Huckabee Leaps Into First

Poll puts him in statistical dead heat with Giuliani nationally
By Michael O'Connor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 10, 2007 7:44 PM CST
Republican presidential hopeful, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee comments during a press conference in Dallas, Monday, Dec. 10, 2007. Huckabee acknowledged Monday the importance of cash in campaigning,...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Former second-tier candidate Mike Huckabee has jumped to top spot by virtually tying Rudy Giuliani in a national poll today, CNN reports. Mired at 5% of GOP votes only two months ago, Huckabee leaped to 22%, just 2% shy of Giuliani—well within the CNN poll's range of error. What's more, Huckabee is now number one among GOP hopefuls in Iowa.

On the Dem side, Hillary Clinton is still in first with 40% but only leads Barack Obama by 10 points; he closed the gap by 9% since last month. "What's the headline from our new national poll? Front-runners beware. Someone's gaining on you," a CNN political analyst said. But he added that Clinton's 40% "in a late-December poll is a position most candidates in past years would envy."