December 3, 2007

A Huckabee vs. Giuliani Showdown?

A second poll came out today with Huckabee in second place nationally behind Rudy Giuliani. The USA Today/Gallup Poll has Huckabee at 16%, a 10 point increase since just one month ago. Giuliani is down 9 points with 25% of the vote. Thompson and McCain are tied in 3rd place at 15% (also losing ground since November), and Romney comes in 4th with 12%.

National support for Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Rudy Giuliani significantly eroded during the past month, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds. The sign of volatility in both parties comes a month before the Iowa caucuses open the presidential primary season.

The big winner: Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who jumped from fifth place among Republicans in early November to second place, 1 point ahead of Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson.

Clinton and Giuliani, who have topped each of 21 USA TODAY Polls taken this year, had never suffered such steep month-to-month drops before. And no contender in either party had scored as sharp a month-to-month boost as Huckabee.

"You can't argue that this is an Iowa-only event; it clearly has gone nationwide," Republican strategist Alex Vogel says of Huckabee's rise. A Des Moines Register poll published Sunday showed him leading in Iowa. "The real question is not 'Is it real?' It's 'Can the campaign organization catch up fast enough?' "

Huckabee still has room to grow. Nearly half of those polled have either not heard of him or not formed an opinion about him.

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