ALERT: Baltimore Sun – Huckabee Surging in SC?

By Paul West,Baltimore Sun

COLUMBIA, S.C. — On the eve of Saturday’s Republican primary in South Carolina, there are signs that Mike Huckabee could be overtaking John McCain, who had been favored to win the first southern test of the ’08 campaign.

New polling over the last two days shows McCain and Huckabee statistically tied. At least one unreleased poll had Huckabee up by four points, while a Mason-Dixon poll for MSNBC-McClatchy had McCain’s lead down to two points.

After his New Hampshire victory on Jan. 8, McCain grabbed the lead in opinion surveys in South Carolina, where he is hoping for redemption in the state that doomed his first try for the presidency, eight years ago. A defeat tomorrow could be similarly devastating.

From here, the race goes to Florida. Polls show a close four-way contest there among McCain, Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani heading into the Jan. 29 primary.

Romney abandoned South Carolina earlier this week for Nevada, where his only competition in tomorrow’s Republican caucuses is Ron Paul, but he continues to invest heavily in TV advertising in South Carolina (as does Paul). Romney received no boost from his favorite-son victory in Michigan’s primary earlier this week and Republican politicians in this state say he seems to be falling farther behind as undecided voters make up their mind.

South Carolina has been a pivotal contest in Republican presidential campaigns for more than a quarter-century. Since 1980, the winner here has gone on to win the nomination.

McCain’s loss to George W. Bush after an unusually nasty campaign in 2000 effectively ended his chances of becoming the nominee. This time, he’s got the support of much of the state’s political establishment and is counting on military veterans and moderate conservatives to redeem that earlier defeat.

But the state’s large evangelical Christian voting bloc, and growing fears about the economy and illegal immigration, could mean less attention to national security and terrorism, the issues McCain is emphasizing in his campaign.

New figures released today showed the largest jump in unemployment in South Carolina since 1990, and the state’s jobless rate is now the fourth highest in the country.

Huckabee is coupling his religious-themed candidacy with a strong dose of economic populism. The former Arkansas governor is also trying to appeal to regional pride, reminding voters that he speaks the way they do and eats the same foods, such as catfish and grits.

A similar down-home pitch by Fred Thompson, from neighboring Tennessee, has had much more limited success. The former senator is running well behind Huckabee and McCain, polls show. He appears likely to join other candidates, going back to John Connally of Texas in 1980, for whom South Carolina was the end of the trail.

One wild card that could influence the outcome on Saturday: Forecasts call for bad weather statewide, and especially in the “upstate” portions of the Piedmont plateau, where social and religious conservatives are concentrated. That could work to McCain’s advantage, his supporters say.

But the conditions may have the opposite effect: by magnifying Huckabee’s edge among Christian voters, who seem to be the ones who are the most motivated to turn out on Saturday.

Today’s Rasmussen Daily Tracking poll has Mike Huckabee on top

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows Mike Huckabee on top–at least for the moment–in the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination. It’s Huckabee 23%, John McCain 22%, Mitt Romney 15%, Rudy Giuliani 12%, and Fred Thompson 11%. Ron Paul attracts 2% support (see recent daily numbers).

Daily tracking results are collected via nightly telephone surveys and reported on a four-day rolling average basis. The overwhelming majority of interviews for today’s update were conducted before results of the Michigan Primary were known. The next update is scheduled for Thursday at 11:00 a.m.

Romney’s victory in Michigan last night further muddles the Republican race. It is once again easy to show how each of the leading candidates can lose the nomination while difficult to see a clear path to victory for anyone. A Rasmussen Reports analysis notes that the exit polling highlights the challenges facing John McCain, particularly on the issues of taxes and immigration.

Romney won in Michigan partly because of his local ties. But, also by focusing on the economy at a time when consumer and investor confidence has fallen to the lowest levels in five years—73% of Americans now believe the economy is getting worse.

Polling conducted before Michigan shows McCain leading in South Carolina and Fred Thompson gaining ground. Rasmussen Reports is polling in South Carolina again tonight. In Florida, four Republican candidates essentially tied for the lead. A commentary by Michelle Malkin says she is looking for a Suck-it-Up candidate to support in the GOP race.

In the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, it’s now Clinton 37%, Obama 29% and John Edwards 16% (see recent daily numbers). In Michigan, Clinton lost badly to African-American voters who preferred “Uncommitted.” Rasmussen Reports polling has found that Clinton has a solid lead among white voters nationally while Obama leads 4-to-1 among African-Americans.

A commentary by Susan Estrich looks at the issue of “Race in the Race.” A new survey released today shows that just 54% of Americans say their peers are willing to vote for a woman for President. Fifty-six percent (56%) say their family, friends, and co-workers are willing to vote for an African-American. There is a strong generation gap on these questions.

Looking down the road a bit, Clinton is gaining ground in South Carolina and holds a solid lead in Florida.

Rasmussen Markets data gives Clinton a 59.1contract_id = 68178;node_id = 7607 + “_” + 8092;new Ajax(“/extension/ajax/intrade_lastprice.php”, {data: ‘contractID=’ + contract_id,method: ‘get’,update: $(‘intrade_’ + node_id)}).request();% chance of winning the Democratic nomination and Obama a 39.2contract_id = 68180;node_id = 7608 + “_” + 9638;new Ajax(“/extension/ajax/intrade_lastprice.php”, {data: ‘contractID=’ + contract_id,method: ‘get’,update: $(‘intrade_’ + node_id)}).request();% chance. On the Republican side, McCain is now given a 35.2contract_id = 68214;node_id = 7615 + “_” + 9474;new Ajax(“/extension/ajax/intrade_lastprice.php”, {data: ‘contractID=’ + contract_id,method: ‘get’,update: $(‘intrade_’ + node_id)}).request();% chance of winning the nomination. Mitt Romney is at 19.0contract_id = 68215;node_id = 7613 + “_” + 6060;new Ajax(“/extension/ajax/intrade_lastprice.php”, {data: ‘contractID=’ + contract_id,method: ‘get’,update: $(‘intrade_’ + node_id)}).request();% followed by Giuliani at 22.2contract_id = 68217;node_id = 7612 + “_” + 1117;new Ajax(“/extension/ajax/intrade_lastprice.php”, {data: ‘contractID=’ + contract_id,method: ‘get’,update: $(‘intrade_’ + node_id)}).request();%, Mike Huckabee at 13.8contract_id = 68216;node_id = 7614 + “_” + 7247;new Ajax(“/extension/ajax/intrade_lastprice.php”, {data: ‘contractID=’ + contract_id,method: ‘get’,update: $(‘intrade_’ + node_id)}).request();%, and Fred Thompson at 3.1contract_id = 84651;node_id = 7670 + “_” + 2445;new Ajax(“/extension/ajax/intrade_lastprice.php”, {data: ‘contractID=’ + contract_id,method: ‘get’,update: $(‘intrade_’ + node_id)}).request();%. Numbers in this paragraph are from a prediction market, not a poll. We invite you to participate in the Rasmussen Markets. It costs nothing to join and add your voice to the collective wisdom of the market. Prospects for South Carolina, Nevada, and Florida are featured on the Rasmussen Markets Summary page.

Daily tracking results are collected via nightly telephone surveys and reported on a four-day rolling average basis. Each update includes approximately 750 Likely Democratic Primary Voters and 600 Likely Republican Primary Voters. Margin of sampling error for each is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Each Monday, full week results are released based upon a seven-day rolling average. While the daily tracking result are useful for measuring quick reaction to events in the news, the full week results provide an effective means for evaluating longer-term trends. Rasmussen Reports also provides a weekly analysis of both the Republican and Democratic race each Monday.

Guess who’s tied for the lead or leading now in virtually every national poll?

POLLS

Huckabee, Obama Gain at National Level

These results are from the latest USA Today/Gallup poll of national adults, conducted Jan. 4-6, 2008. All interviews were conducted following Huckabee’s and Obama’s wins in Iowa last Thursday night. Results from Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary may produce still further changes in the national standing of the candidates.

Among Republicans, Huckabee has jumped from 16% of the vote in December 2007 to 25% as of this polling. Coupled with the loss of support for former front-runner Rudy Giuliani, Huckabee is now the leader among Republicans nationally, with a 5-point lead over Giuliani and 6-point lead over John McCain (who has gained 5 points since December). Mitt Romney, after failing to win in Iowa, is now in fifth place nationally with just 9% of the vote, which is his lowest percentage since early October.

                                                              Source: USA Today/Gallup

_________________________

Rasmussen

In the roller-coaster race for the Republican Presidential Nomination, it’s Mike Huckabee 21%, Mitt Romney 19%,McCain 18%, Rudy Giuliani 13%, and Fred Thompson at 11%. Ron Paul attracts 4% support (see recent daily numbers). A Rasmussen Reports analysis suggests that if McCain wins in New Hampshire, the race will finally have a clear frontrunner.

Real Clear Politics Has Huckabee leading the pack nationally. Through Jan 6, here’s the RCP Average based on the national polls:

Huckabee – 20.7

McCain – 20.0

Giuliani – 19.0

Romney – 12.0

Thompson – 10.7

Paul – 3.7

Spread: Huckabee +0.7

In a related RCP article, John Ellis says Huckabee came away with more than just a 3rd place showing in New Hampshire.

Huckabee Has Momentum

By John Ellis
Iowa was grand for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, but New Hampshire was a bonanza. He cast his bread upon the waters there and though he finished a distant third, it was returned manifold. The one thing that Huckabee cannot afford, at this stage of the race, is head-to-head defeat. He needs at least two “strong” candidates in the field while he puts together the pieces of his Republican proletariat coalition.

What New Hampshire delivered last night was a revitalized Sen. John McCain, which makes Michigan a three-way race, which makes Gov. Huckabee’s campaign there viable. If ever there was an electorate that is ripe for Gov. Huckabee’s mix of economic populism and compassionate Christianity, it’s down-trodden Michigan Republican primary voters. McCain won there in 2000 with strong support from Independents and he will direct all of his efforts at getting those independents to double down, one last time. Romney will throw everything he has at Michigan, to avoid elimination. Given a McCain surge and a Romney splurge, it’s not hard to imagine a three-way split, with Huckabee doing surprisingly well in the collar counties around Detroit and drawing from the well of his base in the western and northwestern counties. Who knows, he might even win Michigan, which would set up South Carolina for a kill.

Read its entirety here

It all starts today

I’m here at work listening to Rush Limbaugh via streaming audio and I’m biting my tongue.

He insists that he’s neutral and that none of the candidates are “Reaganesque” – I do agree with him – Reagan was a once in a generation President. His comments to callers trying to appeal for our Huckster is that “he’s totally opposite of what Reagan was” – regarding raising taxes but Limbaugh steers far away from the 90+ tax cuts our Governor conducted. Limbaugh says Reagan was concerned with strengthening our military – but steers clear from Governor Huckabee’s Security plan that we must build a fearful military. Who else has even come close to a statement regarding building our military? Rush talks about Huckabee supporting Amnesty but is quiet on Mitt’s Amnesty flip-flop. I’m bothered that, sure, he’s responding to callers and claims that he’s not lifting anyone up, but I don’t hear him throughout this entire season things like Tim Russert cornered Mitt Romney on – His old words about not believing in Reagan’s philosophy. You can see the Mitt Meet the Press interview here on my blog.

NOW – for the good news: my feelings about this election are that we the people, have enough sources to get data on all the candidates, I’m happy to say that I do NOT think that us voters need the FOXNEWS’, Talk radio Rush/Hannity’s in the world for guidance (as much as I love them, though a much less these past 6 weeks) – as a matter of fact, I think we will help THEM! Suffice it to say, Huckabee’s climb to the top starts today, and as much as the GOP will hate to do it, they will AAALL be reluctantly backing Huckabee, because the best candidate will prevail.

Marketwatch.com:

According to the most recent Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll, Huckabee was garnering 31% of the vote (up from 29% a couple days ago), while Romney had drifted to 25% (down 1%). Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson and Sen. John McCain were hovering at around 10%, while Giuliani was only pulling in 5% in that poll.

NPR.org:

The most jarring numbers came in Newsweek’s new sounding of Republican sentiment in Iowa. It had upstart Mike Huckabee racing out to a 39 percent showing and longtime Iowa leader Mitt Romney dropping to just 17 percent. That 22-point lead left many in the Hawkeye state pop-eyed and staring.

The attacks are relentless… but the poll numbers say it all: Reuters/Zogby – Huckabee and Giuliani tied in 2008 Republican race

It appears, for now atleast, that the assult by Romney, Thompson, bloggers, and all the “non-believers” are having a negative effect. No, not on the Huckster, but on those doing the attacking.

(CLICK HERE FOR RELATED ARTICLE)

Conventional wisdom would think that attack, after attack, and more attacks would do harm to any candidate – and it could, in time. But for now, it seems that the feeding frenzy is putting Mike Huckabee in the spotlight. Here’s the good thing: as dozens of new articles per day are popping up, the smart voters (not smart in that they know everything, rather smart in that they want to learn the facts) do their research, get to know Mike Huckabee when visiting www.mikehuckabee.com, look at the facts, and realize how these attacks, for the most part, are petty, without merit and totally untrue.

Even more so, when you have folks like Catholic League president Bill Donahue having a problem with Mike’s “Christ in Christmas” commercial (huh??) or conservative critic Rich Lowry saying if Huckabee is the nominee it’ll “represent an act of suicide” by the Republican party, it just tells me, and most of you, that hey – these guys must have a lot of money and muscle backing Giuliani and Mitt Romney because it just doesn’t make sense all these attacks (unless of course, they just can’t stand the fact that Jesus’ name is actually being used in public)

Essentially, the negative attacks are having a positive result for Mr. Huckabee. If I were to see any of Mutt Romney’s attack ads, then look at the Hypocrite himself during Tim Russert’s MEET THE PRESS interview (CLICK HERE) I’d be like “hey wait – he’s got some nerve accusing someone of what he’s totally guilty of”

See, Mitt Romney is desperate. Unfortunately for him he can’t run from his record like this 1994 photo of Mitt attending a Planned Parenthood fund-raising event (CLICK HERE) . His objective at this point is simply a “don’t look at me, instead, here, look at Mike, even though it’s not true” attitude.

As far as Thompson, well, he too is desperate because the Christian conservatives he was hoping to get are actually behind Mike and he knows he has to paint Mike as a liberal. But yet again – those that seek to know the truth would realize that the Truth Squad sets the record straight.

So – lets see what today’s (Dec. 19th) latest numbers look like according to Political Correspondent John Whitesides:

DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) – Mike Huckabee has surged into a virtual tie with front-runner Rudy Giuliani in the national 2008 Republican presidential race two weeks before the first contest, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas whose campaign has caught fire in recent weeks, wiped out an 18-point deficit in one month to pull within one point of Giuliani, 23 percent to 22 percent.

Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton‘s national advantage over second-place rival Barack Obama shrunk slightly to eight percentage points as the races for the White House tightened in both parties. Clinton had an 11-point edge last month.

The shifting numbers have changed the shape of a dynamic presidential race two weeks before Iowa on January 3 kicks off the state-by-state process of choosing candidates in each party for the November 2008 election.

“Huckabee is on a roll, he has gotten an enormous amount of publicity and he is doing very well with conservatives, who at least for now appear to have found a candidate,” pollster John Zogby said.

Giuliani, the former New York mayor who has led most national polls since early in the year, saw his support drop from 29 percent to 23 percent in the survey. His one-point lead over Huckabee was well within the poll’s 4.8 percentage point margin of error.

Huckabee moved ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who was in third place at 16 percent, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson at 13 percent, Arizona Sen. John McCain at 12 percent and Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 4 percent.

The groundswell for Huckabee, a Baptist minister with close ties to religious conservatives, has been fueled in part by his growing support among that key party constituency.

Among likely Republican voters who say they are “very conservative,” Huckabee drew the support of 43 percent, with Thompson second at 20 percent and Romney third at 16 percent.

FLUID RACE

Those voters who describe themselves as “born again” gave Huckabee the lead at 33 percent, with McCain in second at 17 percent and Romney with 14 percent.

The number of undecided likely Republican voters dropped from 21 percent last month to 9 percent. The race remains fluid enough to be shaped dramatically by the results in Iowa on January 3 and New Hampshire, where voters go to the polls on January 8.

“Voters are starting to at least pay attention and identify with someone,” Zogby said. “But it doesn’t mean they have made up their minds for good.”

Among Democrats, Clinton held a 40 percent to 32 percent lead over Obama, an Illinois senator, down slightly from 38 percent to 27 percent last month.

Some other polls have shown the national lead for Clinton, a New York senator, shrinking even more dramatically — and disappearing completely in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards was well back in third place at 13 percent, with Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson tied for fourth at 3 percent. Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut was at 1 percent.

“Obama is moving because he is building strength among young people and independents and growing his lead among black voters,” Zogby said.

Obama, who would be the first black president, led Clinton among likely black voters by 19 points, among independents by 16 points and among young voters age 18 to 24 by 34 points.

Clinton, who would be the first woman president, led Obama among likely women voters by 12 points and among older voters aged 55 to 69 by 16 points.

The percentage of Democratic voters who said they were undecided in the race was down to 4 percent from 14 percent last month.

The poll was taken last Wednesday to Friday. It surveyed 436 likely Democratic primary voters and 432 likely Republican primary voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points for both parties.

(To read more about the U.S. political campaign, visit Reuters “Tales from the Trail: 2008” online at http://blogs.reuters.com/trail08/)

Rasmussen: Huckabee Has Thrown Republican Race in Disarray

Interesting read. It shows that Huckabee is unstoppable at this point…

It was a busy week in the race for the GOP nomination. John McCain picked up key endorsements, Mike Huckabee picked up a campaign manager, Mitt Romney decided to go negative on Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani moved to rebuild his support in Florida, and Fred Thompson moved to Iowa for the duration.

Despite all the activity, one key fact now dominates every campaign–the rise of Mike Huckabee has thrown the race for the Republican nomination is disarray.

It is not possible to know who will emerge as the nominee or when the nominee will be determined. In fact, there is a growing possibility that the nomination will not be determined on Super Tuesday, February 5. Ironically, in a year when politicians in many states scrambled to move their primaries forward so that they could have more influence, the later voting states may finally determine the nominee.

About all we know for certain at this point is that the chattering class and campaign strategists are still struggling to understand Republican Primary voters. So far, they have missed the mark as badly as the political class misread the public mood on immigration earlier this year.

For the seven days ending December 16, Huckabee enjoyed a slight lead in national polling over the other Republican hopefuls. He currently leads in Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida. He is tied for the lead in Michigan. Romney leads in New Hampshire. Rasmussen Reports will release new polling from South Carolina, Iowa, and New Hampshire this week.

Nationally, Huckabee, attracted roughly the same percentage of support from Republicans and from Independent voters likely to take part in a GOP primary. Giuliani places second among Republican voters, McCain is second among Independents. However, Independent voters are still much more interested in the Democratic Nomination contest.

Nationwide, Huckabee attracts 30% of conservative voters. Giuliani earns 16%, Romney 14%, and Thompson 13%.

Among moderates and the very small number of liberal voters likely to vote in a GOP primary, Giuliani leads with 23% followed by McCain at 17% and Romney at 16%.

Among men, it’s Huckabee 23%, Giuliani 20%, and Thompson 14%. Among women, it’s Huckabee 24%, Romney 17%, and Giuliani 15%.

Giuliani is stronger among younger votes, Romney among those who used to be young. Huckabee leads them both among all age groups at the moment.

What’s the bottom line? A week ago, Rasmussen Reports noted that there were five candidates who still had a shot at winning the nomination—Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Fred Thompson. For each, it was easier to see how they would lose than win—and some obviously had a better chance than others–but there was at least a credible path to victory for each of the five. That’s essentially where things stand today.

Rasmussen Reports conducts national telephone surveys on the Presidential race every night and releases updated data from our Presidential Tracking Poll by noon each day. Those results are based upon a four-day rolling average and provide a quick update on the race.

In addition to the daily tracking poll, Rasmussen Reports provides weekly results to provide a longer-term overview of the race. These updates are based upon nightly telephone surveys. Results are reported based upon interviews conducted on the seven days up to and including the night before posting.

For the seven days ending December 16, 2007 show that Mike Huckabee earns 23% of the vote while Rudy Giuliani attracts 18%. Mitt Romney is at 15% while Fred Thompson is at 12% and John McCain is the preferred candidate for 11%. Ron Paul’s support for the week is at 6%, Tom Tancredo is at 2%, Duncan Hunter earns 1% and 12% are undecided (review history of weekly results).

The seven day results typically include interviews with more than 1,000 Likely Republican Primary Voters. This includes both Republicans and those independents likely to vote in a Republicans Primary. In some state primaries, independent voters are allowed to participate in party primaries while in others they are excluded. The margin of sampling error for the weekly update is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Updates prior to July 16 were based upon four days of polling conducted the Monday through Thursday preceding release.

Rasmussen Reports continuously updates general election match-ups and other key stats for all Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates.

Another day, another poll: Missouri – Huckabee 45% Clinton 43%

Rasmussen Reports – Tuesday 12/18

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has a slight edge over leading Democrats in the race for Missouri’s Electoral College Votes. Not only that, he runs a bit stronger than former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani when matched against those same Democrats.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds Huckabee with a 45% to 43% advantage over New York Senator Hillary Clinton. Huckabee also leads Illinois Senator Barack Obama 45% to 41%.

While Huckabee has a slight advantage over the Democrats, another Republican hopeful finds himself at a slight disadvantage. Giuliani now trails Clinton by six points, 45% to 39%. In October, Missouri voters gave Giuliani a narrow lead over Clinton.

Giuliani now lags Obama by just a single percentage point after leading Obama by five in October.

Huckabee is viewed favorably by 53% of Missouri voters and unfavorably by 36%. Obama is viewed favorably by 52%, Clinton by 51%, and Giuliani by 45%.

Reflecting the apparently greater fluidity of the GOP contest, just 27% say Rudy Giuliani is most likely to win the GOP nomination, 21% say Huckabee, 13% say Romney. (Rasmussen Reports has outlined how each of five leading GOP candidates could plausibly wind his way to the nomination.) But 50% believe Hillary Clinton is most likely to win the Democratic nomination, and 26% name Barack Obama. Garnering only 8% of the votes of confidence is Senator John Edwards.

Read the whole poll results RIGHT HERE