I guess I’m not that surprised: some folks are using some underhanded push-polling to promote Huckabee.

A newly-formed group claiming to support Mike Huckabee hit the phones of Iowa Republicans tonight with an automated push-poll attacking Huckabee’s GOP opponents and praising the former Arkansas governor.

Officials representing the Iowa campaigns of Fred Thompson, John McCain and Rudy Giuliani all said that their supporters contacted them to complain about the calls. A spokesman for Romney’s campaign said they had gotten reports of calls, but did not know of anything negative being said about their candidate.

It appears this group might be related to “Common Sense Ohio”, the group responsible for push-polling in Ohio last year.

The group claims to be affilliated with a larger 501(c)(4) called “Common Sense Issues.”

A link to this group’s homepage turns up a vague website that appears to be a third-party conservative group. A video posted is an attack spot against Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO), a Senate candidate next year. The page has links back to the “Trust Huckabee” page and also includes news stories about “Key States,” all of which are Republican-leaning and have incumbent Democratic senators up next year.

Groups called “Common Sense Ohio” and “Common Sense 2006” last year spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to attack Democrats in targeted Senate races using similar such automated calls as went into Iowa tonight, per the New York Time. These groups were led by executives at Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble, one of whom, Nathan Estruth, is now a Huckabee donor.

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