Huckabee Now Ahead in South Carolina; Romney, Thompson Giuliani 2nd

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 6, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Huckabee Now Ahead in South Carolina; Romney, Thompson Giuliani 2nd Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 6,

Columbia, SC ( — Two new polls of Republicans in South Carolina find Mike Huckabee leading in the early primary battleground state for the first time. Recent polls have had Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson or Rudy Giuliani in the lead but they now show the three GOP hopefuls tied for second just a few percentage points behind.

The surveys, released by Rasmussen and Insider Advantage, find Huckabee getting the support of 25 and 23 percent of Republicans respectively.

Rasmussen has Thompson and Romney tied at 18 percent for second place and Giuliani dropping to 12 percent from the 20 percent support he had in the company’s September poll. John McCain came in fifth with the support of 9 percent and Ron Paul had four percent.

Huckabee climbed 13 percent in Rasmussen’s survey from late November while Thompson and Romney dropped three percent each.

Meanwhile, Insider Advantage shows Thompson and Giuliani tied for second with 17 percent apiece and Romney in fourth with 14 percent. McCain is also fifth with 10 percent and Paul has 6 percent.

The polling firm last surveyed South Carolina residents in early October and the change has Huckabee up 12 percent, Romney down two, Thompson down four, and Giuliani up one point.

Rasmussen reports that 37 percent of evangelical Christians and 29 percent of self-described conservatives support Huckabee. Thompson has 20 percent of the evangelical vote while Romney gets 15 percent.

All of the candidates are campaigning on pro-life platform except Giuliani, who has repeatedly indicated he supports abortion.

Looking at the trend overall in the South Carolina polls, the two new surveys released Thursday show what similar surveys in late November found to be true — that Huckabee is on the rise, Romney, McCain and Giuliani are losing a small level of support, and Thompson is staying the same.

"The race in South Carolina remains very fluid and could easily be impacted by results from earlier voting," Rasmussen says in its polling update.

It finds that less than half of the supporters of each candidate say they won’t change their mind between now and the January primary vote.

The dynamic of the South Carolina race could change now that South Carolina Citizens for Life, the leading pro-life group there, has endorsed Thompson.