Long-shot Republican candidate Mike Huckabee declared "a new day in American politics" Thursday after riding strong support from evangelical Christians into a decisive victory in the Iowa caucuses.
Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister and, like Bill Clinton, a native of Hope, Ark., managed to win despite trailing badly in national polls for most of the year.
He out-hustled runner-up Mitt Romney and better-known candidates John McCain, Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani with a coalition of pastors, home schooling adherents, gun rights advocates and supporters of a new national tax system.
"This election is not about me. It's about we," the former Arkansas governor told supporters here. He said the victory would ignite "a prairie fire of new hope and zeal."
This victory makes Huckabee a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination.