Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says Donald Trump's vow to drop out of the presidential race if his poll numbers sink may be the billionaire developer's excuse for an "out."
"There have been some people speculate that he would walk it up to the point of voting and maybe not pull the trigger," Huckabee said Friday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"He's a candidate, I respect him … I'm glad he's in [the debate]."
But, Huckabee added playfully, "I would love it if he dropped out and I got all his voters. That would be terrific."
In an interview Thursday on CNBC, Trump, who remains the far-ahead frontrunner in the GOP presidential race, said he would quit if he's no longer "leading in every poll," in deference to the leading candidate.
"I'm not a masochist. If I fell behind badly, I would certainly get out," Trump said.
But, he added, "I'm in this for the long haul."
Huckabee said it is still too early to start calling the GOP race.
"Everybody's poll numbers go up and down at this point. It doesn't mean a lot," he said.
Still, Trump has led in the polls for several months. The closest he's come to second is a recent CNN poll that had him in a virtual tie with neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
The RealClearPolitics average of recent national polls has Trump at 23.3 percent, ahead of Ben Carson's 16.3 percent. They are followed by Carly Fiorina (11.8 percent), Sen. Marco Rubio (9.5 percent), Gov. Jeb Bush (9 percent), Sen. Ted Cruz (6.2 percent) and Gov. John Kasich with 3.3 percent.
Huckabee ties with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in eight place, each with 3 percent.
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