David Yepsen thinks Huckabee can win Iowa, which would be a pretty stunning coup. It's hard to tell sometimes in these horserace-y elections whether there's a genuine darkhorse, or whether the press is just trying to make it seem more exciting, but I think there's something substantial in Huckabee's surge. For one, it's the Democratic race, not the Republican one, that needs a little injection of excitement; the Republican race is already pretty exciting, what with Giuliani leading national polls but Romney comfortably ahead in Iowa and New Hampshire and Fred Thompson's surging, then stagnating numbers.
Second, the Huckabee surge is confirmed by numerous polling outfits.
Third, Huckabee makes by far the most sense as a GOP candidate. I've been dumbfounded at his lack of support all this time. Look at his credentials: he's a relatively popular governor, a lifelong conservative (and not like a Fred Thompson "I-lobbied-for-pro-choice-groups" conservative, but an actual, bonafide conservative), and a Baptist minister. He's a humble, likable speaker, and has an interesting and endearing personal story: he used to be morbidly obese, and by cleaning up his life he lost 110 lbs. It might not seem like much, but it makes him seem much more "real"-- or to use the political buzzword, "authentic"-- than the other guys.
And don't think for a second that he's unelectable. Huckabee may not be perfect, but he's a hell of a lot more ideologically pure than Romney, Giuliani, Thompson, or McCain, and comes off as more likable than them as well. He'd have no tougher of a time against Hillary Clinton than the others, and unlike some of them, he could actually beat her in a personality contest.
Not that the Huckster isn't without baggage. He suffers from much of the ignorance and sexual Puritanism one would expect from a southern Baptist minister: he doesn't believe in evolution, for instance (you're right, Mike, man didn't come from monkeys. Humans actually descended from primates), which bothers me considering what happened the last time a president refused to listen to information that didn't conform to his beliefs. He also listens a little too much to rightwing conspiracy theories, which ultimately led to make his extremely stupid and myopic decision to free a convicted rapist, against the advice of every advisory position in Arkansas, because he thought Clinton framed the man.
That rapist later raped and murdered a young woman in Missouri, and has since died in prison.
Of course, he's also kind of a dipshit, but let's be honest, Republicans, and some independents, have been falling for the "dipshit with common sense" routine over and over for the last 20 years at least.
And, apropos of the last link, he's the worst kind of anti-Roe: the kind that really just wants women to stop having sex except when called upon to do their duty as baby-farms. He doesn't want abortion to be legal, but he really doesn't want people having safe sex, either, hence the apprehension about condoms. I guess life is a sacred, wonderful thing that comes as a gift from God as punishment for defiling one's body.