November 21, 2007


Huckabee Gaining Ground in Iowa (Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, 11/21/07, Washington Post)

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, buoyed by strong support from Christian conservatives, has surged past three of his better-known presidential rivals and is now challenging former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for the lead in the Iowa Republican caucuses, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll.

Huckabee has tripled his support in Iowa since late July, eclipsing former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, former senator Fred D. Thompson (Tenn.) and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). Huckabee now runs nearly evenly with Romney, the longtime Iowa front-runner.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 21, 2007 11:31 AM

But look at question 10. Romney scores significantly higher than Huckabee on Strongest Leader, Best Experience, Campaigned Hardest, and Best Chance of getting elected president. They tie on honesty and Huckabee is a few points ahead on understanding people's problems. So the poll detail seems to contradict the headline.

Huckabee is the flavor of the month in Iowa. He doesn't have the staff, experience, money, or party backing to be the nominee. If he wins Iowa it helps Rudy and Fred who aren't putting a lot into this state as Huckabee won't win anything else

Posted by: AWW at November 21, 2007 12:57 PM

This is what did it. h/t ace

Posted by: erp at November 21, 2007 3:15 PM

This is what did it. h/t ace

Posted by: erp at November 21, 2007 3:16 PM

Dream ticket shaping up: Il Duce and Huck.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 21, 2007 3:59 PM

There are only two facts about him that matter. He's liberal and he's a Mormon.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2007 4:22 PM


Your link doesn't work.

Is it the "Fair Tax?"

Huckabee is one of the few actively talking about it. I used to ridicule the idea, but with the tax issue off the table and drifting toward Dems.

(Conservatives have been 'too succesfull' on taxes, as now only the rich pay, and 50% of them are now actively dingbat soccer moms and emaculated suburban males)

If the fair tax folks stopped lying about their numbers and lost the "abolish the IRS" rhetoric, they could craft a plan that would get the middle and lower middle class excited.

Posted by: Bruno at November 21, 2007 6:09 PM

The heck with esthetics, just copy and paste.

Posted by: erp at November 21, 2007 8:06 PM

The heck with esthetics, just copy and paste.

Posted by: erp at November 21, 2007 8:07 PM

It's been funny to watch the talking heads on CNN and MSNBC breathlessly plug Huckabee, because they think he is going to hurt Rudy and Fred and muddy up the race. Hugh Hewitt called this about 2 weeks ago, saying that a vote for Huckabee in Iowa is a vote for Rudy (and Fred), because it will only diminish Romney's erstwhile lead there. If Romney doesn't win (and win big) in IA, and somehow loses NH, he is done. McCain also benefits from the Huckabee mini-surge.

Huckabee is a strange bird, stranger than Rudy and more out of sync with the GOP electorate than all of them except Ron Paul (with Romney probably next, despite his early semi-endorsements at NRO and from Hewitt et al.). His claim that he can beat Hillary because he is from AR (and knows the Clintons) is like her claim that she is the most experienced candidate in the Democratic field, or that having dinner with world leaders makes her a foreign policy expert. It's like all the fluff Kerry got for being a man of the world because he was so at home in Europe.

Huckabee may be able to talk the line with the religious right, but he has no credibility on taxes, no credibility on minimal government, no credibility on foreign policy, and no emotional link to the party as a whole. If his identification with the "social conservatives" is enough to make him a giant, then Gary Bauer would have been the nominee in 1996.

Talking "right" about all these issues (and voting and/or governing right on them, too) is what gets credibility. Obviously, identification with the religious Right helps, but it is not determinative, and even religious voters are not going to elect someone who is just a one-note candidate. In the end, the nominee will probably be Rudy or McCain, both of whom have problems with the religious Right, but they both also have experience and credibility all their own on many other issues.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 22, 2007 12:29 AM

If you don't get why a white male Baptist minister connects so easily with the base you don't get the Party.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2007 7:49 AM

Sorry - Huckabee has no connection to the base. And if you think being a white male Baptist minister provides that connection, then allow me to introduce you to President Robertson. Or President Bauer. Or President Dobson.

The base wants a strong figure for President, not just a 'war' leader, but someone who won't get rolled the way 41 was. The base wants someone who can take substantive whacks at entitlements, activist judges, taxes, the State Department, Congressional inertia, and the press. The base wants someone with the spine of 43 and the zest of Reagan. The candidate who best presents that "agenda" and energy will win. So it will most likely be Rudy or McCain - the others just don't have it (or they just aren't serious).

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 22, 2007 10:54 AM

These Democrats are a wiley bunch totally willing to throw the country under the bus if it means any kind of political gain. To counter that end, a shrewd operator is needed for a successful GOP presidency. As Jim points out, it is becoming increasingly clear Rudy and McCain are the only two who fit that description.

Posted by: Perry at November 22, 2007 11:21 AM

Rudy is the bus you hope to avoid.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2007 1:45 PM

Yes, Robertson did well in IA too.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2007 1:45 PM