Huckabee Gets Momentum; Oprah Helps Obama New polls have former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee gaining ground among Republican presidential candidates; on the Democratic side, TV host Oprah Winfrey spent the weekend stumping for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. NPR News Analyst Cokie Roberts analyzes the presidential races.
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Huckabee Gets Momentum; Oprah Helps Obama

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Huckabee Gets Momentum; Oprah Helps Obama

Huckabee Gets Momentum; Oprah Helps Obama

Huckabee Gets Momentum; Oprah Helps Obama

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/17067228/17067179" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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New polls have former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee gaining ground among Republican presidential candidates; on the Democratic side, TV host Oprah Winfrey spent the weekend stumping for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. NPR News Analyst Cokie Roberts analyzes the presidential races.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Cokie, Buenos dias.

COKIE ROBERTS: Buenos dias, Steve. How are you?

INSKEEP: Didn't hear a lot of fierce rhetoric in that debate.

ROBERTS: Now, they're going after him, of course, with everything. His record is being scrutinized very carefully. And the question that everybody is asking, at this point, is if his opponents succeed in sullying Huckabee, who's the person who benefits? Is it Romney who absolutely has to win Iowa or is it some other candidate and that we still - remains to be seen?

INSKEEP: And on the Democratic side, it remains to be seen who's really, really got the advantage in Iowa.

ROBERTS: Over the weekend, Senator Clinton brought her mother and her daughter for the first time, Chelsea Clinton, into Iowa to campaign with her for a kinder, gentler sort of image. And of course, she's got Bill Clinton out there on the campaign trail for her as well. But at the moment, she is playing defense big time.

INSKEEP: We should mention that those polls showing Obama very close in key states were taken even before he got what might or might not be a boost. He gathered enormous crowds over the weekend because he was campaigning with Oprah Winfrey, and we have some tape here from a rally yesterday in Columbia, South Carolina.

(SOUNDBITE OF NPR RECORDING)

OPRAH WINFREY: For the first time, I'm stepping out of my pew because I've been inspired. I've been inspired to believe that a new vision is possible for America.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

INSKEEP: Okay, Cokie, she's stepping out of the pew, lots of attention from us, big crowds, but does it really affect the presidential race?

ROBERTS: You know, her rhetoric was very much aimed. It was biblical language. It was aimed at stirring racial hope, and you know, we will learn the effect. But the thing to keep in mind is that the Obama campaign, which is very well organized in Iowa, now has the names and numbers of all of those people who went to those rallies. If they can get even half of them to the caucuses that can make a tremendous difference when January 3rd rolls around.

INSKEEP: Okay, thanks very much. Analysis on this Monday morning from NPR's Cokie Roberts.

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