Since Huckabee’s win in Iowa, critics have scoffed at the state’s voters and written Huckabee off as a candidate who does not have enough support nationally to win the nomination. Well, don’t look now, but Huckabee is now in first place nationally according the latest Gallup poll taken Jan 4 – 6, after his Iowa win .
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.
Of course, today’s primary in New Hampshire could change things, but with McCain and Romney leading there and Huckabee and Giuliani in third and fourth respectively, it’s unlikely to change the national poll placement much.
I can’t help but snicker when I hear liberals and conservatives making the same argument that Huckabee would be the most beatable opponent for the Democrat nominee. If that were true, would he be leading nationally this early in the primaries? At this point, the various hypothetical match up polls (ie: McCain vs Clinton) mean little since voters are wrapped up in their primary candidates, as they should be. Truth is, if Huckabee is the nominee, he would have as good a chance as anyone to beat the Democrat.