Huckabee Closes In on Giuliani

Huckabee rises on support of party's evangelical wing as Giuliani slips in national poll
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2007 9:55 AM CST
Republican presidential hopeful, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, listens to a reporter's question during a press conference in Dallas, Monday, Dec. 10, 2007. Huckabee acknowledged Monday the importance...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – With the first voting three weeks away, Republicans across the country remain fragmented among five leading candidates, but a new poll shows marked gains for Mike Huckabee. Rudy Giuliani still leads the pack with 25% support, but Huckabee's Iowa surge is moving to the national stage, where he has risen to 19% from 9% in early November, the Washington Post reports.

Complicating the unstable race is a rapid shift in the issues driving voters: the economy has now surpassed Iraq as the top concern. Though Giuliani's overall support is falling, GOP voters still trust him most on terrorism and the economy, while they rate Huckabee highest on social issues. Huckabee's strongest support comes from evangelicals and conservatives.