Gallup is out with a new poll showing Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee currently in the best shape among the possible Republican presidential candidates. Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, Huckabee has the second-highest name recognition, behind Sarah Palin, and has by far the highest net favorable rating among that group. An impressive combination of being well-known and well-liked.

Not only is Huckabee currently in a very good position to win the Republican primary, according to Tom Jensen of PPP, he is the most electable of the current top contenders, which also includes Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and Newt Gingrich.

Huckabee’s the only one of the top Republicans who has the combination of electability and base appeal it’s going to take to beat Barack Obama. Romney has the electability but not the base appeal, Palin has the base appeal but not the electability, and Gingrich sort of falls in the middle on both counts. A lot will change over the course of 2011 but at least based on the information we have so far Huckabee looks like the GOP’s best bet.

While we are clearly still a long way off from the GOP primaries, at this point, Huckabee is the person to watch. Interestingly, I don’t feel Huckabee has been getting the level of media focus one would expect for the individual that polling not only shows is in a strong position to win the primary, but is also the most electable in the general.