New Poll Shows GOP Race Fluid

The latest political poll released Wednesday (12-19-07) from Reuters/Zogby, suggests the presidential race among Republicans might produce a major upset in the Iowa caucus scheduled for 1-3-08.

Mike Huckabee has surged into a virtual tie with front-runner Rudy Giuliani in the national 2008 Republican presidential race two weeks before the first contest, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas whose campaign has caught fire in recent weeks, wiped out an 18-point deficit in one month to pull within one point of Giuliani, 23 percent to 22 percent.

Zogby himself offers insight into Huckabee's remarkable turnaround thus far:

“Huckabee is on a roll, he has gotten an enormous amount of publicity and he is doing very well with conservatives, who at least for now appear to have found a candidate,” pollster John Zogby said.

Giuliani, the former New York mayor who has led most national polls since early in the year, saw his support drop from 29 percent to 23 percent in the survey. His one-point lead over Huckabee was well within the poll's 4.8 percentage point margin of error.

Giuliani isn't the only Republican candidate worried about the Huckabee phenomenom:

Huckabee moved ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who was in third place at 16 percent, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson at 13 percent, Arizona Sen. John McCain at 12 percent and Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 4 percent.

The groundswell for Huckabee, a Baptist minister with close ties to religious conservatives, has been fueled in part by his growing support among that key party constituency.

Among likely Republican voters who say they are “very conservative,” Huckabee drew the support of 43 percent, with Thompson second at 20 percent and Romney third at 16 percent.

Fred Thompson has said that if he finishes among the top three in Iowa, he would interpret it as an important victory for his late-bloomer candidacy. A third place finish for Romney, however, would almost be fatal when you consider the tsunami of money poured into Iowa by the his organization.

Those voters who describe themselves as “born again” gave Huckabee the lead at 33 percent, with McCain in second at 17 percent and Romney with 14 percent.

The number of undecided likely Republican voters dropped from 21 percent last month to 9 percent. The race remains fluid enough to be shaped dramatically by the results in Iowa on January 3 and New Hampshire, where voters go to the polls on January 8.

“Voters are starting to at least pay attention and identify with someone,” Zogby said. “But it doesn't mean they have made up their minds for good.”

Zogby has a right to be cautious given the current volitility of the race. Is this a passing phase or an omen of things to come? Any observations or comments from RMG folks on this sudden turn of events?

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  • Knightbrigade

    I think “very conservative” voters are slowly starting to gel.

    A key is this statement–“Among likely Republican voters who say they are “very conservative,” Huckabee drew the support of 43 percent, with Thompson second at 20 percent and Romney third at 16 percent.”

    Once these voters digest Huckabee’s liberal stance on some issues, Thompson will get a boost. Mitt has the organization and money, but “very conservative” voters aren’t convinced he is genuine, for obvious reasons. On the Second Amendment Mitt absolutely sucks.

    If Thompson gets at least 3rd In Iowa, he will not care about NH, it will be on to the South. Mitt needs at least a 1st or a 2nd in both Iowa and NH to be a factor, or he will fade. Huckabee could hang in for the season, but only if “very conservative” voters stay with him, if not he’s done.

    After NH, I see Thompson, Mitt, Rudy starting to distance themselves. McCain may get 2nd in NH, and that’s it. The Huckabomb will run outa gas …And God Bless poor Ron Paul…If he wasn’t so libertarian and kind of wacky, I could see some very good things to build on.

  • Vote3rdpartynow

    I must admit that this GOP primary is very exciting because it is truly anybody’s ballgame.  

    I am beginning to see a plateau to Huckabee, but I think he has established himself in the race and if nothing else he is a solid contender for the Vice President’s spot.  What is most interesting is that Huck’s support is across gender lines, age lines and income lines.  He has the most rounded support of any candidate in the race and they are sticking with him.  Best of all is that Huckabee could be a strong second man to Rudy, Romney or McCain (or vice Versa).

    A new development today is that CO Rep Tom Tancredo is withdrawing from the race.  I like Tom Tancredo, but must admit he is a one-trick pony.  His stance on illegal immigration is strong, and we should be thankful that he was in the race to elevate the issue.  Though he only had single digit (2% – 3%) support, his followers are up for grabs and I am not sure where they go from here.  I will venture a guess that they go to Fred Thompson, which heats things up even more…

    I think that Huckabee will take Iowa, McCain will take New Hampshire, Huckabee will take South Carolina and then Super Tuesday is an all out brawl to stay alive for Rudy, Romney and Thompson.

    THIS RACE IS FUN!!!!!!

  • polls are so statistically irrelevent concerning non-national elections so as to be useless as a tool for divining the pulse of the primary and general Presidential election voter.

    It’s a statistical ruse whose only use is for writing articles.

    For example…..poll one person from every state…but 500 people from CA…..and you’ve got a “national poll”…but it’s really a “CA poll”….so the results are only good for predicting the voters of CA.  We do not have a national election.

    In addition, people’s perceptions and opinions change the minute the first IA vote is cast…people just like to vote for a winner and will gravitate towards the IA winner…then the NH winner, etc…

    Population Psychology….best non-major class I ever took.

  • Which way did the voters describing themselves as “damned” go?