Huckabee ‘keeping the door open’ to 2016 bid as poll shows him strong in S.C.

A new robo poll from Gravis Marketing shows former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee leading the 2016 primary field in South Carolina. The field looks like this:

Huckabee 18%

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush 17%

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 16%

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz 13%

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio 8%

former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum 3%

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker 2% 

NBC has a policy of generally not reporting on robo polls based on NBC standards relating to methodology. But this poll is a reminder that Huckabee should not be overlooked. He came within a Fred Thompson of winning South Carolina in 2008. And he's getting visits from South Carolina pastors at an event Thursday in Arkansas, the same day he is ending his syndicated radio program.

And any day a GOP politician is getting headlines like this from The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., it's a good one for them: "Mike Huckabee leads poll of SC GOP voters for 2016." (H/T: NBC producer Terry Pickard.)

To that point, Sarah Huckabee, Huckabee's daughter and former campaign adviser, says her father is keeping his options open and considering another bid for president.

"He is definitely keeping the door open and has received a lot of support from people all over the country encouraging him to run," she told First Read in an email. "It is still early and he has certainly not made a decision, but he is considering another run. Polls like the one in SC show that voters are also giving him a strong look for the race and that is hard to ignore."