But the CNN poll shows that selecting Huckabee as the nominee could be a suicide bid for the GOP.
While presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is surging in new polls of GOP candidates, a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Tuesday shows he would lose to all three leading Democratic candidates by double digits in hypothetical contests.
In head-to-head matchups -- the first to include Huckabee -- the former Arkansas governor loses to Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York by 10 percentage points (54 percent to 44 percent), to Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois by 15 points (55 percent to 40 percent) and to former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina by 25 points (60 percent to 35 percent).
As usual, though, the real story is pretty much buried in the poll numbers. Here's the matchups between the various Democratic and Republican contenders. (All numbers from a poll of more than 1,000 likely voters taken between December 6 and December 9.)
Clinton 51 Giuliani 45
Clinton 54 Romney 43
Clinton 48 McCain 50
Clinton 54 Huckabee 44
Obama 52 Giuliani 45
Obama 54 Romney 41
Obama 48 McCain 48
Obama 55 Huckabee 40
Edwards 53 Giuliani 44
Edwards 59 Romney 37
Edwards 52 McCain 44
Edwards 60 Huckabee 35
The one candidate who most pundits have already left for dead by the side of the road, John Edwards, is the single Democrat on the national landscape who would most likely trounce every single Republican in the race. Similarly, John McCain has been cut loose for fish bait by most pundits and he's the only one putting in a strong showing against the Democrats. Now, I'm no Edwards fan (at least no more than any of the rest of the tepid batch of empty suits in the running, anyway) but if the Democrats are serious about taking back the White House, wouldn't you want to put your fastest horse in the race? And how is McCain, even after a bit of a comeback last month, doing so poorly in the GOP race when he is starting to look like the only one with a ghost of a chance?
Are these people really trying to lose? Or do we really need to take a new, hard look at the nomination and selection process?