Solidly pro-Israel Mike Huckabee leads the polls for the Iowa caucus nomination of a Republican candidate for the 2012 presidential election.
A survey by Public Policy Polling (PPP), which has connections with national Democrats, released a poll Tuesday that shows the former Arkansas governor, now living in Florida, a clear favorite in the Iowa caucus, which he also won in 2008.
However, Huckabee has not stated if he will give up his popular and financially rewarding Fox News show to run for president.
The second most popular candidate in the Iowa caucus is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, followed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. She is on the defense following what she calls a “blood libel” for alleged incitement that some liberal leaders argue might have been a factor in alleged assassin Jared Lee Loughner’s shooting spree last Saturday. He allegedly killed six people and seriously wounded Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who so far has successfully beaten the odds against her surviving and recovering, at least partially, from a gunshot to her head.
The next test after Iowa for Huckabee will be the New Hampshire state primary, scheduled for February 6. Huckabee has several advantages over Palin, one of them being his understanding of world affairs, especially in the Middle East, while Palin has shown a general lack of knowledge on foreign issues.
Romney is trying to improve his foreign policy credentials with a current trip to the Middle East, including Afghanistan, Israel, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, according to senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom. He plans to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when he arrives in Israel.
Fehrnstrom stated, "The purpose of the trip is not to conduct private diplomacy but to give Governor Romney a first-hand look at what is happening in an important region of the world."
Huckabee has visited Israel several times and launched his campaign for the 2008 nomination with a tour of Israel, focusing on Jewish neighborhoods in parts of Jerusalem where the Palestinian Authority demands sovereignty.
He frequently has said that all of the Land of Israel belongs to Jews and has pointed out that the Arabs have so many countries, they do not need another one.
Huckabee spoke last month at the annual Beit El Dinner dinner in New York. Beit El is an Orthodox Jewish town in northeastern Samaria and is the home of the Beit El Yeshiva, headed by Rabbi Zalman Melamed.