TAMPA, Florida (CNN) – Mike Huckabee, greeting supporters at a pair of polling stations here, said a third or fourth place finish in Florida voting today would be a "remarkable" achievement given the time and effort his rivals have devoted to the state.
"It's an important vote just to keep us in the game," he said. "We know that right now going into the day we may not be leading in the polls, but we expect to come out of here still on our feet and that's what's important for us."
Huckabee told reporters "we've worked hard here" but emphasized once again that he was targeting delegates in the many southern states that vote on February 5. He said any finish "close to Rudy" in Florida would show that "we're still contending."
It was a somewhat underwhelming early morning for Huckabee, who was to board a northbound flight for more campaigning in the Super Tuesday state of Missouri later in the day.
At both polling stations he visited, located on opposite ends of a golf and tennis club in the Tampa suburbs, Huckabee was met by the same handful of supporters, including a family of home-schoolers, who drove to both stops. Huckabee greeted them twice for the cameras anyway.
He also endured a slightly awkward moment when a golf course staffer named Cameron approached and thrust a low-iron club into the governor's hands, asking, "Huckabee, can we see you take a swing?"
The left-handed Huckabee, who said he has never played golf, took the right-handed club and fiddled with the grip as golf carts zoomed by the background.
"Do you hold this end, or this end?," he joked, breaking his wrists and attempting a stance on the pavement. "It'll be like Mitt Romney eating fried chicken."
He couldn't resist another crack at Romney's expense.
"I played putt-putt one time. Does that make me a lifelong golfer?"
Related: Watch Huckabee take a swing
- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby