The latest on the presidential horse race.

Mike Huckabee Drastically Changes GOP Primary Battle

PPP, 1/23-1/26

  • Huckabee: 16
  • Bush: 14
  • Christie: 13
  • Paul: 11
  • Ryan: 8
  • Cruz: 8
  • Rubio: 8
  • Walker: 6
  • Jindal: 5

Most polls to this point have not included former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a 2008 Republican candidate who, in all likelihood, is expected to make another run for the GOP nomination in 2016. A new PPP poll, however, has found that with Chris Christie on the ropes, Mike Huckabee could very well be the front runner for the nomination after finishing first in the survey.

The poll, conducted between January 23 and January 26, sampling 457 registered Republican and Republican-leaning voters, has found that former Governor and current Fox News host Mike Huckabee leads the GOP nomination race with 16 percent of the vote.

Coming in a close second was former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, considered by many within the party as a viable “moderate” alternative to Christie. Bush finished with 14 percent of the vote, a strong jump from the 8 percent and 11 percent he’s seen in two polls earlier this month.

Despite a scandal that’s not going to end anytime soon, Christie was able to hang on to third place as he garnered 13 percent of the vote. Christie has consistently seen his support decline from its peak of 24 percent back in November.

Rand Paul’s support remained steady as the Kentucky Senator received 11 percent of the vote. He has now seen 11 percent support in four of the last six national GOP polls.

Perhaps the most interesting number is how much of the vote Paul Ryan loses if Mike Huckabee is in the race. Last week, an ABC News/Washington Post poll found that Ryan leads the GOP pack without Huckabee in the race with a strong 20 percent of the vote. In this poll, the Wisconsin Congressman received a mere 8 percent.

Tied with Paul Ryan were Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, each receiving 8 percent a piece. That’s right where we have seen both candidates since December.

Another factor in Ryan’s lower numbers is the inclusion of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, neither of whom were included in the previously mentioned ABC News/WashPo poll. Walker received 6 percent of the vote while Jindal garnered 5 percent.

Without those two in the poll, the race would have likely been much closer between Huckabee and Ryan.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)