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Before "The Speech"

8:42 AM, Dec 6, 2007 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
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Before Mitt Romney delivers his address on "Faith in America" at 10:30 this morning, it's worth reading Robert Novak's table-setter. Here's the part of Novak's column that struck me as the most interesting:

These advisers still think [a "Mormon speech" is] a bad idea, recommending that any speech should have been preceded by Romney winning in Iowa, New Hampshire or both. They think Romney is overreacting to the surge of Huckabee, who probably tops out at 25 percent in Iowa. They believe Huckabee's support is pro-Evangelical rather than anti-Mormon, boosted by his support of 'fair tax' reform to eliminate the federal income tax (countermanding his high tax record in Arkansas).

As you can see in this poll, Huckabee's polling average in Iowa is currently at around 27 percent, and his trend-line is upward. Romney sank below 30 percent support in early November, and has not recovered yet. Indeed Romney's trend-line in Iowa is downward for now. It's just as possible that it is Romney, not Huckabee, who has "topped out" in Iowa. Of course, no one will know for sure until the caucuses, now less than 30 days away.