In Iowa, the most reliable indicator of whether someone reached in a poll will actually attend the caucuses is whether they've attended in the past. Significantly, Romney has a huge lead over everyone else among "first-time caucus goers," with 37% to 14% for his nearest rival. In contrast, Huckabee has the lead among those who "have attended before," although his lead over Romney there is only about five points.
What that means, at least if past is prologue, is that Huckabee is better positioned to capitalize on his support than Romney, and thus could pull off a surprise on Caucus Day.
Huckabee's sudden strong support among Iowa evangelicals contrasts with his weakness in South Carolina, where Romney has recently shown strength. However, if Huckabee manages to pull off the upset in Iowa, all that will change and Romney will be in big trouble.
Who would benefit most from the Huckster winning Iowa? We think McCain, as sober Republicans in New Hampshire would be likely to coalesce around the most experienced of the traditional GOP members in the field. Just a hunch. But wouldn't it be weirdly fun if, after all this, the Elephant race came down to McCain versus Huckabee?