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.Check out this article from the New York Times:
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."
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.And the Los Angeles Times also has some good coverage:
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.
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.