December 10th, 2007
04:01 PM ET
14 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. Rada, Houston TX

    There you go... we are going to have another "family values" candidate from the GOP... go ahead give us another Flake… with no real convictions. Just because he a "Christian" does not make a good president... how high is the pulpit we have to fall down from?
    nothing to learn from the last 7 years?

    December 10, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. John, Michigan

    Huckabee would be one sure way to get me to vote for Hillary.

    December 10, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. Rich Des Moines, IA

    I really hate to say this...But if Huck is the nominee, I will vote (for the very first and hopefully the last) for a democrat. This is a sad day.

    Huck is just playing the religion card and the last time I checked...he with the largest church, isn't automatically the most qualified.

    IMHO he is the least qualified of all of the candidates.

    December 10, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. Clay, Herndon, VA

    Let him, the more the GOP puts stock in someone who doesn't believe in evolution, the better. Cling to your idea of a 6,000 year old Earth, and let the rest of us, who believe in SCIENCE retake our country from the televangelist nation.

    December 10, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca.

    Huckabee's Achilles' heel? Isn't just "Experience", it's his promotion of a RADICAL change in the tax code which goes from our current system to a National Sales Tax (Fair Tax). This would eliminate home mortgage deductions and all other deductions! While there is no difinitive study on what this RADICAL NEW TAX RATE would be, the proponents talk about 23%, while some studies say the rate could go as high as 57%!

    One could only imagine how this regressive tax would effect the middle class and the economy!

    December 10, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. NoForHuck, OK

    He may be rising in the polls, but this guy just doesn't have the experience other candidates have. Nice guy, and very polite, some southern charm, but this guy is not deep in the experience that matters for the country. What's the big fuss all about? That he was a minister? So what? So people are willing to give him the most powerful job in the world because he was a preacher? There was a reason why he was a bottom-tier candidate...he doesn't have what it takes.

    December 10, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Bob, Seattle

    Straight to the White House.

    December 10, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. John Allan

    Dot.Com Huckabee. Huck is just like the late 1990s. All hype and no foundation. He doesn't have the experience, money, or ground organization of Romney or Guiliani, and he could never defeat Hillary in a general election. My money's on Romney. I'm voting for Mitt, who I happen to think is the best candidate this country has seen in decades.

    December 10, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    "the survey’s sampling error of 5 percentage points"

    5% POINTS!? Is that the best you can do CNN??

    December 10, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Charlie houston texas

    I don't agree with Guiliani, but I do believe what he says. His past actions match the rhetoric. Huckabee on the other hand has a pattern of inconsistency. For ex.
    Check this quote about Guantanamo.

    Huckabee in June 2007 also warned against releasing its prisoners. “If we let somebody out and it turns out that they come and fly an airliner into one of our skyscrapers, we're going to be asking how come we didn't stop them, we had them detained,” he said. "If we're going to make a mistake right now, let's make it on the side of protecting the American people.”

    Well, Huck why didn't you do that in the Dumond case, where he was released and raped/killed two more women?

    December 10, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Steve, NY

    Mike Huckabee has more executive experience than any of his fellow candidates. If this is considered to be his achilles' heel then I will be the first to congratulate him on winning the nomination.

    December 10, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. Joe G, Washington, DC

    Huckabee is a clown! Preacher man and bigot – go back to your trailer in Arkansas.

    December 10, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Mary, Holland, MI

    You know, it's time we start really listening to what Mike Huckabee says and not just how nicely he says it.

    December 10, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Larry, Tolland CT

    I really like Huckabee. He's smart, likeable. He won't pull the troops of Iraq because he knows that will bring road side bombs here in America. He not willing to put our lives in danger like left loon liberals. Huckabee need to win. Vote American, vote Huckabee!

    December 10, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Jon B Olathe KS

    Why is every other article on here about Obama or Hucklebee?

    What about some attention to the only man who can save this country from suffering a fate similar to the Roman Empire and the Soviet Union?

    I realize that Huckabee is the darling of the theocratic seeking religous right...but about some equal exposure..

    December 10, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. Andrew, NJ

    His fall will be much more dramatic than his more and more people find out his fiscal record, his amnesty record, and his pushing to pardon a rapist who ended up raping and killing another woman

    December 10, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Garry Lemons, Benton, Arkansas

    AS an Arkansan who witnessed first hand the antics of Huacabee, you folks better "see the light."
    This man will say and or do anything to get this nomination.
    I would suggest you folks in S. Carolina and Iowa take a look at this man's record before you proclaim him your answer to the White House.
    There is a lot you might discover that you won't like. I know we in Arkansas did!

    December 10, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. James Newark NJ

    Way to go huckabee!! with little money you can still win!!

    December 10, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. RightyTighty

    Republican's like experience that actually shows on something besides paper..

    December 10, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Louis Phelps

    He has 11 years as the govornor of Arkansas verses Hillary's 7 years as the Senator of New York. If he lacks experience, then Hillary should quit now. Then again, maybe that is why she likes to claim her husband's presidency as her experience.

    December 10, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. Emily, Princeton, NJ

    RON PAUL 2008.

    December 10, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. Matt, Columbia, SC

    I'm a strong conservative on almost all issues, but I am not joking or exaggerating when I say that I will vote for whomever the Democrats nominate over some clown who doesn't believe in evolution.

    December 10, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  23. Jacob

    I think Mr Huckabee will make an excellent GOP presidential candidate. So authentic. So comfortable in his own skin. So disarmingly funny and charming. So genuinely manly. I bet he's even loyal, and knows his mind, and sticks with his decisions, made from the gut of course. How could he possibly not make a great president. Lord knows these are the qualities of historic presidents.

    December 10, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. benton, indianapolis, in

    I wonder if you are looking at the next come back kid from Arkansas?

    December 10, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. Steve, Middlefield, OH

    Governor Huckabee's executive experience is actually excellent. He was governor for over 10 years and considered one of America's best. He has a steady hand, strong character, and is a true statesman.

    December 10, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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