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. Walt, Belton, TX

    How about neither?

    December 10, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. Brian, Garnerville, NY

    WHY do I read these articles to find out they are basing this on 377 people? What, IN ANY WAY does that tell us? They actually think this offers any sense of accurate information, polling 377 people when multi-millions will be voting? You have GOT to be kidding me.

    December 10, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. Joel San Clemente, CA

    We need a President who will make all the states
    vote on the issues that are not directly tied to
    national security or National Finance.
    Abortion, Gay rights, gun-control,
    Death Penalty (and all of the issues around it)
    education, etc..
    All of these issues are decided at the state level,
    then shall remain in effect for 10 years.
    Then, everyone can prioritize their personal
    values, and move to a state that shares them, and
    be comfortable with where they live.
    You wanna live in a gun free zone, because that
    is the #1 factor of life in your mind, move to
    a state that resticts guns. You wanna live in a
    state that executes a criminal for killing someone?
    Move to Texas… You'd live where the State's policies
    are in direct harmony with your views.
    Then, the issues that would need to be addressed
    would be foreign policy, immigration, etc.

    December 10, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Jaik , chicago, IL

    The GOP has it all worked out, they have a canidate to go up agaainst the strength of each Dem , Guliani is there in case Hillary is ahead, Huckabee is there in case Obama pulls ahead. Huck takes the "DC outsider" thing away from Obama, the inexperience thing is less important against Obama than it would have been against Hillary, who would crush him. But he's the sort of chritian facist that they really want in their little hearts. Its a hedge bet

    December 10, 2007 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. Jack, Atlanta, GA

    Prepare for the fall of Huckabee. Just as he is rapidly rising, prepare for him to make a "precipitous withdrawal." These votes that Huckabee is attracting, perhaps with the exception of Iowans', are pretty insignificant. Any rapid rise such as this one is not built on a firm foundation, as Obama's appears to be. Not only that, but he's open on his flank for some harsh attacks. My prediction: within the month, the Giuliani camp will have refocused itself and will no longer be dogged by the same controversies as the voters come to the realization that they have to beat Hillary Clinton (Most Republicans, from my experience, assume she will be the nominee). Huckabee will be viewed as another Pat Robertson, and he will win Iowa by about 10 points. This momentum will definitely not carry over to New Hampshire, and possibly not to South Carolina. Romney is done. Giuliani is the only one with a chance, in my view, unless McCain launches some sort of stunning last-minute rally in New Hampshire. Then again, I'm probably wrong.

    December 10, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. Nate Sacramento

    Terrific, people are starting to realize what a joke Giuliani is. The "order" should be:

    1. Huckabee
    2. Romney
    3. Paul
    4. McCain
    5. Giuliani

    December 10, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  7. MarkieBee, Sacramento, Calif.

    WOW! Vinod Gupta's company is only reporting a 10-point spread?!? That means the real story is that Obama probably has a three- to five-point lead if Gupta's slobber wasn't all over the poll. When will the Clinton News Network stop using Opinion Research Corporation polls? If Oprah Winfrey had a polling company, would you folks be posting her numbers? You know that Oscar accounting company (Price-Waterhouse I think it is) that keeps track of the voting? If CNN found out that the CEO of that accounting firm was also a producer on a movie up for best picture, would you folks question the validity of the vote? I know these are broad hypotheticals, but...If the CEO of a company that manufactured touch-screen voting machines guaranteed that Bush would be re-elected in 2004, wouldn't we all be crying foul? Oh wait, that actually happened. Anyway, InfoUSA and Opinion Research Corp. are both owned by Vinod Gupta – Hillary's best buddy. I wonder what Bill Clinton spent that $3 million on that he got from Gupta over the summer?

    December 10, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  8. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    Giuliani's a buffoon; Romney's a bald-faced liar; and McCain's a Bush clone. Huckabee isn't bad, but I worry about some of his financial policies. However, I agree with all of 'em that we need to SECURE OUR BORDERS and fix the Illegal Criminal, er, Immigrant pestilence that's spreading.

    December 10, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. Josie

    GAAAH!!! Another religious right freak!!!!

    December 10, 2007 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  10. ED winter park fl

    I do not think that this country needs another bible thumper,holy roller like the likes of haggard,jim swaggert jim baker,pat robertson, or jerry fallwell. As most of these big snake oil salesmen it is only a matter of time before some type of scandal will show up and old Huck will end up crying and asking for forgiveness. Wish I had better thoughts about religious people that want to change the world to there beliefs.

    December 10, 2007 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  11. Jack, Atlanta, GA

    I've gotta say something else. I like Huckabee too. But that doesn't mean I want him to be president. He's a likable guy, but what he really does is to thickly veil bigotry and hatred with his own affability. The reason I like him is that I don't think his views are borne out of hatred and bigotry. However, his affability will not hide his positions forever. Unless the GOP wants DNC fundraisers to start making calls for Huckabee, they're going to nominate a more electable candidate.

    December 10, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  12. Larry Dallas TX

    Mike "The Hick" Huckabee is a horrible and hypocritical lightweight with a barely moderate IQ, whose alleged "off the cuff wit" actually consists of nothing more than an endless stream of hackneyed one-liners stolen straight from tee-shirts, bumper strips, coffee mugs, and Joke-Of-The-Day Calendars. He has no foreign policy experience or perspective and his only appeal to the earth-tone worshiping Barco-Lounger Crowd in meatloaf-chomping Middle America is his smug claim of being a true Bible-beating Christian Conservative and former Baptist preacher. How people can be so easily swayed by someone so obviously hollow and transparent is sad testament to the dumbing down of this country as a whole. Fortunately, however, I think he will only succeed in muddying the water for the front-runner Republican candidates and strengthening the Democratic party's chances of taking back the White House. So I suppose I should actually be thanking him at the same time that I would dearly love to see him tarred and feathered.

    December 10, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  13. Tom Dedham, Mass

    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.

    Posted By Rich Des Moines, IA : December 10, 2007 4:18 pm

    Just like I would Rich, I would vote for Biden or Obama if he was the nominee and if neither of them were the Dems nominee, I would write in someone else.

    I think once the book is opened on this fictional candidate, he will be toast, one can only hope.

    December 10, 2007 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  14. LOL,LA


    December 10, 2007 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  15. concerned Citizen Lynchburg, Va

    DO NOt VOTE FOR HUCKABEE!i say this as a moderate! he's a southern baptist preacher(no offence to baptists, or southerners) who wants to quarantine everyone with AIDS. He also believes that AIDS is a gay plague, which is probably one of the dumbest things ive ever heard. he also does not believe in evolution. Unless you want a president telling you what to believe.

    December 10, 2007 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  16. Independent Voter, TN

    Sadly, the one candidate who doesn't reek of sleaze seems to bring out the ire of people who don't believe in God and "family values."

    Back up your positions with facts...not hyperbole, speculation and "feelings." This candidate, by most accounts, did a pretty good job of running Arkansas from the statehouse, not the pulpit. Not saying he was perfect, but then again, haven't yet met a politician who was.

    Having core beliefs that mirror those of 90% of the population of our country merits some appeal to the electorate, don't you think?

    December 10, 2007 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  17. Thomas Wells, Laer Ton MI

    I'm not sure if this is correct. I'm sure they are both in the poll. Can't some of you think that there are guys from your neighborhood or community that would make an excellent leader?

    I'm just in a state of disbelief. How did we get to this point? It's so obvious that NO ONE IS WORTH ELECTING.

    Someone help me out, seriously. Am I the only one that thinks something strange is going on? Why isn't there are leader, a mans man in the running. I am referring to both sides of the isle too.

    December 10, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  18. Martin, Miami, FL

    Everything just washes off of Huckabee.
    Only in the USA you can be a smiling, likable church minister and sent somebody to the electric chair. In the middle age in Europe you could too. And I guess only on the View you will be able to say without serious consequences that you don’t believe that the earth is round.
    You can invent crazy fair taxes and put America into the next turmoil because you have good visions for good Americans.

    Giuliani, catholic and divorced (no chance you go to hell immediately). This sounds like real life to me. Not everything is straight, a personal blessing of God (because to talk to each other daily), but twists and turns, hard explanations to do.

    December 10, 2007 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  19. Trollmaster, CA

    I'd like to see someone ask him point blank if he really thinks the Earth is 6000 years old, and see him make a fool out of himself.

    After he wins the primaries that is.

    December 10, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  20. AJ, IC, IA

    If Huckabee is the GOP nomination, I am voting Dem. I would vote for the person who acknowledges that they are liberal and not one who THINKS they are conservative! I think Mr. Huckabee is thoroughly confused.

    December 10, 2007 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  21. George,Nashua,NH

    Good picture of Rudi....Thanx Rudi!

    December 10, 2007 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  22. James Izzard

    really interesting article and i don't mean to cross post, but i love articles that tell it like it is

    Sorry for a bit of blatant promotion but this article on Upchuckabee was to good to pass up passing on.

    December 10, 2007 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  23. mike, Cols. Ohio

    How does Mike Huckabee not have experience? He ran a state for a decade! What is Hillary's experience? married to a pres? a do nothing senator? What about Obama? less than 4 yrs in the seante? running for white house for 3 yrs? And FYI, the scientists that you worship have produced more evidence proving god than disproving god!

    December 10, 2007 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  24. Sal lincoln nebraska

    Hasnt anyone noticed that once Ron Paul started voicing his economic positions and didnt get blasted for it and got the praise that the working class should be giving it, that everyone else starts shoveling out these watered down versions of what to do with taxes and tax codes...If you want to stop paying taxes and you want the infastructure in america to return to quaility standars should probably start with the whole basis of capitalism, tax corporation the additional 90% they should be paying in taxes...The whole point of capitalism is for corporations to make as much money as possible to pay in as much taxes as possible so we can sustain a decent way of life in this country.

    December 11, 2007 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  25. Larry, Birmingham, AL

    Larry, Tolland CT....If you think that getting out of Iraq will result in roadside bombs over here, you are delusional. Huckabee is not a real Christian. He calls himself a "pro-lifer" yet he has no problem watching young American men and women die in a faraway desert.

    December 11, 2007 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
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