Oskaloosa, Iowa (CNN)If Mike Huckabee hopes to be anointed victor of the Iowa caucuses once again, he better prepare to retread a lot of familiar ground.
Can Mike Huckabee win back his Iowa flock?
"Luck is good. Voters are better," Huckabee quipped as Nathan Johnson wished luck upon the newly official presidential candidate as he stopped by a local coffee shop Wednesday.
Huckabee had Johnson's vote when he won the 2008 Iowa caucuses. This time around, the 33-year-old from Oskaloosa is eyeing a top tier: Huckabee, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. He's biding his time to see how the candidates perform as the race carries on.
"I think a lot of times they make mistakes down the road," Johnson said. "It's a long way to the caucuses."
Twenty-something GOP candidates could eventually get in the race and many of them -- some declared, some still flirting with a run -- are already barnstorming Iowa.
To be a likely Republican caucus-goer in Iowa right now is to be overwhelmed with options.
"I just watch to see who's running, and I think, who's that? Who's that?" said Doris Medlin, a retired Oskaloosa resident, who is more familiar with Huckabee than the rest of the bunch, but remains undecided.
Huckabee hasn't announced his Iowa team yet, but Iowa-based workers buzzed around this week, preparing for two days of events across the state. The candidate, meanwhile, pledged to visit all 99 counties in Iowa. He and his staff acknowledge he can't rely on his 2008 supporters to instantly reemerge.
"He has already proven he can do the work. He can do the retail politics," said Jeff Kaufmann, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. But "I don't believe his previous victory is going to give him any short cuts."
Huckabee's stump speech this time around still touches the social issues near and dear to the hearts of evangelical Iowa voters. But as he looks to broaden his base, Huckabee is pitching veterans, farmers and, more broadly, working class families.
He broke with members of his own party Wednesday, saying Congress should now approve "fast track" authority to speech up trade deals.
"I think that it matters when Americans lose jobs because the trading partner is cheating," Huckabee said. "I'd like to think the U.S. government would stand up for the U.S. workers rather than let them take it in the backside."
Later that day, Huckabee returned to Living History Farms -- an open-air replica of a post-Civil War farming town, complete with a sheep pen and blacksmith shop. It was also the site of a "Meet Mike Huckabee" event just days after announcing he was exploring a presidential bid in 2007.
"I'm glad to be back in Iowa," Huckabee said, calling his followers back to his fold. Earlier that day he assured reporters he wasn't just back; he was back to win.
"We want to win Iowa. We plan to win Iowa. We're going to do everything we can to win Iowa," he said.
But this is not the Iowa Huckabee left behind in 2008, when an overflow crowd turned out in Des Moines to watch the long-shot candidate deliver his victory speech.
At Huckabee's last event Wednesday evening, speakers were dutifully set up outdoors, just in case an overflow crowd was forced to stand outside.
They weren't necessary. The crowd fit comfortably inside the old barn where Huckabee spoke, with room to spare.