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Huckabee Does Have A Catholic Problem

Contrary to what you read here [1] yesterday, Romney is apparently not in such bad shape in Michigan.  Rasmussen [2] has him leading 26-25 over McCain with Huckabee in third at 17%.  The breakdown of evangelical and Catholic votes is exactly what you would expect.  Huckabee gets a healthy 32% of evangelicals, but just 4% of Catholics, which is low even for him.  Among Catholics, he is in sixth place behind Fred Thompson and Ron Paul.  Romney leads among every non-evangelical religious group.  The good news for Huckabee is that he was never expected to be able to win a state like Michigan, at least not at this stage, so a respectable third behind Romney, the “native son,” and McCain would not be such a bad outcome.  The only one who must win is Romney, and he seems to be in a good position to do it.  However, Romney’s position is once again deceptively strong: 58% of his supporters say they might change their mind or are unsure about supporting him, which is higher than for any other candidate.  McCain and Huckabee have pretty well locked down over half of their current supporters, which still leaves many impossible to pin down for certain.  Things could shift pretty quickly in the next couple of days. 

Curiously, Romney wins among both conservatives and liberals, but loses big to McCain among “moderates.”  As you would also expect, Huckabee also does best among the <$20K earners.  He also does well among the $65-75K earners, but he is actually leading among the lowest income group.  In every other income group, he trails Romney and McCain, each of whom gets about a quarter to a third of each income group except for the lowest one.  To give you a sense of how strange a mix Ron Paul supporters are, his best support (12%) comes from $20-40K earners and the $100K earners.  McCain's support generally increases as you go into the higher income groups, while Romney's fluctuates back and forth. Some marginally good news for Paul supporters: Paul shows some added strength in Michigan, now at 8%, ahead of Giuliani and almost tied with Thompson.  It is a dubious distinction to be ahead of someone who has abandoned the state and almost tied with the guy who isn't trying very hard up north, but it is better than previous polls I have seen.  The problem is that most of his support comes from non-GOP voters (he is second only to McCain in non-GOP support), which obviously doesn't help in later closed primaries.