WASHINGTON — Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is surging against frontrunner Rudy Giuliani, a national poll of Republican leaning voters in the White House race out Wednesday found, as another survey gave Mitt Romney the lead in New Hampshire.
A month before the first US presidential primary vote, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that the Massachusetts Governor Romney, who would be the United States' first Mormon president, "has the edge on most issues and candidate qualities tested in the new poll, and his strength in New Hampshire contrasts with his far shakier position in Iowa."
In Iowa, caucuses officially start the presidential nominating whirl on January 3. Then New Hampshire voters head to the ballot box January 8.
Romney, who led the pack among Republicans in past months in Iowa, now is "locked in a competitive race with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee" there, The Washington Post poll found.
But in New Hampshire Romney now draws the support of 37 percent of likely primary voters, almost twice the 20 percent of Arizona Senator John McCain. Giuliani was running third in the northeastern state at 16 percent, The Washington Post-ABC poll said.
That contrasts dramatically with the broader national snapshot taken by a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll also released Wednesday.
Huckabee in that survey surged to 17 percent support, in the number-two spot and trailing Giuliani's lead at 23 percent. Huckabee gained 10 points since a similar October poll while Giuliani lost nine percent, the Times poll said.
They were trailed nationally by Fred Thompson (14 percent), John McCain (11 percent), Romney (nine percent), Ron Paul (five percent), Duncan Hunter (three percent) and Tom Tancredo (0 percent).
On the Democratic side, the Times poll found little dramatic movement. New York Senator Hillary Clinton was still holding a solid lead at 45 percent (down from 48 in October) while Illinois Senator Barack Obama drew 21 percent (up from 17) and John Edwards drew 11 percent. Lawmaker Joe Biden and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson each had three percent, and lawmakers Chris Dodd and Dennis Kucinich each one percent, the survey said.