Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Mike Huckabee Gains National Momentum, Positive Recognition as “Dark Horse Candidate” to Win GOP Nomination

Mike Huckabee Gains National Momentum, Positive Recognition as “Dark Horse Candidate” to Win GOP Nomination

Little Rock, AR – Former AR Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee received praise from politics’ ‘odd couple’ – former President Bill Clinton and former Speaker Newt Gingrich –who said Sunday, in separate interviews, that he is the most likely “dark horse candidate” to win the GOP nomination.

Huckabee, who now ranks fourth in Iowa among likely Republican Caucus-Goers, welcomed the positive comments, saying his 1st place win in the recent “Values Voter” poll – along with other significant developments, has buoyed his chances for victory.

Huckabee is now ahead of Sen. John McCain in Iowa and nearly tied with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, according to a Sept. 29 Newsweek poll conducted with 1,215 Iowa registered voters by Princeton Survey Research Associates International on Sept. 26-27.

“The Newsweek poll reflects what we’ve been feeling on the ground for some time: that there is steady, upward momentum for my campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire , and other early primary states,” said Huckabee.

Huckabee, who participated in one of Gingrich’s ‘American Solutions’ workshops in New Hampshire on Saturday, said he was pleased by the former Speaker’s comments on ABC News’ “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that he is an appealing candidate who would be “instantly viable” if given funds to succeed.

“Obviously we’re making a similar pitch to our supporters and donors,” said Huckabee. “We’ve got a winning message. O ur focus is on the money game.”

Former President Clinton, who also appeared on the ABC show, said Huckabee is the only GOP “dark horse that’s got any kind of chance” of winning the GOP nomination. Clinton also said his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY), is the likely Democratic nominee.

Last month, a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed Huckabee and former Gov. Mitt Romney nearly tied in respective head to head match-ups against Hillary Clinton. Clinton led Huckabee 50-36 with 6% undecided, while she led Romney 51-38 with 5% undecided. The poll also gave Huckabee the lowest negative ratings among all Republican candidates for President, boding well in a potential match-up against Clinton .

Huckabee said Sen. Clinton’s “front-runner” status gives her a natural advantage, which could be overcome “once Republicans rally around their candidate.”

Campaign Manager Chip Saltsman agreed, saying that a Huckabee-Clinton match-up would be formidable. “Since the Iowa Straw poll, Gov. Huckabee has been gaining upward momentum in nearly every poll. Recent results in an American Research Group poll, released last month, show Gov. Huckabee is leading Mitt Romney among Republicans in South Carolina , and leading Fred Thompson in both Iowa and New Hampshire . These trends all indicate one thing: Mike Huckabee is a candidate who has the ‘right stuff’ to win.”

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