He was once the national frontrunner. It was less than a month ago that he won in Iowa, but it feels like it has been a year. What the heck happened to Huck? Haridopolos offers the same frank assessment that many have offered before him. “Had he gone from New Hampshire straight to South Carolina, he’d probably be competing for the victory in Florida,” he said.
Instead, Huckabee went to Michigan, giving Fred Thompson a chance to come to life in South Carolina and erode his base. Huckabee had every reason to think he would perform well in Michigan. His message of economic populism seemed promising among the autoworkers in that state’s East, and he could have also caught fire with the Dutch reformed and Evangelical communities in the West.
It was a strategic error — a bridge too far for a campaign always short of resources. Macomb County, outside of Detroit, gave Huckabee a pathetic 13 percent. He lost to McCain and Romney among voters from union households, despite his witty ad contrasting himself (“the guy you work with”) to Romney (“the guy who laid you off”). Huckabee even lost to Romney (34 to 29 percent) among self-identified Evangelical and Born-Again Christians.
The subsequent loss in South Carolina definitely hurt his credibility with Florida voters. Polls from both Rasmussen and Quinnipiac show him losing six points in the Sunshine State since his close second-place finish there. At the same time, his rate of donations has stayed steady, if it remains comparatively slow. According to the live feed from his website, Huckabee had raised $2 million this month before the Jan. 19 contest in South Carolina. He has raised just under $1 million in the ten days since.
And he still draws those impressive and enthusiastic crowds. “He energizes an critical wing of the party and keeps them interested,” said Haridopolos. “If it isn’t Huckabee — whether it be McCain or Romney — I think he’s positioned himself very well to be vice president.”
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
How did we get here?
Interesing story from the National Review.
Posted by rick at 5:02 PM