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POLITICS: Campaigns

Mike Huckabee looking at 'trend of support' to make 2016 decision

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Byron York,Iowa,2016 Elections,Rand Paul,Campaigns,Jeb Bush,Mike Huckabee

Ten days ago, a poll by WPA Opinion Research showed former Arkansas Gov. and 2008 Republican primary runner-up Mike Huckabee tied for the lead of the 2016 GOP race. Now, another survey, this one by Suffolk University, shows Huckabee at the front of the pack, this time in Iowa, the state that will kick off the caucus and primary process.

With a field so crowded, it doesn't take a huge level of support to be at the top. In the Suffolk poll, Huckabee is the choice of 11 percent of Iowa Republicans. Sen. Rand Paul and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are next, each with ten percent. Sen. Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson are tied at nine percent. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is at seven percent. And six potential candidates — Rep. Paul Ryan, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sen. Marco Rubio, former Sen. Rick Santorum and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — are tied at six percent.

Mike Huckabee | http://washingtonexaminer.com/section/mike-huckabee
2016 GOP race | http://washingtonexaminer.com/section/2016-electionspoll by WPA Opinion Research | http://www.wparesearch.com/uncategorized/rand-paul-and-mike-huckabee-leading-new-nationwide-2016-poll-released-by-wpa/by Suffolk University | http://www.suffolk.edu/news/31466.php#.U0Wil-ZdXasRand Paul | http://washingtonexaminer.com/section/rand-paulJeb Bush | http://washingtonexaminer.com/section/jeb-bushTed Cruz | http://washingtonexaminer.com/section/ted-cruzBen Carson | http://washingtonexaminer.com/section/ben-carsonChris Christie | http://washingtonexaminer.com/section/chris-christiePaul Ryan | http://washingtonexaminer.com/section/paul-ryanSarah Palin | http://washingtonexaminer.com/section/sarah-palinMarco Rubio | http://washingtonexaminer.com/section/marco-rubioRick Santorum | http://washingtonexaminer.com/section/rick-santorumScott Walker | http://washingtonexaminer.com/section/scott-walkerIowa | http://washingtonexaminer.com/section/iowaFox News | http://washingtonexaminer.com/section/fox-newsthis November's elections | http://washingtonexaminer.com/section/2014-elections

But Huckabee, who last won an election in 2002 and is now best known as host of a weekend program on Fox News, is at the top. And the former governor — who says he has not decided whether to run — just happened to be in Iowa on Tuesday night, speaking to a group of social conservatives and meeting with key political figures.

"Gov. Huckabee had a great day in Iowa Tuesday, and [the Suffolk poll] reflects what we saw on the ground," says Chad Gallagher, executive director of Huckabee's political action committee, HuckPAC. "While he has not made a decision on 2016, the Suffolk University poll shows a trend of support that is vital in the decision-making process."

In a recent conversation, Huckabee stressed that he will not decide whether or not to run until after this November's elections. But in a statement after the WPA poll was released, Huckabee made clear it's a serious possibility. "While any decision on my part is some time away, this is certainly encouraging, since I've not even been named in most polls, and certainly not considered an 'insider,' " he said. "If I were to run, I'd certainly start in a different place than in 2008."

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Byron York

Chief Political Correspondent
The Washington Examiner