With the new Rasmussen "Daily Presidential Tracking Poll" showing Mike Huckabee in a tie for first place with Rudy Giuliani; I'd like to offer my opinion on how the new "Man from Hope" has made such gains on the Golden Boy of the NYC news elites. I think it has a lot to do with the attacks made in recent days, including in the CNN YouTube Republican debate , against both Huckabee and Giuliani on their respective perceived weaknesses.
Both were questioned, in the YouTube debate (an obvious far-left-leaning assault against Republicans), about their history regarding illegal immigration. Mitt Romney accused Giuliani of a sort of passive amnesty for illegal immigrants in running New York as a sanctuary city; and accused Huckabee of what is basically leniency regarding the children of illegals applying for scholarships in Arkansas.
Although a hard-liners on immigration like me don't agree with Huckabee's position on children brought here (possibly born here) by parents who broke our immigration laws; it's a far cry from giving sanctuary to the lawbreakers themselves, as seems to be the case in Giuliani's record. Still, this is at least a perceived weakness for both candidates.
Apart from immigration, each has been labeled as lacking in conservative in a different area. For Huckabee, some have questioned his credentials as a fiscal conservative, primarily over a few tax increases he agreed to as governor of Arkansas. For Rudy his long standing positions of supporting abortion-on-demand, gun control and gay-unions are a challenge indicate a lack of social conservatism.
In Huckabee's defense, he offers statistics of having cut taxes over 90 times, reducing discretionary spending, and balancing the Arkansas budget. Meanwhile, Giuliani offers to "nominate strict-constructionist judges" when asked about abortion; says gay-unions should be a matter for the states (as does Fred Thompson); and pays a weak lip-service (it seems to me) to the Second Amendment by claiming the Federal Government doesn't have the same authority cities (and possibly states) do in the area of gun control.
I think it all comes down to a matter of trust. Do you believe those making the accusations, or do you believe the candidate's defense? This is where character really counts in the public eye. I think today's Rasmussen poll results are a good indication of who people think more likely to live up to promises to secure our border; and that people trust Mike Huckabee to be a Fiscal Conservative more than they trust Rudy Giuliani to be a Social Conservative.