearances.

"It would help us get to the Thompson-McCain level if not higher," says the source. "Dr. Dobson's endorsement means that much."

Dobson's endorsement might also create a domino effect, as other evangelical and social conservatives have largely been withholding their endorsements, in part out of fear of angering Dobson and his many supporters who also fill crucial slots in other social conservative organizations run by such prominent leaders as Gary Bauer and Tony Perkins.

Don Wildmon of the AFA Endorses Huckabee

Don Wildmon, one of the most influential Christian conservative leaders in the nation, endorsed Mike Huckabee today:

Former Arkansas Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee has received a significant endorsement from Donald E. Wildmon, founder of American Family Association (AFA). The AFA represents and stands for traditional family values, focusing primarily on the influence of television and other media – including pornography – on our society.

"I feel that Gov. Huckabee understands the needs of our country and has the ability to lead us in meeting those needs," Wildmon said.

November 6, 2007

Abortion, Gay Marriage, and the GOP Slate

Dan Balz writes on just where each candidate stands on abortion and gay marriage for the Washington Post:

Giuliani has said that, if he were president and the court struck down Roe, he would take no particular action to try to preserve a woman’s right to abortion. In practical terms, he like Thompson would leave it to the states to decide. Nor would he necessarily sign federal legislation to codify Roe if a Democratic Congress acted to preserve abortion rights in the wake of a Supreme Court decision to the contrary. Giuliani calls that possibility a hypothetical.

Although Thompson does not support a constitutional amendment, his communications director Todd Harris said Tuesday that the former Tennessee senator would not attempt to change the Republican platform plank if he becomes the nominee. Nor would Giuliani, who said in June he would let the majority of the party set platform policy (and would then agree or disagree depending).

What about some of the other candidates? John McCain has a record that is staunchly pro-life and he supports a constitutional amendment banning abortions, if it contains certain exceptions. But many social conservatives distrust McCain and he has never been animated as a politician by hot-button social issues.

McCain actually takes different positions on amendments relating to abortion and same sex marriage. He currently opposes a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. In this case, he favors state-by-state action. Communications director Jill Hazelbaker explained the seeming contradiction Tuesday by saying the Supreme Court has ruled on abortion but has not done so on marriage.

Romney once was pro-choice but has since changed his position. He would like to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe and turn the issue back to the states. Unlike Thompson, he also supports a constitutional amendment banning abortion, but spokesman Kevin Madden said Romney sees the amendment as “an aspirational goal but doesn’t believe the country is ready for one at this time.” That position is similar to the one President Bush took as a candidate in 2000.

Mike Huckabee is the one major Republican candidate who is not equivocal on either abortion or same sex marriage. He opposes both and supports amendments to back up those views.

That leaves Republicans with a conflicting set of conservative philosophies when applied to abortion and seemingly same sex marriage — and it leaves everyone more or less in the same place when it comes to presidential action. Giuliani stands alone in his support for abortion and gay rights, but he is closer to the rest of the pack in he how he would operate as president on those issues.

Randy Alcorn Endorses Mike Huckabee

We were excited to learn today that our good friend and best-selling author, Randy Alcorn, has endorsed Mike Huckabee for President of the United States. You should read the entire article here, but we believe this is one of the most important paragraphs:

"Frankly, six months ago if you’d asked if I’d be endorsing a presidential candidate I would probably have said “no way,” because I couldn’t envision a candidate I would actually trust. However, God has called us to be good stewards of our opportunities, and to be His representatives in every area. And, contrary to my expectations, there actually is a candidate that I, a political skeptic, believe to be a man of integrity, wisdom, winsomeness, faith and yes, even eternal perspective."

November 5, 2007

The New - Enlist Today

Huckabee Still Leads Romney Nationally

Rasmussen just released their latest weekly campaign overview of the GOP primary race, and the poll numbers are still looking good for Huckabee:

In the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination, Rudy Giuliani remains on top. Among likely Republican Primary voters nationwide, Giuliani is preferred by 23% while Fred Thompson is the first choice for 18%. John McCain is third at 15% trailed by Mike Huckabee at 12% and Mitt Romney at 11%. No other Republican attracts more than 3% support (see recent daily numbers).

Chuck Norris Counters Immigration Attacks

WorldNetDaily has a new post by Chuck Norris, deftly countering each and every one of the immigration attacks that have been recently made against Huckabee:

Some would love to turn former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's GOP presidential candidacy from a surge into a dirge. That's exactly what critics are trying to do – and working double-time at it, especially with the issue of immigration.

Mike welcomes this catalyst of criticism, first and foremost because he knows his record is strong. But he also realizes the heat translates into the fact that he has become a significant threat to the former rat pack ("first tier") of the presidential race.

What I appreciate about Mike is he does not dodge difficult issues or accusations. He forthrightly dealt with these criticisms last week, appearing on countless forums refuting or giving further explanations. As you will see, these allegations are based upon nothing more than a combination of others examining minutiae and maligning his record.

Huckabee opposed the amnesty bill proposed by the Senate this year. He supports Congress' $3 billion directed to build up border security – monies used to train and deploy 23,000 more agents, build 700 miles of fence and 300 miles of vehicle barriers, add four drone airplanes and erect 105 radar and camera towers.

As he summarized, "I have supported enforcing the laws on adults who broke the immigration laws. I believe in a secure border. I believe that we shouldn't have amnesty, and I don't believe in sanctuary cities."

Resolving probably his greatest accusation, Gov. Mike did not offer blanket in-state tuition breaks to the children of illegal immigration. He tried to prevent penalties to high school students, even those whose parents brought them over illegally, who were aspiring to obtain challenging academic scholarships. He espoused that these competitive benefits were open to illegals too, "if they were willing to apply and become legal citizens."

Huckabee explained the drive behind his decision:

[My] position was and remains that you do not punish a child for the crime of the parent. If a child is in the back seat of a car when a father drives drunk, it's perfectly appropriate to put the father in the drunk tank, but you don't put the child in the drunk tank. If a child was brought here when he or she was 5 years old and has gone through our entire education system and has worked hard, learned and made straight As, and has qualified for an Academic Challenge Scholarship, which was a very specific program in the state, and that student has qualified to be able to earn that scholarship, I'd rather that student go to college and become a taxpayer, not simply take some low-end hourly wage job and ultimately be a tax-taker.

Mike's strong position on illegal immigration still stands – it isn't negated by his compassion. He agrees confidently and completely with the words of President Ronald Reagan, "A nation without borders is not a nation."

That's where Mike Huckabee stands on illegal immigration – and I support him for it. One more reason why he's my choice for president, and I believe we should all join his team, spread word about him, and especially support him financially.
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