Huckabee Second in AP Poll

Huckabee Second in AP Poll Mike Huckabee with Chuck Norris Photo Mike Huckabee has surged to the number two spot in the latest AP-Ipsos poll.

Mike Huckabee has vaulted from nowhere into second place in the Republican presidential race, riding a burst of support from evangelicals, Southerners and conservatives, a poll showed Friday.

The upsurge by the former Arkansas governor has come largely at the expense of Fred Thompson, according to the national survey by The Associated Press and Ipsos. Thompson has dropped after failing to galvanize the party’s right-wing core as much as some had expected.

Rudy Giuliani remains the front-runner, yet while his support long has been steady it shows signs of fraying. Huckabee’s growing strength in the South has come as the former New York mayor’s support there has dropped, the poll found.


The poll showed Giuliani at 26 percent among Republican and GOP-leaning voters, about where he has been since spring. Huckabee has 18 percent, 8 percentage points more than in an AP-Ipsos survey a month ago. That put Huckabee in a virtual tie for second with Arizona Sen. John McCain, who had 13 percent. Also close were Mitt Romney with 12 percent and Thompson with 11 percent.

Huckabee’s rise has been extraordinary. He’s moved from a second tier also-ran into a wide-open scrum for second place. And, no, this isn’t just one outlier poll. Here’s what RealClear Politics’ aggregation shows:

RealClear Politics Republican Polls December 7, 2007

Here are the trend lines:

RealClear Politics Republican Polls December 7, 2007 Trend Lines

The Huckabee surge is real. Indeed, he’s the only candidate who’s been moving steadily upwards in recent months. (Even Ron Paul has flattened out after having finally appearing on the surveys.) How much of this is support for Huckabee and how much is movement away from Giuliani and Thompson, I can’t say. And, certainly, Jesus’ role in the process has not been revealed to me. But, clearly, something’s happening.

Photo source: Radar Online

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. yetanotherjohn says:

    What a year for political junkies. First open seat for the White House in a long time (e.g. 40 years for no sitting president or VP running, 56 years for no sitting or former VP running). First woman, Black, Mormon running with a serious chance of winning. Less than a month to go before the first primary and it is a serious multi-person horse race for both parties. Various third party trial balloons. New media changing some of the rules. New technology starting to raise issues with polling accuracy. States jockeying for primary/caucus position.

    Of course the down side for political junkies in all of this is that predictions are tenuous which means a lot of uncertainty.

  2. markm says:

    Keep in mind that being off the radar in the polls also means less scrutiny. As he’s been rising the scrutiny has picked up. We’ll have to wait and see if it’s a trend or a blip.

  3. >But, clearly, something’s happening.

    Yeah, the Republican party has abandoned even the pretense of conservatism and has finished its transformation into the Populist Jesus Party.

  4. “But, clearly, something’s happening.”

    Chuck Norris doesn’t endorse – he tells America how it’s gonna be.

  5. Wayne says:

    A candidate is a strong Christian so that make those voting for him a Populist Jesus Party? Please take your bigotry somewhere else.

    As I said to James in an earlier thread a few weeks ago, Huckabee is impressive in interviews and debates. Huck is at a great disadvantage when it comes to money and campaign infrastructure. However I could see him doing quite well. It was a matter of getting his name recognition out there.

    Now is the big question. Huck now has the attention from people. He will face a great deal more scrutiny which is good. How he deals with it will determine how he does. I don’t expect him or anyone else to be perfect but I will make up my mind base on what I see. It seems that many people pick a favorite from the start and become entrench in that choice.

  6. Dave Schuler says:

    I don’t think he’ll stand up to scrutiny. We’ll see.

  7. >A candidate is a strong Christian so that make
    >those voting for him a Populist Jesus Party?

    No, a candidate who pushes all manner of economic protectionism and federal interference into what are rightly state or private manners coupled with a delusional belief that he is the official voice of God in America makes those voting for him a Populist Jesus Party.

  8. Tlaloc says:

    Usually the GOP has an established accepted candidate. Sure there may be some scrappy challengers but they are usually petty and fall by the wayside pretty quickly. I think I am beginning to see why. This year there is no pre-determined nominee and the results? Yikes.

    Take Redstate as an example of the GOP in microcosm. It is like a warzone with each faction under the “Big Tent” screaming about how they won’t vote for this or that candidate who is favored by another faction.

    It’s gotten so bad that RS has literally banned any commentor from saying anything positive about Ron Paul unless they’re a long time member. Think about that. A dedicated conservative website will ban on site anyone who comes and says something positive about a certin republican candidate for the upcoming election!

    Holy jumpin mother of god in a side car with chocolate jimmies and a lobster bib, Sam!

    The usually brutal dem primaries look positively staid by comparison.

  9. Wayne says:

    Do you have any example to back up your accusations or are you just throwing mud in hope that it might stick.

    The last example that many have given that claim Huck was talking on God’s behalf was pretty lame. I suspect yours will be as well.

  10. laura says:

    Under pressure from a coalition of religious activists, Huck persuaded the parole board to free a serial rapist who then raped and murdered a woman. The relgious activists were motivated by their belief that the rapist was innocent. The problem with this is that they had no facts whatsoever upon which to base their belief. They convinced themselves that the victim-a high school girl- had to be lying because her father was a Clinton donor and the family was distantly related to Clinton.

    Huck, as this story shows, is considerably influenced by religious nuts.

    Also he lied repeatedly about this situation. He lied that he had no way of knowing the rapist was dangerous. In fact three of the rapist’s victims begged him to keep the rapist in jail. He lied that he did not influence the parole board. The record shows that he made a pitch on behalf of the rapist. He then tried to blame everything on Clinton.

    And yes he did imply that God has chosen him to be His candidate. You’d think God would pick someone smarter.

    Stormy is partly right about the Republican party. At the base iy is a coalition of haters, conspiracy theorists, and relgiouus extremists.

    How ever, at the top, it’s the party of oligarchs.

    There is a big discrepency between this base of willfully ignorant believers and the leadership of ethically impaired robber barons.