December 10th, 2007
04:01 PM ET
15 years ago

Poll: Huckabee challenges Giuliani's front-runner status

Huckabee and Giuliani are in a virtual dead heat, a new poll shows.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Mike Huckabee’s dramatic jump in the polls is going nationwide. The former Arkansas governor is in a virtual tie with Republican presidential front-runner Rudy Giuliani in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll out Monday.

Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, is backed by 24 percent of Republican voters nationally while Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, is at 22 percent.

With the two-point difference well within the survey’s sampling error of 5 percentage points, Huckabee is in a virtual tie with Giuliani.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is at 16 percent in the new poll, followed by Sen. John McCain of Arizona at 12 percent, Former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee at 10 percent, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at 6 percent, Congressman Duncan Hunter of California at 2 percent and Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado at 1 percent. Complete poll results (pdf)

The poll, conducted December 6-9, involved nationwide telephone interviews with 377 registered voters, including Republicans and independent voters who lean Republican.

Huckabee is now the front-runner in the polls in Iowa, the first state to vote in the presidential primary process, taking the top spot from Romney, and he's also jumped dramatically in South Carolina, the first southern state to vote.

Now he appears to be on the rise in national surveys as well. Two countrywide polls last week, Gallup/USA Today and Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg, put him in second place, a prelude to the results in the new CNN survey.

Huckabee doubled his support in October and doubled it again in November, going from 5 percent in October to double digits last month to over 20 percent this month, in the CNN poll.

"Huckabee's strength so far may be a positive, values-oriented message," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "He ranks first when GOP voters are asked who shares their Republican values and who has spent the least time criticizing his opponents. He also scores well on likeability and believability, although Giuliani beats him on those measures.

Huckabee's Achilles' heel?

"Experience," Holland said. "Huckabee places fourth, behind Giuliani, McCain and Romney, when Republicans are asked to rate the GOP candidates on experience."

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser

Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Polls • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Alan Hale, Richmond, VA

    Thomas Wells, Laer Ton MI I can help you by asking that you take a look at Ron Paul. I'm not telling you to vote for him because it is your choice. But I do ask that you look at the facts about Dr. Paul and I think that you will realize that he is the only candidate who is "for the people".

    December 11, 2007 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  2. Joe,georgetown Texas

    Huckabee let a rapiest free several times when he was governor

    December 11, 2007 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  3. Ton, Idaho

    How does a clown (Huckabee) without a real campaign or even a leg to stand on jump to the head of the polls. Does it occur to anyone that the media is largely Democratic? Wouldn't they love to convince the Republicans to nominate the biggest joke on a stage of several other candidates that could easily beat any of their front-runners. In the last debate, Huckabee was spouting cliches like a philosopher...not a leader. It was humiliating. Then, the media tried to spin it as a win for Huckabee, because no one attacked him. No one needed to, he sunk himself. Republicans are smarter than this. Get to know the candidates. Don't listen to the media's sales job.

    December 19, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Anthony

    The problem is, none of them say anything at these debates...they interrupt and defend each other without letting the points be clear... it's ego wars. I would learn more by doing my own digging and finding out what they really believe. has been helpful, seems they are all a bunch of liars except for Ron Paul, who is a bit too timid at times, or perhaps that's what they call "class".

    January 6, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  5. E-Z

    I don't care how people "feel" about Huckabee and his values and opinions, but I like his view on things. He is a good man who can help raise the sinking morality of this country... So he doesn't believe in evolution. Look deeper into it and you might not either... Look deeper into him and you might like him. I've grown up with many politicians (seeing how my grandfather was one) and this man reminds me of my grandpa, even though my grandpa was a democrat... If he is on the general election ticket, I will definately vote for him!!!

    January 8, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Some of you say that Huckabee lacks credentials and the experience needed to become the next President. You are entitled to your opinion, but I fail to see how 11 years of being the best governor this country has ever seen qualifies as a so called "lack of experience". He single handedly organized one of the largest relief efforts to the people of New Orleans, when FEMA failed to even make a dent. He completely turned the state of Arkansas, with a budget surplus of $600 million dollars. The major news channels just write him off, so he doesn't get even 1/3 of the air-time that the other candidates get, yet when the word got out in the south, embraced Mike Huckabee as a true conservative. Romney and Obama say that this is not an election based on race, gender or religion. I would say that they are both correct. This is a money race.

    February 11, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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