Huckabee Surges Into Second in Nationwide Poll

Former Arkansas governor trails only Rudy
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2007 7:29 AM CST
Republican presidential hopeful and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks to employees, Monday, Dec. 3, 2007, at the Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A new poll for AP sees Mike Huckabee rocketing into second place in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, shaving support off of Fred Thompson. Rudy Giuliani remains the frontrunner with 26% support, but the former Arkansas governor and Baptist minister, who barely figured in polls only a few months ago, now has the backing of 18% of respondents. McCain pulled 13%, Romney 12%, and Thompson 11%.

In a single month, Huckabee gained 8% and Thompson dropped the same amount. Huckabee's support has increased solidly among white evangelical Christians, conservatives, and Southerners. Whether he can expand beyond that base remains unknown, however. "If he's able to do that," said one Republican pollster, "he'll give anybody a run for their money."