Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, January 29, 2014
Call it a January surprise!
A new Public Policy Polling study released Wednesday has former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the lead with 16 percent of the likely voting electorate. Following closely behind are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 14 percent and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 13 percent. Rounding out the rest of the ballot are Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 11 percent; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan at 8 percent each; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 6 percent; and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal at 5 percent.
Huckabee and Bush were the two big winners over the past month, each gaining 3-4 points during that time. Bush, for one, benefited greatly from the so-called “Bridgegate” scandal that has tainted Christie’s reputation over the past few weeks, as the two are primarily fighting for the same voters. While the governor has denied having any role in the cover-up surrounding the politically motivated closures of the George Washington Bridge – which connects Fort Lee, N.J. with Manhattan – several of his senior staffers have either been fired or forced out in the wake of the scandal.
The other big “loser” in January’s poll was Cruz, whose star continues to drop as his marathon 21-hour speech in support of defunding Obamacare becomes but a distant memory.
Huckabee’s surprise lead in the polls follows his recent “libido” controversy, where the 2008 presidential candidate accused Democrats of believing that women are helpless when it comes to “controlling their libido” without government help during the Republican National Committee’s Winter Meeting last week. PPP began the study the day of his comments.
“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it,” Huckabee said. “Let us take that discussion all across America, because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be and women across America need to stand up and say, ‘Enough of that nonsense.’”
“Mike Huckabee’s comments last week didn’t hurt him with the GOP base,” Dean Debnam, the President of Public Policy Polling, said in a press release. “If anything they might have helped him in combination with Chris Christie’s explosion.”
On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains the clear frontrunner in the race, with 67 percent of Democratic primary voters supporting her candidacy. Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren both netted 7 percent in the study; New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo 2 percent; and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner each collected 1 percent of the vote.
Should the former first lady not make a second bid for the presidency, however, Biden becomes the leader of the pack with 32 percent of the vote. Warren remains in second place with 16 percent and Booker and Cuomo trail behind with 6 percent.
Public Policy Polling conducted a nationwide telephone and Internet study of 845 registered voters – including 457 Republican primary voters and 334 Democratic primary voters – from January 23-25, 2014. The margin of error for the full study is +/- 3.4 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence, for the GOP primary sample it is +/- 4.6 percent, and for the Democratic primary sample it is +/- 5.4 percent.