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Republican Huckabee waiting to decide 2012 run

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Mike Huckabee said on Wednesday he may wait months to decide whether to run for his party's presidential nomination in 2012, saying there is no need to rush into an expensive national campaign.

Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas who won the Republican contest in Iowa in 2008 but lost the nomination to John McCain, is leading in a number of public opinion surveys over several potential rivals in his party.

"I'm still very serious about thinking of it, considering it. But I'm doing it on my own time frame... I would say more likely months than weeks, because there's no reason for me to get in a hurry," Huckabee told two wire service reporters in an interview.

Huckabee said he believes President Barack Obama will be a formidable candidate for re-election in 2012 because he will have the advantages of incumbency and as much as $1 billion in campaign cash.

But he said he believes Republicans are favored in several key battleground states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia that went for Obama in 2008.

"I'm not unaware of that advantage but it's still hard," he said. "I just want Republicans to realize knocking an incumbent president out of the office that he holds is no cake walk."

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)