January 3, 2008


Beginning of the End for Romney? (Susan Davis, 1/03/08, WSJ: Washington Wire)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, wildly out-spent and out-organized by Mitt Romney here in Iowa, pulled out a win tonight in what could be the beginning of the end for Romney’s presidential ambitions.

Maverick will dispatch him here, but just supposing--for the sake of argument--he snuck through to SC. There he'd face the same Evangelical anti-Mormon vote that killed him in IA. Whoever told him to contest IA in the first place owes him a refund.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 3, 2008 10:29 PM

Just saw a poll note - 60% of GOP were evangicals that went 45-19 Huckabee vs Romney. Other 40% non-evangicals went 33-13 Romney over Huckabee. Thus Iowa was hardly a typical GOP state.

Lord knows Romney and Rudy aren't perfect candidates. But if the GOP race quickly dwindles down to Huckabee and McCain, both of whom will get trounced by the Dems, there is no reason to be celebrating tonight.

Posted by: AWW at January 4, 2008 12:00 AM

AWW: By your logic, why wouldn't Romney or Giuliani be trounced by the Dems? Both lose a fairly significant portion of the Republican base of voters, don't they? Do either of them make any Blue state more competitive for the Republicans in the general election? Hell, do either of them make their respective states more competitive, making Dems focus more attention on these staes?

Posted by: sam at January 4, 2008 12:16 AM

The big loser last night was Keating-McCain. He's so 1990s. Next week all the "open-minded" and "independent" voters he counted on to drag his sorry carcass over the finish line ahead of the Republicans are gonna vote for Obama instead.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 4, 2008 9:49 AM

No, Romney took a risk - he gambled that the field would remain sufficiently diffuse that he could win in IA and then win in NH with his home-field advantage. Perhaps he believed in the premature death reports on McCain, but winning in IA was his strategy, and absent Huckabee's rise, he would have.

McCain has risen because he is senior and because he is right on the war. Rudy is the one with the strategy now, and if McCain doesn't run the table going forward, Rudy will be the nominee. Fred is alive, but he needs 2nd place finishes (and wins) from here on. He probably won't get them.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 4, 2008 10:17 AM

IA was a pointless risk for Romney. Rudy's over. It's Huckabee or McCain.

Posted by: oj at January 4, 2008 11:27 AM

McCain, unlike Rudy, holds Evangelicals in the general and appeals to I's. Huckabee would be a W '00 campaign and have to really drive turnout to get to Scalia.

Posted by: oj at January 4, 2008 11:27 AM

I'm no doubt jumping the gun here, but I really am beginning to wonder if the front-loaded primaries and lack of a presumptive heir has created a real possibility of a brokered convention on the GOP side.

Posted by: Mike Earl at January 4, 2008 12:17 PM

There's hope for a meaningful convention every four years, but there hasn't been one in 30 years. You can certainly imagine a scenario where Huckabee wins most Southern states and McCain the North and West, but that likely gives it to Maverick before the convention.

Posted by: oj at January 4, 2008 1:42 PM

Certainly the only way it happens this time (famous last words?) is if Ron Paul, with plenty of cash and a limited but enthusastic base, can continue to hang in and get a consistant 10%, and we throw in a couple good showings from Guiliani and/or Romney...

But yes, more likely someone will be knocked out by a semi-manfactured Dean Scream moment and that will be that.

Posted by: Mike Earl at January 4, 2008 2:22 PM

Sam - Romney appeals to the foreign policy conservatives and economic conservatives, Rudy to the foreign policy conservatives, and so forth. Romney and Rudy would probably bring into play some blue states like Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut. And Romney and Rudy don't have to fight the cranky grandpa/too old personna that McCain brings to the race.

Face it Huckabee won Iowa because 60% of the voters were evangicals who went heavily for him. He was trounced in all other voting groups. And the rest of the nation represents those voting groups, not the overwhelming evangical turnout that happened in Iowa.

OJ says it is down to Huckabee and McCain. No offense to NH but the thought that the GOP field has been reduced after 1 week to 2 of its weakest candidates due to 2 small quirky states is absurd.

Posted by: AWW at January 4, 2008 4:00 PM

It's down to one of the most popular conservative congressmen of the past thirty years--hand picked for a political career by Ronald Reagan himself--and an Evangelical Third Way governor. It's the best final twosome since W and Maverick or Ike and Taft.

Posted by: oj at January 4, 2008 8:38 PM

Ross Douthat linked to this and I thought it quite good and obviously Pro-Huck:


Posted by: Benny at January 4, 2008 8:55 PM