He Could Still Be a Contender in Iowa

Folksy Huckabee is spiking in money, popularity
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2007 6:48 PM CST
Republican presidential hopeful former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks during the Iowa Republican Party's annual Reagan Dinner , Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Team Huckabee’s been bringing in extra chairs to campaign events in Iowa. The Arkansas governor is busting out of the second tier there, with growing fundraising numbers and conservative popularity that could earn him a primary upset, the New York Times reports. The friendliest candidate in the GOP race has also started drawing fire from his rivals, and that's fine with him. “You only aim for something that’s alive,” the sometime hunter noted to reporters this week.

But where there’s new hope, the Times notes, there’s also a sense that Huckabee money and organization are scarce beyond Iowa. And some worry whether the Washington outsider has foreign policy chops to compete nationally. But his gentle manner does make him a bona fide conservative with centrist appeal—and a potentially fantastic running mate.