September 29, 2011

Things have changed dramatically since May when front-runner Mike Huckabee announced that he would not be running for president.

Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry have all had their opportunities to make themselves a consistent front-runner.  Bachmann, perhaps the best alternative to Huckabee for many social conservatives, has failed to catch fire in the polls after she won the Ames Iowa Straw Poll.  It may be unfair that her supposed gaffes have been misconstrued.  It may also be unfair that a woman is held to a higher standard and is more likely to be called flaky or ditzy.   But it is what it is.

Former Senator Rick Santorum certainly carries all the conservative credentials needed to satisfy the Christian right.  But his poll numbers just don’t seem to budge, in spite of great debate performances.

On the other hand, Rick Perry has disappointed some with his debate performances and could possibly end up being the “FredThompson” of 2011. He comes up short for most pro-lifers, and for others his views of immigration are non-starters.  In the summer of 2007, Thompson was the darling of some hopefuls, but shortly after his lackluster entrance in September his own poll numbers dropped, and he never fully recovered from the perception that his heart was not in the race.[1]

Herman Cain, a tea party favorite is obviously still a factor, having won a major Florida straw poll.  His lack of experience in governing may be seen as a plus to some, and a negative to others.  He is very likely solid enough for social conservatives.

Mitt Romney, despite good debate performances hasn’t caught on either.  Perhaps his early decision to ignore the Iowa caucuses was a mistake, or his failure to be asked serious questions about Romneycare is leaving some voters with questions.  He also downplays social issues, which many in the center think is his only hope, because he failed to convince his nay-sayers in the 2008 cycle.

Ron Paul may be reaching his ceiling as well, especially until he can reconcile his 10th Amendment views with his right-to-life claims, and convince us that Iran ought to have nuclear weapons if it wants to.  Paul is generally very principled, but that comes at a great cost, politically speaking, if his principles are counter to his party’s.

Governor Huckabee was leading in most of the polls in Iowa, the Midwest and South back in the spring.  True, he may not play well in New York and California, and perhaps even in a few Rocky Mountain states, but these states will have little impact during the Republican primary season.

Unlike Bachmann, Governor Huckabee has weathered a few gaffes and troubled spots in his record, coming out rather unscathed.  Just like bringing out supposed Romney flip-flops was a dud for Rick Perry, bringing up old arguments against Huckabee won’t likely play well, either.

Unlike Sarah Palin, Huckabee is well-liked in virtually all segments of the GOP and the general public, even among those who have differences with him on religion or policy.  He has the most-watched weekend television news show on all of cable, and his willingness to interact with the public and the press would be of great benefit in the general election.  Also, when Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race after the Iowa Straw Poll, Sarah Sanders (Huckabee’s daughter) was freed up to possibly work again with Huckabee, as well.

Overall, the Republican electorate appears unable to make up its collective mind.

Of course, a change of Huckabee’s own mind would be required before this speculation could be changed into reality.  No one knows that better than the Governor himself.  If Huckabee is counting on a social conservative to win, he must put most of his eggs right now in the Herman Cain basket.  Even if Huckabee would be willing to endorse Cain, he might be asking himself whether the Cain Train can continue on up to the nomination.  Filing deadlines for candidates to viably enter the race might be in the next couple of weeks.

Although the people begging New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to get in the race will ignore the fact that he earlier said he was not running and give him room to change his mind, the same folks might not give Huckabee the same leeway.  He should ignore that worry.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

[1] Only shortly before the South Carolina primary did Thompson show any fire in his belly.  He turned that fire against Huckabee and perhaps cost Huckabee a win in the Southern state that seems to always pick the GOP nominee.

by @ 4:41 am. Filed under Herman Cain, Mike Huckabee, Rumor Mill
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20 Responses to “”

  1. jack Says:

    And if it is NOT Palin, she has the power to destroy the GOP (the way of the Whigs of olde):

    http://conservatives4palin.com/2011/09/which-title-doesnt-governor-palin-need.html

  2. jack Says:

    …so be verrrrrryyyyy careful as to what you wish for

  3. Thunder (Any body but the dump as a stump Cowboy) Says:

    First, to answer your Questions, right now, Romney is the Frontrunner and in reality always has been. Second, I don’t see Huckabee getting in. If he did, it would quickly become a two man race between Romney and Huckabee. But Huckabee is a smart man, and knows there isn’t enough Evangelicals to win the nomination.

    Anecdotal data suggest that he is really pulling for Romney. There is a number of reasons for this. First, from a political point of view, Huckabee worst case scenerio is for another Evangelical to take his base away for a future run. Second, Huckabee (unlike Perry) is a smart man, and he knows that Romney in the end would welcome his help. A Romney nomination means that he will need to put a Evangelical candidate on the ticket to unite the party. The list of effective Evangelical who could fill this role is very short (Huckabee, Rubio, and Demint). Given the fact that Huckabee has already been vetted and came in 3rd in 2008 (a very close 3rd), he is in good position to grab the VP slot. His recent comments toward Perry (negative) and toward Romney (somewhat Positive) indicates he is thinking ahead).

    A Romney VP slot for Huckabee means he would eventually be the nominee of the Party some day. The Romney supporters he has alienated would enthusiastically back him in a future run. So, from a Huckabee perspective, if he can get on a Romney ticket he is in a win/win scenerio. If Romney wins, he is the VP and is the likely future nominee when Romney gets out of office either by term limits or losing in 2016. If Romney loses, he is still the likely nominee in 2016. Either way, if Huckabee can get on a Romney ticket (which I think is likely) Huckabee would be the nominee in either 2016 or 2020. Not a bad position to be in.

  4. asparagus Says:

    Romney is playing the long game here. He has leads in every early state except Iowa and SC. The media is underestimating him.

  5. Thunder (Any body but the dump as a stump Cowboy) Says:

    asparagus Says:
    September 29th, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Romney is playing the long game here. He has leads in every early state except Iowa and SC. The media is underestimating him.
    =============================================================
    Correction, latest poll has him leading in Iowa.

  6. Not Your Promiscuous Daddy Says:

    Oh brother.

  7. Huckarubio....returns Says:

    HUCKABEE!!! HUCKABEE!!! HUCKABEE!!! GO HUCK GO!!!

  8. Riccardo Says:

    Is there something magical about the end of October? World Series maybe…

    I don’t get it. Why not just title the piece, “Who’ll win the GOP nomination?”

  9. Rightgal. Says:

    Jack. You made my day. I needed a good laugh. She who is the queen of twitter and facebook, will never be the president of the United States. It takes more than a blackberry and ghost writer to do it, ya know.

  10. Rightgal. Says:

    Huckaroo. I have not yet confirmed it, but I have heard that Romney is to be on Huckabee this weekend. Know anything about that?

  11. Matt "MWS" Says:

    Thunder,

    Rubio is Catholic, but I agree that Mitt and Huck both have incentives to patch things up.

  12. OHIO JOE Says:

    “Rubio is Catholic, but I agree that Mitt and Huck both have incentives to patch things up.”
    Yeah, but according to some characters, he is an uncle Tom instead of a real Catholic. Some in the Romney camp like to play the game ‘you Catholics are religion victim like us, stick with.’ Any Catholic who does not want to play that game is labled an Evangenical by such people. A friend of mine told me about such tactics this past weekend.

  13. ogrepete Says:

    OJ – #12

    I have no idea what you said, but I’d like to. What sort of “tactics” are you talking about and who used them on who?

  14. thetruth Says:

    12 OJ

    What the _______are you talking about, incoherent ramblings………………..

  15. John Mark Says:

    I think Evangelical Catholic confusion may come from politicization of the term evangelical. Evangelical properly understood is a theological term and even includes some who are politically quite liberal. However, due to the Christian Right the term has come to mean a political coalition to some people – a coalition that many Catholics are a part. This seems a bit more plausible than Mormons thinking Catholics are Uncle Toms for not supporting them…

  16. Joshua Says:

    “Overall, the Republican electorate appears unable to make up its collective mind.”

    The Republican electorate consists of millions of individual minds. We don’t have a “collective mind” like the Borg from “Star Trek.”

  17. OHIO JOE Says:

    Look fellow, this is not the first or second time that Thunder or one of his friend refered to a Catholic politician or politico as an Evangelical. Perhaps it is an honest mistake and he and company truly do not know what somebody’s religion is, but than they should be careful.

    This weekend my friend (who was a Romneyite last time and a Perryite this time) told me that in 2007 Romneyites spread rumors that the Huckabeeites were anti-Catholic and now they are playing the card that Perryites are anti-Catholic.

    While no doubt, a few Huckabeeite, Perryites and Bushites are anti-Catholic or anti-whatever, it is not what some Romneyites are trying to paint it as.

  18. OHIO JOE Says:

    “However, due to the Christian Right the term has come to mean a political coalition to some people – a coalition that many Catholics are a part. This seems a bit more plausible than Mormons thinking Catholics are Uncle Toms for not supporting them…”

    I hope that this is the real case.

  19. Joseph D. Walch Says:

    Huckabee is a fatally flawed candidate. The wounds and poignancy of the events following his last campaign have retired him permanently from running for national office, namely the brutal killing of 4 police officers by one of his commutees. A President’s primary job is to kill or neutralize our enemies, and Huckabee’s laxity towards the enemies of civilization has created some pretty powerful enemies of his own: The families of those raped and killed because of his policies towards crime. Add to that Huckabee’s background—minister—which is honest and noble work, but would not contrast well to Obama’s ‘community organizing’, leading to a big weakness in his ability to attack Obama on the seminal issue of this election: the economy. He would be seen as tinged by ideology and not much more qualified than the Pres. Obama to fix the economy.
    The electorate is focusing its attention and is in the process of making its mind. It will be pretty hard for another candidate to swoop in and capture the nomination so it looks like a race between Romney, Cain and Perry with a distant chance of a Santorum grassfire.

  20. David Shedlock Says:

    “has created some pretty powerful enemies of his own: The families of those raped and killed because of his policies towards crime.”

    I think you are making that up. If they were really out to “get” Huckabee because of this, they would have already gone full-throttle after the man whose office refuse to hold the killer after raping a little girl, and who dropped the ball in getting him back to Arkansas when Washington had hold of him: That would be current Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe.

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