Fox News has given Mike Huckabee till the end of the month to decide whether he's going to run for president, Real Clear Politics' Erin McPike reports. Fox already suspended Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum after that made clear steps toward 2012 candidacies; Huckabee previously said he'd make a decision sometime this summer. Many suspected the former Arkansas governor wouldn't jump into the race, given his comfortable salary at the cable network, but in recent weeks, he's been taking steps to organize and meet with donors.
Huckabee is "looking at the polls and seeing what everyone else is," a source close to Edward Rollins, Huckabee's former national chairman, told McPike. The Fox host tops many polls of Republican voters and is particularly popular with religious conservatives. Since fellow southerner Haley Barbour stepped out of the race, Huckabee's organizing has accelerated--Wednesday night he held a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., and he'll be showing up at the Republican Leadership Conference in Louisiana next month. Huckabee's lining up a campaign team, McPike reports: Republican operatives are getting calls about joining up.
Update: Fox denies giving Huckabee a deadline.