The former Arkansas governor surged past challengers, capturing 24 percent in the CNN-Opinion Research Corp. poll released Friday. In July, the same poll showed Huckabee with 3 percent.
When likely GOP voters were asked which candidate is most believable, Huckabee topped the list.
Former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee was second place with 17 percent. One-time New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was tied for third with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, at 16 percent. Sen. John McCain of Arizona captured 13 percent while Rep. Ron Paul of Texas garnered 11 percent.
South Carolina's Republican primary is Jan.19. The Democratic primary is Jan. 26.
The poll of Democratic primary voters showed Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York leading with 42 percent. In second was was Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois at 34 percent; former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina third with 16 percent.
The sampling error for the poll of Republican primary voters is 4 percentage points. The poll's sampling error is 4.5 percentage points for Democratic primary voters.