Pollster John Zogby, in his thoughts on the Republican field, declared that Ron Paul will “do better than anyone expects.” Zogby predicts double digits for Paul in Iowa, where a Washington Post/ABC News poll already showed Paul tied with Rudy Giuliani. In a crowded field, Paul stands out to young voters and free-marketers. Also, as the only anti-war Republican, he is poised to snag the roughly 1/4 of Republican voters opposed to the war.

After Iowa, Paul should have an easier road in libertarian-friendly New Hampshire and Michigan, where moderate voters, often ignored by pollsters, have been throwing support at Paul. Also promising for Paul is a Rasmussen report that Mike Huckabee’s favorability ratings plummeted in the last week amid extensive background checks. If Zogby is correct, with surprising showings in early states, Paul could replace Huckabee as the latest media darling just as the primary season hits its stride.