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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.

Previous post: Bill O'Reilly Minimizes Huckabee Surge, Downplays Iowa Caucuses…With Errors
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Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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