Actually, the real scoop is that Huckabee has crawled to within one thin point of The One at 46/45. But I already teased the good news for him a few days ago, so here’s the Palinistas’ chance to feel encouraged. She trailed The One by 12 points in late October. Six weeks later, thanks to the book tour and the debacle that is ObamaCare, she’s cut it in half.

It’s interesting to note that Huckabee’s share of the Democratic vote is up from 11% a month ago to now 16%, but his share of the Republican vote is down from 87% to 83%. There’s a similar trend in his favorability numbers. Although they’re pretty much unchanged overall from 36/37 a month ago to 35/35 now, he’s dropped from 65% of Republicans seeing him positively to 57% but has increased from 13% to 17% with Democrats. We’ll want to see if this trend continues before making any definitive conclusions, but it appears there’s some possibility the publicity about his commutation of Maurice Clemmons brought a side of Huckabee out in the national spotlight that made him more popular across party lines but less popular within his own…

Palin has her top showing against Obama, trailing 50-44. That’s quite an improvement from March when we first tested the Obama-Palin contest and found her trailing 55-35. What’s interesting is that there’s been almost no change in her favorability numbers over the course of the year. She was at 39/50 then and she’s at 41/50 now. That’s a pretty clear sign the tightening has had little to do with her and almost everything to do with Obama’s declining popularity.

Actually, I think Huck’s numbers are an even better indicator of The One’s sagging popularity. Check out the “not sure” column here:

huck-fav

And then head to head:

huck-o

The fact that he’s pulling 16 percent of Democrats even as a relatively unknown commodity means there’s a lot of unhappy Blue Dogs out there right now. In fact, Sarahcuda, the left’s eternal hate object, does well with Democrats too: She pulls 15 percent, but loses 12 percent of Republicans compared to Huck’s seven.

As for Mitt, he’s hanging in there by trailing Obama by five, but his favorables among Republicans are just 51 percent. Unless and until universal health care is off the right’s political radar, RomneyCare is a ball and chain around his ankle.

Update: Obama/Palin 2012?

Sarah Palin and President Obama don’t agree on much, but last year’s Republican vice presidential nominee just gave the president’s defense of “just wars” a thumbs up in an interview with USA TODAY. In fact, she said that the president’s address in Oslo, where he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize today, reminded her of what she wrote on the same subject in her hugely successful memoir, Going Rogue.

“I liked what he said,” Palin told us in a phone interview. “I talked too in my book about the fallen nature of man and why war is necessary at times.” For Palin, that view strikes close to home: Her eldest son, 20-year-old Track, is an Army infantry member who recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq.