From: CHIP SALTSMAN, National Campaign Manager
Momentum and message are the key words coming out of today's Republican presidential debate on ABC News at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Governor Huckabee clearly has it; other candidates whose campaigns are stagnant or failing only wish they did.
1. The debate opened with the network revealing details of the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll results in Iowa. Governor Huckabee has surged to a tie for third place among declared candidates at 8 percent. It's no surprise that former Governor Mitt Romney leads because of the extraordinary amount of money he has poured into the race, including millions of his personal fortune. Former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani, who has chosen to ignore the Republican Party of Iowa Straw Poll in Ames this coming Saturday, is in second place as he continues to ride a wave of name identification. What has surprised the mainstream media is Governor Huckabee's continued strong showing, which can only be attributed to the strength of his message and the hard work of dedicated friends and volunteers like you.
2. Pollster Frank Luntz, who measured debate watchers' reactions in real time, said afterward that Governor Huckabee is the clear winner. As in past debates, the public has responded favorably to his command of the facts, his control of his emotions and his ability as an outstanding communicator. That's what leadership is all about, folks. As the Governor often says, he's a conservative, but he's not mad at anybody. That came through again in today's debate, and that creates a real connection with the American public. Whenever people see Mike Huckabee, they come away with a favorable impression. Luntz's tracking proves that fact.
3. The American public got another opportunity today to see that Governor Huckabee's message is on target. On Iraq, health care, national infrastructure and other issues, Governor Huckabee offered the most effective, balanced, reasoned and comprehensive solutions. The bottom line is that Mike Huckabee defined himself again today as a candidate with executive experience and a message focused on a strong, safe, economically vibrant America. He has what it takes to restore America's greatness.
Finally, I know you've all been working extremely hard to produce a successful result in Saturday's straw poll. There's an old saying about generals that's just as true for campaign managers -- we're in the business of asking the impossible. What I'm going to ask you to do this week is redouble your efforts to get even more Iowans to the straw poll in Ames to vote for Mike Huckabee. That might seem impossible to you because of all the hard work you're already doing, but I know you can do it -- and today's debate proved again why your efforts are worth it! I had several national reporters tell me this morning that Mike Huckabee is on the verge of emerging as a top-tier candidate. One told me it's a story they're ready to report. With your help, a big day in Ames will vault this campaign into the top tier. Let's do the "impossible" together this week and send a message from Iowa to the entire nation.
To help keep our momentum going, please: