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Huckabee Returning to Iowa Amid Growing 2016 Talk

Huckabee Returning to Iowa Amid Growing 2016 Talk

By Scott Conroy - October 15, 2014

As he considers whether to launch a second presidential bid next year, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is heading back to the state that launched him from the back of the GOP pack to top-tier contender during his 2008 White House run.   

Huckabee will travel to Iowa on Tuesday to campaign for Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst, RealClearPolitics has learned. 

His visit to the state that kicks off the presidential nominating cycle will be Huckabee’s first since April, when he delivered a fiery keynote speech at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s spring fundraiser in the central Iowa city of Waukee.  

This time, Huckabee will make two campaign stops in western Iowa—the most heavily conservative area of the state, where he performed particularly well on the way to winning the 2008 GOP caucuses over Mitt Romney.  

Huckabee is certain to see some familiar faces when he makes campaign stops in Sioux City and Council Bluffs on behalf of Ernst, as the 2016 speculation begins to grow.

Last month, he suggested to reporters that he was seriously considering another White House run after passing on one during the 2012 campaign, noting that he would enjoy stronger name identification and stature with top donors than he did in 2008.  

If he does decide to enter the race, Huckabee would have to contend with a new generation of Republican competitors who would challenge him for the affections of Iowa’s conservative GOP caucus-goers.  

But Huckabee would also begin the next presidential campaign as a frontrunner in Iowa, a state where he has led or shared the lead in nearly every public poll of Republican caucus-goers this year .

Scott Conroy is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at sconroy@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearScott.

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