Poll Numbers Place Huckabee at Head of Pack Vying to Lose to Hillary in 2016

WASHINGTON – A new poll has found that former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is now a top contender to receive the Republican nomination for president and eventually lose to Hillary Clinton in 2016. Huckabee, who has spent the last several years working as a political commentator for Fox News, still lags slightly behind Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., in the race to be defeated by Clinton, but sources say he is “confident he’ll secure the top spot soon.”

The poll, conducted by WPA Opinion Research, found that Paul and Huckabee are each supported by about 13 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. Huckabee spokesman J. Hogan Gidley said that “Mike can almost smell the post-loss book deals he’ll receive in mid-November 2016.”

“Right now, it’s a crowded field,” Gidley said, noting that several other contenders, like Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, are close on Huckabee and Paul’s heels, each garnering around 9 percent support. “But none of them have run for president before, so we think Mike’s experience losing will really put him ahead of the pack.”

The poll seems to show that many Republicans who support Huckabee for the nomination do not believe that he is the candidate most likely to defeat Clinton in a hypothetical matchup. Paul, Christie, and former Florida governor Jeb Bush lead that field, but WPA Opinion Research CEO Chris Wilson said that the finding “isn’t too surprising.”

“It’s true that many Republicans support Huckabee even though they think Clinton will beat him,” Wilson said. “But that’s largely because they don’t want to get their hopes up. Better to keep their heads down and pray for a better field in 2020.”

No Republicans have officially announced their candidacy yet, but last week Huckabee reportedly told congressional GOP members that he is considering a run and believes he is “ideally positioned to put up a good fight but eventually go down in history as guy who lost to the first woman president.”

“Hey, losing in the 2008 primaries to John McCain didn’t faze me,” Huckabee reportedly told House Republicans. “I think I’m ready to lose on the big stage, in a general election.”

For his part, Sen. Paul, whose father launched three unsuccessful bids for the White House, contends that he “still remains the best candidate to lose to Hillary with dignity,” adding that at least he’s “young enough to make a few more runs for the White House.”