Today on the Presidential Campaign Trail

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
Friday, December 7, 2007; 6:19 PM


Huckabee second in national GOP race ... Romney says he didn't hire illegal help ... Thompson raps Huckabee's Iran knowledge ... The 'O factor' _ and it's not Obama ... McCain to return to the Senate if not elected president ... Edwards calls on Clinton to take firm stand on tough issues.


AP Poll: Huckabee leaps into second place in national GOP race, hurting Giuliani and Thompson

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Mike Huckabee has vaulted from nowhere into second place in the Republican presidential race, riding a burst of support from evangelicals, Southerners and conservatives, a nationwide poll showed Friday.

The surge by the former Arkansas governor has come largely at the expense of Fred Thompson, according to the national survey by The Associated Press and Ipsos. Thompson has dropped after failing to galvanize the party's right-wing core as much as some had expected.

Rudy Giuliani remains the front-runner, yet while his support long has been steady it shows signs of fraying. Huckabee's growing strength in the South has come as the former New York mayor's support there has dropped, the poll found.

The poll showed Giuliani at 26 percent among Republican and GOP-leaning voters, about where he has been since spring. Huckabee has 18 percent, up from 10 percent in an AP-Ipsos survey a month ago and 3 percent in July.

Arizona Sen. John McCain has 13 percent, Mitt Romney 12 percent and Thompson 11 percent.


Poll: Political phone calls, visiting campaign workers swamp people in Iowa, NH, SC

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Next time you phone Aunt Betty in Des Moines and she answers with a bark, don't take it personally. Folks in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina have gotten lots of unsolicited telephone calls and visits lately from presidential campaigns. So says a telephone poll.

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