Iowa Newsweek Poll: Huckabee 39 Romney 17

Huckabee doubles up rivals in new Iowa poll
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Republican White House hopeful Mike Huckabee's stunning Iowa surge took him to a gaping lead in a new poll Friday, just 27 days before the state holds the first 2008 nominating contest.

Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, led long-time Iowa poll leader Mitt Romney 39 percent to 17 percent among Republicans likely to attend the Iowa caucuses on January 3, in the new Newsweek survey.

Romney, the ex-governor of Massachusetts, delivered a landmark speech on Thursday, asking Americans not to reject him over his Mormon religion, partly motivated by Huckabee's support among crucial evangelical voters in Iowa.

Screen star and former Senator Fred Thompson was third in the poll on 10 percent, a point ahead of former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

The poll was the latest major survey to suggest that Huckabee, who toiled in low single digits a few months ago, is making a remarkable run from nowhere in the vital state.