- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who recently got into hot water over comments about women’s libidos, is leading a host of contenders in a new poll on the 2016 GOP presidential primary.

Mr. Huckabee is the choice for 16 percent of GOP primary voters, according to a new survey from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.

Fourteen percent opt for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 13 percent choose New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, 11 percent take Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan all take eight percent.

Six percent choose Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and five percent opt for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Mike Huckabee’s comments last week didn’t hurt him with the GOP base,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “If anything they might have helped him in combination with Chris Christie’s implosion.”

Mr. Huckabee has come under fire for remarks he made recently at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting.

SEE ALSO: Mike Huckabee calls for more Republican unity, less focus on social issues

“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it,” Mr. Huckabee said. “Let us take that discussion all across America, because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be and women across America need to stand up and say, ‘Enough of that nonsense.’”

Mr. Huckabee pushed back afterward.

“Everything I was accused of saying, I was actually saying the polar opposite,” he told Fox News. “It wasn’t even about contraceptives; it was about the way Democrats have accused Republicans of having a ‘war on women’ when Republicans believe that women are equal. We don’t think that it somehow is going to be necessary for them to have a government subsidy or government support or they’re not going to be able to make it.”

Last month, Mr. Christie held a two-point lead, 45 percent to 43 percent, in a hypothetical match-up with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Mrs. Clinton now leads Mr. Christie, 45 percent to 43 percent, and holds leads over the other would-be GOP opponents as well.

Two-thirds of Democratic primary voters want Mrs. Clinton to be the nominee, compared to seven percent each for Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and two percent apiece for New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents identified as Democrats, 36 percent as Republicans, and 26 percent as independent/other.

The survey of 845 registered voters was conducted from Jan. 23-26 and has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points. The margin of error for the 457 Republican primary voters polled is 4.6 percentage points, and for the 334 Democratic primary voters it’s 5.4 percent.

Eighty percent of interviews were conducted over the phone and 20 percent were conducted over the internet to reach respondents who don’t have landlines.

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