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Why Doesn’t Mike Huckabee Get More Respect?

Mike Huckabee, in spite of having a weekly show on Fox News, is getting very little attention these days. Over the last month, Huckabee has 271 Google News hits, as compared with 1,209 for Mitt Romney, 3,292 for Newt Gingrich, or 9,653 for Sarah Palin.

But when it comes time to actually poll these candidates, Huckabee comes out looking pretty good. A new PPP poll, for instance, for the 2012 (!) Presidential Election shows Huckabee being more competitive than his Republican rivals against Barack Obama.

Huckabee gets the highest percentage of Democratic support (17%) among any of the four candidates PPP tested. He also does the best job of consolidating Republican voters, getting 77% of their support.

Yes, it’s ridiculously early to be polling an election four years into the future. Still, one wonders whether the Republican establishment will notice that the same things that make Huckabee unpopular with them (such as his ‘unorthodox’ positions on cap-and-trade and education) may make him more appealing to actual voters, and whether the media establishment will notice that he’s every bit as likely to become President someday as someone like Palin.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.