Huckabee 36, Romney 23, Rudy 12, Fred 8, McCain 5
Here is the Hotline analysis:
The new Diageo/Hotline IA poll shows Huckabee sitting on a big (but shaky) lead, while the Dem field remains deadlocked. This means two different roadmaps to 1/3.
– Not surprisingly, Huckabee does best among evangelicals and those who want an “inspirational leader”. But he’s not a one-trick pony. On electability/experience, Huckabee’s tied w/Romney and Giuliani.
– But both he and Romney have soft support. Just 50% of Huckabee voters will def. vote for him, 43% for Romney. The fluidity should help well-funded Romney who can better afford to “educate” voters. But it won’t be easy; Huckabee’s fav is at 74% w/all but 6% saying they haven’t heard of him (very different from nat’l polls where he’s still unknown).
– The Dem race is more stable, w/55% saying they’re committed to their vote. Some 65% of HRC backers, and almost as many of Obama’s, say they’ll def vote for them. Just 45% of Edwards’ supporters feel the same.
– But should Edwards lose steam, Obama’s most likely to benefit. He leads HRC by 13 pts among Edwards supporters for second choice.
– The bottom line: Romney needs to ratchet up attacks, while HRC needs to play nice.