THE front-running candidates in the 2008 US presidential election have released Christmas ads to voters, following the lead of one Republican hopeful who copped heavy criticism for his TV spot.
Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher and state governor running for the Republican nomination, was the first candidate to release a holiday message to voters in state holding early primaries.
His offering drew criticism for having a bookcase in the background that formed a Christian Cross as the camera panned across. Mr Huckabee laughed off the criticism.
Now other candidates have followed suit. Republican contender Rudy Giuliani has released an ad that has him joking with Santa, while Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have also produced Christmas-themed ads.