Longtime GOP operative Ed Rollins, who managed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's 2008 presidential bid, expects Huckabee will run again in 2012.
Rollins told The Daily Beast's John Avlon that if Huckabee makes a decision sometime in the next few weeks, "we'll have plenty of time to put together a serious campaign team that can be very competitive."
"He's receiving quite a bit of counsel and encouragement," Rollins said. "He knows he has roughly a June 1 deadline to decide. Personally, it's my sense that he'll go for it this time."
Huckabee has many observers doubting he'll launch another bid for the White House next year, but the former Arkansas governor insists he still hasn't ruled out a 2012 run and will make his intentions known in early summer.
He continues to top the rest of rumored Republican field in polling, both nationally and in the early states of Iowa and South Carolina. The latest Iowa numbers from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling had Huckabee up 11 points in the state he won in 2008.
Two of Huckabee's potential rivals have already hired away some of his '08 staffers. Eric Woolson, who managed Huckabee's effort in Iowa last time around, is advising Pawlenty. And Wes Enos, the former governor's '08 political director in Iowa has signed on as a consultant with Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) political action committee.