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Huckabee Iowa’s Favorite According to Rasmussen November 29, 2007

Posted by Daniel Downs in children, illegal immigrants, Iowa caucus, Mike Huckabee, national security, news, political campaigns, politics, Republicans.

Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee leads the pack of Republican presidential hopefuls, according to the latest Rasmussen Report. Rasmussen surveyed 839 Iowa caucus participants on November 26 and 27. The survey findings show 28% of Iowans favor Huckabee, 25% Romney, 12% Giuliani, 11% Thompson, and 5% support Ron Paul.

Among previous caucus participants, 30% support Huckabee while only 23% favor Romney. The opposite is true of those who have not participated in a caucus. Twenty-nine percent support Romney and 26% are for Huckabee.

One reason for Huckabee’s growing support maybe the increasing awareness among evangelicals of his religious past. Huckabee was an ordained southern Baptist. More important is his like-minded stance on many issues like pro-life, pro-family, public religion, and the economy. According to the Rasmussen Report, “[f]orty-eight percent (48%) of Evangelical Christians support Huckabee. That’s more than all the other candidates combined. Romney attracts only 16% of the Evangelical vote.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education noted that Huckabee believes his growing support is the result of people praying for him.

When Rasmussen asked likely caucus participants to rank the most important issues, “[t]wenty-five percent (25%) … identified immigration as the most important voting issue. Twenty-one percent (21%) named national security as their top issue while 18% said the economy was most important and 14% ranked the War in Iraq as the top issue.”

What would happen if Huckabee wins Iowa? It would impede the progress of both Romney’s and Giuliani’s campaigns. Romney is marketing himself as a staunch conservative. As people learn more about Huckabee, they may find he actually is one. The Rasmussen survey found that the majority of Iowans whose big issue is national security would vote for Huckabee (36%) and not Giuliani (15%) or Romney (20%). National security is his one of Giuliani’s campaign strengths.

Huckabee’s response on immigration during the Republican debate aired on CNN last night may adversely affect his support among Iowa voters. In the past, Huckabee told Iowans that he opposed illegal immigrant amnesty. His speech last night that focused on his support of giving illegal immigrant children college scholarships may have been seen as double-talk. Huckabee explained that he believed children should not be punished for their parents’ crime; especially, if those children had been in public schools for years, were good student, stayed out of trouble, and were seeking citizenship. Romney’s criticism reflected the feeling of many Americans: Why should kids who are living in America illegally receive benefits that some citizens will not receive. If Iowa voters saw his speech last night as a contradiction to his stance against amnesty, Huckabee may lose his current lead among immigration issue voters.

One of Huckabee’s biggest weaknesses is money. According to Open Secrets, Romney has raised $62 million, Giuliani $47 million, Thompson $12 million, and Ron Paul $8 million. Huckabee has raised a little over $2 million. It takes lots of it to create, publish, and air an effective media campaign. If he can find a way to keep his face and voice on the issues before America’s conservative voters, he just might have a chance of winning the Republican nomination.

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