October 26, 2007
Huckabee Tops Poll of Evangelical Leaders
NAE survey shows Giuliani and Fred Thompson tied for a distant second.
With the "What about Huckabee?" cries growing louder, the National Association of Evangelicals' poll reveals that many Christian leaders do see him as the best match for their values.
When making a specific choice Huckabee was clearly the leader with Sam Brownback, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson tying for a distant second place. Hillary Clinton was named, but only by those who don't want her to be a candidate.
Brownback resigned from the race October 19.
The Associated Press points out that Huckabee may be less conspicuous because, "His lack of money means Huckabee can field only eight paid staffers in Iowa, about half the size of Romney's campaign, and cannot air TV ads as Romney has done for months."
Some who took the NAE poll are worried that supporting a candidate who starts from behind is a losing bet.
There is no groundswell support for any Republican or Democratic candidate," says National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) President Leith Anderson. "Huckabee is a clear first choice, but there is concern that he is too far behind in the polls to catch up. If he does well in the Iowa caucuses or early primaries, then Evangelicals may suddenly rally to his support.
Can someone who was not the initial frontrunner really take the primaries? If you're looking at Republican candidates, it's not likely, according to a Pew Research Center poll. But the Atlantic Monthly points out that 2008 may be different: "Front-loaded primaries, early fund-raising events, and multiple potential front-runners make this season's guessing game harder - and possibly more pointless - than ever."