HUCKABEE SURGING….According to the LA Times, Mike Huckabee’s newfound success goes beyond just Iowa. Nationally, he’s climbed into second place:

Mike Huckabee, the ascendant Republican presidential candidate in Iowa, is enjoying a surge of support across the country — and Rudolph W. Giuliani seems to be paying the biggest price, a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found.

….In the Times/Bloomberg poll, Huckabee was preferred by 17% of likely GOP voters — up from 7% in a similar October survey. Support for Giuliani, the former New York mayor who once enjoyed a commanding lead in national polls, slid 9 percentage points over the last two months — to 23%.

On the Democratic side, things have stayed about the same since the last Times/Bloomberg poll: 45% for Clinton, 21% for Obama, and 11% for Edwards.

In other news from the poll, 71% of respondents think it’s likely we’re headed for a recession next year, compared to 65% who thought so a couple of months ago. I’ll go with the crowd on that one. And 58% think the government should force subprime lenders to freeze interest rates in order to help borrowers who are in danger of default. I’m actually not sure what I think about that, but it certainly seems like an opening for some enterprising presidential candidate to take advantage of. How can you go wrong running against shifty subprime mortgage lenders?