The votes of the followers of Romney, Thompson, and to some extent those for McCain were really anti-Giuliani votes by social conservatives. Rudy’s lead in the national polls has made him the key factor in the race and social conservatives panicked at the idea of a pro choice nominee. But they were diffused among three candidates. Now that there is a consensus among social conservatives on one candidate — Huckabee — they have tipped in his favor creating a self-sustaining surge.
But with the surge comes scrutiny and vetting. We will see if Huckabee is up to handling it.