There an idea out there that supporting Huckabee “really” lends support to Giuliani, but what this idea does is to boost Romney by advancing claims that aren’t necessarily true. It tells you that the only person who can “stop Giuliani” is Romney, and it justifies this claim on the shaky ground that Romney, whose definite support in South Carolina is very limited (see page 11), is in a position to compete against Giuliani, who is supposedly in a position to dominate the race without a heroic Romney to stand in his way. Don’t you believe any of it. Huckabee today ties Giuliani in Rasmussen’s daily national tracking poll. Now I don’t think much of national polls, but if they have justified labeling Giuliani a “frontrunner” for all these months, they now justify calling Huckabee a co-frontrunner. (As of right now, it appears as if Romney peaked in early October and Giuliani peaked in mid-October, with the latter shedding five points in the last week and dropping below 20% for only the second time in the last two months.)
Also, South Carolina voting is strongly influenced by what happens in earlier contests, and on the Republican side the Iowa winner tends to win in South Carolina as well. This has usually worked to the advantage of the party establishment’s favourite, but this cycle things are much more scrambled and divided than usual. The profiles of the GOP electorates in Iowa and South Carolina are similar enough that a surging Huckabee could also do quite well in S.C. if he could win in Iowa, assuming Huckabee could get some money for advertising during late December and early January.