December 21, 2007

December 21: Huckabe News Roundup

The latest Field Poll from California shows Huckabee in 2nd place, as the San Jose Mercury reports in an article called Huckabee Shines in California:

The Hucka-boom has finally reached California.

Mike Huckabee, the affable ex-Arkansas governor who is campaigning for Christian conservative support, is now in second place, 7 percentage points behind former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani among likely California GOP primary voters, a new Field Poll released today finds.

Without any formal campaign operation in the state, the one-time Baptist minister has seen his support quadruple, from 4 percent to 17 percent, since late October.

His meteoric campaign, which took off in Iowa and then nationally about a month ago, has awakened Republicans here.

"He's been on the cover of magazines, on most of the political talk shows and with his groundswell in Iowa, the glare of publicity has penetrated here in California and the evangelists like what they see," said poll Director Mark DiCamillo.

With Huckabee's emergence as a top contender here and nationally, the GOP race is turning into the biggest free-for-all seen in decades. "There's still a lot of fluidity," DiCamillo said. Nearly one in five likely GOP voters in California still say they have yet to decide on a candidate, meaning whatever happens in January's primaries and caucuses will alter the race dynamics as the California primary approaches, DiCamillo said.

The poll found that Huckabee, who has been criticized for overtly injecting religious themes into his campaign and advertising himself as a "Christian leader," is favored by 31 percent of state GOP voters who identify themselves as born-again. That's 11 percentage points higher than Giuliani and 21 percentage points above former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Fully one-third of the GOP primary electorate consider themselves born-again Christians.

That support has propelled Huckabee to a small lead over Romney, who has moved up slightly to 15 percent since October, and Arizona Sen. John McCain, who remains at 12 percent in the poll. Huckabee's rise has come mostly at the expense of former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, whose support has dropped from 12 percent in October to 6 percent.
And the latest Georgia poll from Insider Advantage has Huckabee in the lead by 22 points:
Mike Huckabee 36%
Rudy Giuliani 14%
Mitt Romney 12%
Fred Thompson 10%
John McCain 10%
Ron Paul 4%
The Washington Post featured Huckabee today in an article called The Politics of Uplift:
Barack Obama has spent much of the year talking about "a new kind of politics" -- the politics of hope. But have you have heard of vertical politics?

"People are tired of horizontal politics, left, right, liberal, conservative, Democrats-Republicans, screaming, yelling," former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee told a crowd in Ames, Iowa this week. "Most people in America are not looking for a horizontal candidate but a vertical one."

Despite Huckabee's frequent mentions of the Almighty, "vertical politics" is not looking toward the heavens for the solution to every problem. Vertical politics is the politics of uplift -- and a close rhetorical relative of the politics of hope.

"Ultimately, people don't care whether an issue comes from the left or the right," Huckabee writes on his Web site. "What they want to talk about are ideas that lift America up and make us better. It's what I call vertical politics."

This commitment to inspirational politics isn't the only way the two candidates are alike. Both are rising in recent polls, and Bob Wickers, a top strategist for Huckabee, says that Obama's experience proves that this is a "change election," with voters looking for "authenticity."
Read the full article...

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