Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Huckabee (and Paul) surge in Iowa...

Mike Huckabee had a remarkable showing in an ABCNews poll in Iowa released today, tripling his support from 8% to 24% sincelate July. Expected to be competitive with Romney in the country's first straw poll, Huckabee has already drawn even.

Interestingly, Ron Paul also tripled his support-- a much more modest increase from 2% to 6%. This brought him even with John McCain and only 7-9% behind Thompson and Giuiliani. Along with his recent fund-raising prowess, this would seem to be news as well. But for some reason, the ABCNews press release makes no mention of Paul in the text of the release. (The gracious and reasonable explanation would be that it would dilute the big story. Of course, there are less gracious and more conspiratorial explanations available.)

In recent months, both Huckabee and Paul have stepped up into the first tier of the Republican candidates. Both have increased in the polls, especially Huckabee. Paul has had remarkable fund-raising successes. Both are getting much more press. And both are being attacked on a regular basis-- probably the best litmus test for having "arrived".

From what I've seen, Huckabee is a solid social conservative with a very mixed record as other types of conservatives-- someone in the Bush mold. That doesn't satisfy me. But for social conservatives-- who generally aren't all that concerned about fiscal conservatism and nanny-state paternalism-- his record works well enough. Will it be enough for another man from Hope to occupy the White House? I doubt it. But stay tuned...


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