Poll: GOP voters like Huckabee most, say he's best qualified

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Fox News,2016 Elections,Rand Paul,Chris Christie,Conservatism,Jeb Bush,Mike Huckabee

Republicans like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee the most and consider him the best qualified potential GOP presidential candidate among the major contenders. But, as with the rest, they aren't psyched for him to run, according to a new Economist/YouGov.com survey.

Some 72 percent of Republicans like Huckabee, a Fox host and conservative populist. That beats Sen. Rand Paul, at 66 percent, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 62 percent, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 60 percent.

And 51 percent of Republicans also view him as qualified to be president, more than the rest again.

But as previous Economist/YouGov.com polls have shown, there is no GOP groundswell of support for Huckabee or the others. Only 34 percent want him to run, slightly behind Paul at 36 percent. By comparison, the group's survey of Hillary Clinton found that 69 percent of Democrats want her to run.

His strength is his honesty, said the survey release. “By more than four to one (65 percent to 15 percent), Republicans say he is more likely to say what he really believes than to try and tell people what they want to hear. More than half – 52 percent – agree that he is more honest than most people in public life.”

A word bubble of the things people said of Huckabee in the survey included “honest,” “intelligent,” and “trustworthy.”

But some of his main selling points--his evangelism and conservative views--could be a drag.

“Huckabee’s religion, considered as a positive by those who like Huckabee, also has a negative side for those who don’t. So does his ideology,” said the survey release.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.