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Huckabee Takes First Lead In National Poll; Even With Romney in Iowa

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The latest Rasmussen survey of 600 likely Republican voters finds Mike Huckabee with his first outright lead in a national poll. Huckabee registered 20 percent support followed by Rudy Giuliani at 17 percent, Mitt Romney and John McCain at 13 percent, Fred Thompson at 10 percent, and Ron Paul at 7 percent.

The "Huckabee Surge"—discussed here at Smart Politics back in October—has now clearly steamrolled from Iowa to across the nation. This surge, however, does not make Huckabee the favorite in the GOP race—his campaign is not particularly well-funded, and, as the Rasmussen numbers suggest, five GOP candidates are bunched within 10 points of each other with no candidate winning more than one-fifth of the support of likely Republican voters. The race is wide open.

Huckabee is also within one point of Romney (26 to 25 percent) in the latest Zogby poll of likely Republican caucus voters in Iowa. Huckabee has now polled at least 22 percent in the last 7 public polls taken of Republicans in Iowa during the past three weeks.

Giuliani (12 percent), Thompson (8 percent), McCain (5 percent), Paul (5 percent), Tom Tancredo (2 percent), and Duncan Hunter (1 percent) round out the filed, with 15 percent undecided.

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