January 7, 2008

January 8: Morning News Roundup

So much great news, it's hard to know where to begin! A new Gallup poll shows Huckabee with his largest national lead to date, boosting his RCP national average (20.7) slightly ahead of McCain's (20.0) and Giuliani's (19.0):

Gallup says Iowa caucuses winner Mike Huckabee has jumped into a national lead for the first time. The rundown: Huckabee, 25%; Rudy Giuliani, 20%; Sen. John McCain, 19%; Fred Thompson, 12%; Mitt Romney, 9%; and Rep. Ron Paul, 4%.

Huckabee's support rose 9 percentage points from mid-December. McCain's rose 5 points. Giuliani's fell 7 points. Thompson's fell 2 points. Romney's fell 5 points.
The latest polls from South Carolina look great for Huckabee:
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is on top once again in South Carolina’s Republican Presidential Primary. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey shows both Huckabee at 28%, John McCain at 21% and Mitt Romney at 15%. In mid-December, Huckabee and Romney were tied for the lead with 23% of the vote while McCain was well off the pace at 12%.

The current survey offers disappointing new for Fred Thompson who earns just 11% of the vote, down a point since December. As recently as November, Thompson was tied for the lead in South Carolina.

Rudy Giuliani is also down a point over the past month and now earns 10% of the vote. Ron Paul picks up 4% support while 2% would vote for some other candidate and 9% are not sure.

Huckabee is viewed favorably by 73% of Likely Primary voters in the Palmetto State. McCain earns positive reviews from 69%, Thompson 64%, Giuliani 61%, and Romney 60%. Ron Paul is viewed favorably by 30% and unfavorably by 61%.

Huckabee’s favorables are up seven points since December, McCain’s are up five. Moving in the opposite direction are Giuliani (down five), Thompson (down seven) and Romney (down 11).

Survey USA
Huckabee 36
Romney 19
McCain 17
Thompson 11
Giuliani 9
Paul 5
Huckabee scored a major endorsement in the Super Tuesday state of Minnesota:
Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign hit new heights in Minnesota when the state's GOP chairman said he'd spearhead the former Arkansas governor's campaign here.

Republican Party chairman Ron Carey on Monday called Huckabee "the best of the best" as his role as volunteer state chairman for Huckabee was announced.

It's unusual for the leading party official to take sides during a hotly contested nomination battle.
Huckabee also received another endorsement from a pro-life organization:
The heads of a pro-life organization that serves as a Planned Parenthood watchdog has endorsed Mike Huckabee for the Republican nomination for president. The endorsement of the two leaders of Life Decisions International comes one day before the second presidential battle in New Hampshire.

Doug Scott, the president of LDI told LifeNews.com on Monday that he thinks Huckabee is the only candidate pro-life voters "can support with confidence."

He urged pro-life advocates to "join [him] in doing all they can to advance Mike Huckabee's campaign."

Thomas Strobhar, the chairman of the organization's board of directors, said he's backing the former Arkansas governor as well.

"We need to back a candidate who has a consistent record of supporting traditional values," Strobhar said. "Mike Huckabee is that kind of candidate."

"Pro-lifers have been used and abused by too many candidates that claim to be pro-life only at opportune times," Strobhar said. "Mike Huckabee is not worried which way the political wind blows. He's the real deal."

The endorsement puts LDI in league with other groups backing Huckabee, including Georgia Right to Life, Michigan Chooses Life and Tom Glessner, a leading pro-life attorney who works with crisis pregnancy centers.
And finally, look at these great head-to-head poll numbers from Kentucky:
Against Hillary Clinton, Huckabee trailed by 18 points 60 days ago, was tied 3 weeks ago, leads by 12 points today, a 28-point swing to the GOP.

1 in 3 Democrats now …… cross-over and vote Republican in a head-to-head matchup today.

Against Barack Obama, Huckabee was tied 60 days ago, leads by 19 points today. 4 in 10 Democrats cross-over and vote Republican in a head-to-head matchup today.
The Kentucky poll is making the folks at the liberal blog Daily Kos pretty nervous. Here's what Kos himself said:
Okay, this is Kentucky, friendly territory for the GOP. We were never going to win it.

But this is the reason we can't take Huckabee for granted. As I've been writing for years, and despite all the GOP's establishment's best efforts, the more people see him, the more they like him.

For whatever reasons, Clinton was overperforming the partisan index of the state, and she's still doing strong against Romney and is competitive against Giuliani in the state (unlike Obama). But McCain always had stellar numbers, and now Huckabee has joined McCain at the top.

Interestingly enough, there's not much movement in the rest of the matchups.

This is a trend worth watching as SUSA releases the rest of their state-by-state polling over the next couple of days. Will the Huckabee bounce be limited to states like Kentucky with large evangelical followings, or will it be a nationwide phenomenon?

Whatever the answer, go Romney!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Huckabee blogger,

I'm writing from the BBC World Service radio program called 'World Have Your Say'. Later today we'll be discussing the American elections, asking what change each candidate will bring. I'm looking for a Huckabee supporting blogger to come on the program to discuss this with callers from all over the world. If you're interested please email your phone number to ben.tobias@bbc.co.uk and I'll call you back to arrange.

Best regards, hope to hear from you soon!

Ben Tobias
BBC World Service