WaPo poll: Huckabee 21, Palin 19, Romney 17

posted at 7:10 pm on January 20, 2011 by Allahpundit

Granted, McCain’s candidacy looked D.O.A. too at this point four years ago. But conservative primary voters circa 2007 were a different entity than they are today. Romney, as the alleged next-in-line “frontrunner,” has got to be at least a little nervous that he’s not actually, you know, frontrunning, right?

Huckabee and Palin, in particular, seem to share a common base — both running more strongly among those with family incomes of $50,000 or less (Huckabee 26 percent, Palin 25 percent) and whites without college degrees (Palin 26 percent, Huckabee 25 percent).

Romney, on the other hand, runs best among the college educated (30 percent), whites making over $50,000 a year (29 percent) and whites with college degrees (32 percent).

Among self-identified conservatives, the top tier expands slightly to include Christie and Gingrich. Nineteen percent of conservatives favor Huckabee as compared to 16 percent for Romney, 14 percent for Palin and 11 percent each for Gingrich and Christie.

Not only does Huck lead among self-described conservatives, he leads by seven among people who describe themselves as “very conservative” and among white evangelical Protestants by the same margin. That jibes with PPP’s surprising poll yesterday showing that he also leads in Texas — which I would have guessed is Palin country — with 25 percent versus 21 percent for Palin, 17 percent for Gingrich, and 10 percent(!) for Romney. The logical assumption is that Mitt’s path to victory will require a big scrum of socially conservative candidates splitting the “true conservative” vote several ways, but here he is stuck at 10 percent in fourth place in Texas even if Rick Perry jumps in and siphons off votes from Palin. No wonder he’s taking a “cautious approach” in Iowa: If this is what he’s in for in states with lots of evangelicals in the primaries, why even bother?

As for Huck, lately Palin supporters have been tweeting at me with new bits of evidence that he’s not running. His 2008 campaign manager just left to go work for a congressman. And what’s with that cruise to Alaska in early June? The race will have begun by then, so doesn’t booking that mean he has other plans for this year? Maybe — but Huck’s said repeatedly that if he does run, he won’t get in until late. He’s already well known to Iowans per his victory there last time, and it turns out his book tour itinerary calls for no fewer than six events in that state and five in South Carolina. As poll after poll shows him either in the thick of the race or leading outright, and with Palin’s favorables down after the media bombardment she took last week, how could he not run? The Christian base is potentially his for the taking.

Actually, there’s one thing that might keep him out: The prospect of Obama looking unbeatable as the economy improves. Huckabee’s cautioned before that it’ll be tougher to beat him than many conservatives think, a point he reiterated on Fox this afternoon in light of PPP’s poll showing The One now up five on him and Mitt. That’s why he’s intent on getting in as late as possible, I assume — to see if challenging Obama next year will be a fool’s errand. Exit question: With populism ascendant among the Republican base and grassroots conservatives already bristling at Romney as a phony with money, should his advisors really be describing his upcoming campaign as less like IBM and more like JetBlue?


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The anti-Palin mind games here are getting to be ridiculous.

Touting Huck as running strong among Evangelicals? Who here thinks the #1 Evangelical vote-getter in 2012 is the odds on favorite to sweep into the White House? Duh, what about the rest of the country? Is Huck running for Chair of the Board of Deacons or President of the United States?

Okay, Huck is Huck and let’s not put him down; I’m not. He’s a good man. But, he does not have any reach beyond his base. Sorry, just not the case. And don’t ask his base; that’s not really the best focus group on the question, now is it?

Look at these numbers. Like most of this horse-stuff (restrained myself in honor of our new, more polite discourse — how’s that working out for everybody), at this stage, it’s full of air. Mostly hot (yes, a plug for the site – sue me). That Romney’s even in single digits in any poll of actual conservative voters (I prefer to call them common sense, pragmatic citizens with a clue — allowing people to label you is a mistake) is ridiculous.

Okay, final work on Huck and his cruise and his timing.

ALL of this is dependent on whether or not Sarah Palin decides to run for President of the United States. If she does, then Huck is over. That’s what I really think. However, giving him the benefit of the doubt, this much is certain.

If she runs, and he gets in late, he’s toast. I can’t imagine, at that point, he’d bother.

IndieDogg on January 21, 2011 at 1:40 AM

IndieDogg on January 21, 2011 at 1:40 AM

Those re my sentiments as well but I think Romney still plays decently with FISCAL CONSERVATIVES.

But you’re quite correct about Huck not having any reach beyond his base.

In the 2008 GOP primaries up and including Super Tuesday and based on a weighted average Huckabee amassed 37% of the evangelical vote but only 8% of the non-evangelical vote.

Don’t think for a second that Democratic strategists don’t know this!

By the way evangelical voters only account for 25% of the overall electorate. That’s 75% of voters that Huck doesn’t do well with.

Gee, could this be the reason the MSM is trying to make Huck the second coming of Abraham Lincoln?

technopeasant on January 21, 2011 at 1:51 AM

Huckabee cannot get past the pardons. How hard would it be to make a blistering ad about the jail-bird turned free-bird turned repeat-repeat-repeat…. offender?

Just say no to the Huckster. He is not what this country needs, no matter how many bass heartstrings he tries to pluck.

NO.

NO.

HUCK NO.

hillbillyjim on January 21, 2011 at 1:54 AM

Seriously?

We cannot allow the MFM to choose our candidate again!

I call bullllllllllllllllllllllshi!t on this poll.

Unless of course the majority of the poll sample was comprised of beetle-browed, double-digit IQ pinheads who think Schmuckabee is a really swell guy.

radioboyatl on January 21, 2011 at 2:29 AM

A few points:

shmendrick on January 21, 2011 at 1:25 AM

Not clickin’. Not willing to even give it credence.

This poll is bunk.

The left/media/RINO’s have told us definitively who our candidate must be. I didn’t need for them to, but thanks anyway. Sarah is the only way we will mop up this mess. It’s Sarah’s Northern Light which will shine the way home to our city on the hill. O/Soros/OFA/SEIU/globalists, Etc., have met their match.

Could we please steer the conversation back to who her running mate should be?

I like Ryan, Perry. .

Opinionator on January 21, 2011 at 2:43 AM

Watch: Paul Ryan vs David Brooks:

http://www.aei.org/video/101354

gumble on January 21, 2011 at 2:44 AM

Opinionator on January 21, 2011 at 2:43 AM

I love your confidence in Sarah.

But I also think we must NEVER underestimate the opposition.

They will not hand over the reins of power to Sarah and the Tea Party movement without a fight.

Actually the poll is pretty decent-Palin 2 points back of Huckabee with Romney in tight as well.

But the main thing it proves it dark horses are not going to become viable in 2012.

technopeasant on January 21, 2011 at 3:00 AM

technopeasant on January 21, 2011 at 3:00 AM

Thank you and I concur on all counts. Absolutely.

We have who we have before us. We have only one option – Sarah. But she’s our light in shining armor option.

She is quintessentially perfect for the greatest battle for our Republic we have perhaps ever known.

Why am I so confident in her? Because the light always defeats darkness. Always.

BTW, techno, I very much appreciate your erudite commentary. Well done!

Opinionator on January 21, 2011 at 3:08 AM

Romney, as the alleged next-in-line “frontrunner,” has got to be at least a little nervous that he’s not actually, you know, frontrunning, right?

AP,

Why is the 3rd place finisher in the ’08 Primaries considered the “next in line frontrunner”? Shouldn’t Huckabee, who finished 2nd to McCain, or Palin, who was McCain’s VP choice, be “next in line”?.

Gohawgs on January 21, 2011 at 4:00 AM

Gohawgs on January 21, 2011 at 4:00 AM

I have often wondered the same thing, Huckabee actually finished with more delegates than Romney but Romney got 400,000 more votes than Huck.

And technically it is the sitting VP that is next in line not the VP of the losing ticket.

Actually, no first-time losing VP candidate has ever gone on since the emergence of our current 2 party system in 1854 has ever gone on to secure the nomination of either party in the next election cycle, let alone become the President.

If Palin gains the nomination that would be historical in that sense even if she doesn’t go on to win the presidency.

The only other first-time losing VP candidate to ever become President was FDR who lost in 1920 as a VP and became President in 1932.

If Dole had beaten Clinton in 1996 he would have done the same as he was Ford’s running mate in 1976.

But regardless of the narrative that Romney is the next in line the only thing it has done is to keep him a first-tier candidate. It has not imho boosted his fortunes at all and for the past 6 months he has declined in national and state polls. Romney is far from clinching the nomination. Don’t be fooled by the MSM or GOP establishment narrative.

Sarah Palin is in a lot better shape than the pundits or the MSM would have you believe.

technopeasant on January 21, 2011 at 4:39 AM

Wrong blog pal, try Prison Planet, or your local mental health professional.

gary4205 on January 21, 2011 at 1:11 AM

Very good!

annoyinglittletwerp on January 21, 2011 at 5:07 AM

Thank you and I concur on all counts. Absolutely.

We have who we have before us. We have only one option – Sarah. But she’s our light in shining armor option.

She is quintessentially perfect for the greatest battle for our Republic we have perhaps ever known.

Why am I so confident in her? Because the light always defeats darkness. Always.

Opinionator on January 21, 2011 at 3:08 AM

Comments like these DO NOT help your girl.

This is a perfect example of a cultish comment.

I want to vote LESS for her-in the primaries-after reading things like this because it makes some of her most ardent supporters seem like obsessive loons.
‘light in shining armor’?
Put down whatever it is that you’re smoking and please step away from it.

There WILL be other conservatives coming out of the woodwork to run in the primaries. Let the primaries sort it out.

Contrary to the lofty, melodramatic ways some of you write of her-Palin is NOT the way, the truth, and the light.

She’s just a conservative politician. period. She’s not the only one.
She seems like a nice person-but some of you are REALLY starting to turn me against Palin the candidate.
Keep it up.
Jindal/Pence 2012.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 21, 2011 at 5:38 AM

alt, I know you saw gary’s Thatcher comment, it reminded me of several months ago when starry-eyed supporters called her Esther and posted a lot of Bible vereses from Esther to back them up. Creepy. I’m not picking on Palin, just some posters here who are OTT.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on January 21, 2011 at 5:58 AM

Aslans Girl on January 21, 2011 at 5:58 AM

My point exactly.
Those few are poisoning the well.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 21, 2011 at 6:30 AM

NooooOOOOOooo!!! C’mon people, anybody but Huckabee.

The only reason he is in the lead is because the MSM has spent less time trashing him than anybody else.

bitsy on January 21, 2011 at 6:36 AM

Allowing the left (inside and outside of the GOP)to pick the GOP candidate (ABP- anybody but Palin) is like Yamomoto getting to select the USA’s admirals and general he had to fight. I assure you -he would have vetoed MacArthur and Nimitz – prefering someone more Chamberlainesque (or Huckabee-esque) We won because our leaders took big unexpected risks (win it or lose it -but fight it) and didn’t go with the popular ways of fighting.

Don L on January 21, 2011 at 6:40 AM

Not only does Huck lead among self-described conservatives, he leads by seven among people who describe themselves as “very conservative” and among white evangelical Protestants by the same margin.

just does NOT compute….

cmsinaz on January 21, 2011 at 6:40 AM

If Palin gains the nomination that would be historical in that sense

Yeah, and a couple years ago the same negative statistics proved the Red Sox could win a World Series. This thinking statistically based upon the past is the fodder of mutual fund salesman – not leaders.

Don L on January 21, 2011 at 6:44 AM

That’s supposed to be the Red Sox “couldn’t” win…

It’s so hard to get used to….

Don L on January 21, 2011 at 6:45 AM

If it’s Huckchuck, I just won’t vote. He’s a fraud, a phony and a fascist in fundamentalist clothing. A big government, big spending, bad judgment bozo who wants to be the Christian big brother.

No thanks.

CatoRenasci on January 21, 2011 at 6:47 AM

Aslans Girl on January 21, 2011 at 5:58 AM
annoyinglittletwerp on January 21, 2011 at 6:30 AM

I didn’t see the Esther Bible verses thing so I can’t address that, but writing as a self-proclaimed Palinista, I can agree that some Palin supporters go over board at times with their defense of her. I’ve probably been guilty of it myself. I think a lot of the criticism of Palin is just so insane that sometimes it’s hard not to be overly defensive when legitimate criticisms are brought up.

bitsy on January 21, 2011 at 6:49 AM

Those few are poisoning the well.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 21, 2011 at 6:30 AM

The only ones poisoning the well are commenters who attempt to shut others up by trying to impose the speech stifling “standard” of moderation.

By you and others constantly haranguing people who support Palin, implying they’re somehow “cultists”, you undoubtedly make others who’d like to voice their support unwilling to do so.

It the same thing the media does whether you realize it or not.

darwin on January 21, 2011 at 7:14 AM

The Newt votes will fall to Romney, once Newt finally realizes that he is no longer relevant.

chansen9 on January 21, 2011 at 7:45 AM

chansen9 on January 21, 2011 at 7:45 AM

He should know that the pic of him sitting on a couch with Pelosi will be used against him, over and over. Then when that wears off, the topic they were pushing (MMGW) will be added in…

Gohawgs on January 21, 2011 at 7:50 AM

picklesgap on January 20, 2011 at 9:56 PM

+1
Huckabee cannot be trusted.

Oh, yes. Let’s trash Romney again, shall we?

Eichendorff on January 20, 2011 at 10:54 PM
What part of “socialized medicine” don’t you understand?

gryphon202 on January 20, 2011 at 11:35 PM

Eichendorff, I voted for Mitt in the POTUS primaries bcs out of the choices, I thought he was the best.
And I do think he would make a good POTUS.
Look what he did with the Olympics.
However, gryphon is correct.
These Band-Aid fix its for health care need to STOP.
I want govt OUT of the health care arena.
Mitt isn’t going to do that.

Badger40 on January 21, 2011 at 8:06 AM

I’ve wondered why in the world Mitt is considered the frontrunner.

But, in any case, the rumors that Palin is dead obviously have been greatly exaggerated.

AnninCA on January 21, 2011 at 8:10 AM

darwin on January 21, 2011 at 7:14 AM

My husband supports Palin-but he doesn’t speak of her as ‘our light in shining armor.’ Hr doesn’t believe that she out ‘Thatchers ‘the Iron Lady.
He’s a supporter-rather than a CULTIST.
There is a BIG difference.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 21, 2011 at 8:13 AM

My husband supports Palin-but he doesn’t speak of her as ‘our light in shining armor.’ Hr doesn’t believe that she out ‘Thatchers ‘the Iron Lady.
He’s a supporter-rather than a CULTIST.
There is a BIG difference.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 21, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Here’s the point … who the hell are you to determine how someone must feel about anyone or anything? If someone feels that way so what? Is there a problem with looking up to Palin as an actual role model? In this day and age anyone who can stick to their values and principles deserves some adulation, and if they do it under intense attacks of the communist left well they deserve it even more.

darwin on January 21, 2011 at 8:30 AM

So it’s bad to be an enthusiastic supporter of Palin? It’s bad that Palin creates enthusiasm? That’s odd. I thought most politicians and political parties want enthusiastic supporters – they are more likely to contribute, work hard in campaigns, stick by you in tough times, and actually vote on election day.

Viator on January 21, 2011 at 9:25 AM

PPP TX polls Palin matching Newt.

As if 1% differentiation means a damned thing from a poll, the participants’ own level of education/income only provided 1% distinction between Palin matching Huckabee.

Yesterday Ace spun on the rant that based upon style over content, regardless of ideology, educated people don’t like Sarah Palin. Call that like it is, the bigot card.

I’m well educated. I like Sarah Palin. I still prefer a Fred Thompson as POTUS, and poke all the progressive Republicans in the eye for their poop on his ’08 campaign. If Fred Thompson were POTUS today, the implications. Considering the shaft given to the self made American Original Fred Thompson in his potus bid, of course those same establishment figures are as ever intent on maintaining their Bush Reformed Republican Party manipulation. It was Mitt’s contingency that propagated the “fire in the belly” mantra that consequentially paved Obama’s path of fire into the Oval Office. Besides, if “fire in the belly” were the #1 reason for choosing a candidate, Palin wins Romney hands down.

It’s a given that people will vote as they like.

Regardless of ideology, elitists hold commoners in contempt. The rationalizations that elitists propagate in self defense only weave a net of self deception. They don’t WANT to like Sarah Palin because they don’t like her mannerisms. And that is as bigoted a basis for prejudice as King Louis XV refusing audience to any petitioner who could not dance to the King’s satisfaction at his French Court.

Don’t attribute public trust in a candidate based upon that candidate’s Ivy League and Washingtonian experience. We have one of those occupying the White House right now, President Present. Unfortunately for Romney, the wool is off people’s eyes. Despite differences, the public recognizes that Romney shares progressive elements in common with McCain and with Obama.

maverick muse on January 21, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Would Republicans nominate Huckabee, the one candidate that Obama can still beat with one hand tied behind his back?

I wouldn’t put it past them.

ElectricPhase on January 21, 2011 at 9:58 AM

I’ve wondered why in the world Mitt is considered the frontrunner.

AnninCA on January 21, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Mitt is considered a “safe” choice for some. Not too easily SNL-skitted; nowhere around when there’s controversy. Think of it like a candidate covered in a condom. You will feel safer in the morning.

RepubChica on January 21, 2011 at 10:04 AM

I’m well educated. I like Sarah Palin. I still prefer a Fred Thompson as POTUS, and poke all the progressive Republicans in the eye for their poop on his ’08 campaign. If Fred Thompson were POTUS today, the implications. Considering the shaft given to the self made American Original Fred Thompson in his potus bid, of course those same establishment figures are as ever intent on maintaining their Bush Reformed Republican Party manipulation.

maverick muse on January 21, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Dude, what rock have you been sleeping under? Thompson got in the race to help his buddy McCain win the nomination and maybe also to position himself for a possible VP pick. He had zero motivation to try to win the thing himself. His main goal initially was to try to take down Romney in Iowa, but when Huckabee took care of that for him, he lay low until he could be useful again, which turned out to be South Carolina where he campaigned in Huckabee’s footsteps and helped McCain beat Huck by a few percentage points. When his work was done he dropped out. Carl Cameron got wind of the VP talk during the primaries but didn’t come out with it until Thompson had dropped out. The info about getting in to help McCain was relayed to a good friend of mine by a source very high in Thompson’s campaign.

The fact that you and a lot of the other Palin supporters on this site were fooled (and still are, apparently) by Fred Thompson’s fraud of a campaign explains a lot about your eagerness to rush off a cliff in 2012 with Palin.

Would Republicans nominate Huckabee, the one candidate that Obama can still beat with one hand tied behind his back?

I wouldn’t put it past them.

ElectricPhase on January 21, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Show me one head-to-head poll where Palin does better against Obama than Huckabee. All the ones I’ve seen lately Huckabee and Romney are down by a few or within the MOE and Palin’s at least 10 points back. The latest has Huck and Romney down 5 and Palin 17 points back. If Huckabee gets beat by Obama with one hand tied behind his back, Palin gets beat by Obama in a straight jacket.

cschande on January 21, 2011 at 10:30 AM

So it’s bad to be an enthusiastic supporter of Palin? It’s bad that Palin creates enthusiasm? That’s odd. I thought most politicians and political parties want enthusiastic supporters – they are more likely to contribute, work hard in campaigns, stick by you in tough times, and actually vote on election day.

Viator on January 21, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Annoying people on message boards cancel all that out, or something.

alwaysfiredup on January 21, 2011 at 10:36 AM

cschande on January 21, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Relax, we don’t even know if he’s running. He’d probably rather make a pile of money being on Fox. Maybe a new reality show called “Huck!” He’s better off not running and should stick to fundraising and playing kingmaker.

alwaysfiredup on January 21, 2011 at 10:38 AM

So it’s bad to be an enthusiastic supporter of PalinObama? It’s bad that PalinObama creates enthusiasm? That’s odd. I thought most politicians and political parties want enthusiastic supporters – they are more likely to contribute, work hard in campaigns, stick by you in tough times, and actually vote on election day.

Viator on January 21, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Annoying people on message boards cancel all that out, or something.

If the shoe fits…

cschande on January 21, 2011 at 10:39 AM

cschande on January 21, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Relax, we don’t even know if he’s running. He’d probably rather make a pile of money being on Fox. Maybe a new reality show called “Huck!” He’s better off not running and should stick to fundraising and playing kingmaker.

alwaysfiredup on January 21, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Don’t count on it. Unlike other potential candidates, Huckabee doesn’t do reality shows. Not to mention the fact that he’s already proven he can win primaries (and one pretty important caucus). Maybe Palin should stick to fundraising and playing kingmaker.

cschande on January 21, 2011 at 10:41 AM

cschande on January 21, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Why do you support the former Gov. of Arkansas? Straight question, I haven’t seen you elaborate before…

Gohawgs on January 21, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Why not concede now?

crashman on January 21, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Why do you support the former Gov. of Arkansas? Straight question, I haven’t seen you elaborate before…

Gohawgs on January 21, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Because sledding with Huck is fun!!! Or something.

steebo77 on January 21, 2011 at 10:53 AM

yeah, I love Sarah….she’ll never win. She was Dan Quayled a long time ago.

crashman on January 21, 2011 at 10:53 AM

cschande on January 21, 2011 at 10:41 AM

I see my snark went right over your head. Oh well.

alwaysfiredup on January 21, 2011 at 10:53 AM

steebo77 on January 21, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Now I understand…

Gohawgs on January 21, 2011 at 10:56 AM

You are correct. Mike Huckabee should be shaking in his boots over a Palin candidacy. If she gets in, it’s over for him….right? By the way, where does she go when she loses Iowa?

Iowans Rock on January 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Iowans Rock on January 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Strategic National, a Grand Rapids, Mich., firm polled 410 Republican Iowa caucus-goers Jan. 18.

steebo77 on January 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Iowans Rock on January 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM

On to the R nomination…Let them all in, it’ll be fun to watch how some act after receiving their spine graft…

Gohawgs on January 21, 2011 at 11:05 AM

When the primaries begin and these three folks all run, the press will signal the one they want by laying off the anointed one until there is a winner. Obviously, that won’t be Palin, since they’ve never let up on her. I’m thinking they would prefer Huck because Romney has the RomneyCare thing that would be difficult to attack. The problem is they probably won’t begin to pound the GOP candidate until the general, so this “electability” thing and the underlying polling will be difficult to predict.

littleguy on January 21, 2011 at 11:09 AM

HUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKABEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

2012 … HUCK IS COMING WITH NO VENGEANCE!

Obama’s soaring high as per Crappyhammer!

No rest for the wicked!

TheAlamos on January 21, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Please! No excessive Sarah Palin support! It makes some people here uncomfortable. And we wouldn’t want that…

SurferDoc on January 21, 2011 at 11:29 AM

cschande on January 21, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Why do you support the former Gov. of Arkansas? Straight question, I haven’t seen you elaborate before…

Gohawgs on January 21, 2011 at 10:46 AM

This answer isn’t going to be as exhaustive as it could be because I’ve got other things to do today, but since you asked an honest question I think you deserve an honest answer.

I look for three things in a candidate: genuine conservatism (fiscal, social, national security), competence, and electability.

Genuine conservatism. Personally, I believe conservatism is the best approach to fiscal, social, and national security issues. I know that might put me in the minority on this site, but I still believe if you take away any of the three pegs the stool’s gonna fall over and America will end up falling on its face. Bush called himself socially and fiscally conservative, but he only really became an advocate on social issues when an election rolled around, and we all saw how he crumpled on fiscal issues towards the end of his second term. I’m convinced Huckabee is genuinely conservative on social issues and will be an advocate for conservative solutions to problems like abortion and the dissolution of the family. To me that’s important. I’m also convinced Huckabee is genuinely conservative on fiscal issues. I know people on this site will hoot and howl over that claim, but I believe it. He’s a staunch proponent of the FairTax, and I believe he’ll really push for something like that if he’s elected President. He also signed Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge last time around, and he was against TARP, the bailouts, and every other bad fiscal move this President and the last President have made while other potential Republican candidates were for them. And I don’t know many people who challenge Huckabee’s conservatism on national security issues. He practically has a second home in Israel he’s been there so many times.

Comparatively, Romney fails the “genuine conservatism” test. Gingrich does alright on most issues (minus global warming and a couple others), and Palin does really well on fiscal and foreign policy issues, but I think she’s more of a libertarian on social issues (which might be why a lot of people here like her). Pence and Cain both get top marks for being genuinely conservative, but Pence needs to prove he’s competent by serving a term as Governor of Indiana first and Cain needs to show he’s electable against Obama.

Competence. When I look for a candidate to support I don’t just want to know how conservative he/she is. If that were the case I’d be writing my own name in the box every time I went to vote. I also want to know how competent that candidate is going to be at advancing conservative causes. That’s where executive experience comes in, and Huckabee has 10 1/2 years of it serving as Governor of a state. Not only that, he was working all those years with overwhelming Democratic majorities in the State House and Senate. And still he did a lot to advance conservative initiatives in Arkansas. Not only did he sign numerous pieces of pro-life and pro-family legislation into law, he also left office with an $800 million dollar surplus after coming into office facing a $200 million dollar budget deficit. Admittedly, during his tenure as Governor Huckabee was a “small government conservative,” not a “no government conservative.” As Governor, you can’t just vote no on everything you think might hurt you politically without having to suffer the consequences. Huckabee cut taxes numerous times as Governor, but he raised taxes a few times as well. However, while the total tax burden in Arkansas did rise while he was Governor, the national average rose by twice as much during that same time. After 9/11 he passed an income tax surcharge amidst to make up for a drop in revenues, but 3 years later he repealed it when the state didn’t need it any more. Some of the new taxes went to help improve education, infrastructure, etc, and it worked. But he still managed to leave the state in a much better fiscal situation then he found it, and all while working across the aisle with Democratic majorities. That, to me, shows competence.

Comparatively, I think Romney shows flashes of competence (Olympics) but at other times not so much (RomneyCare). Palin has not yet proven to me that she’s competent, and unless she has huge Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress I don’t see how she gets anyone to work with her. Gingrich definitely does better than the other two in terms of competence in my book, but he has other problems.

Electability. Electability matters. I hated to admit it in 2008 because that was the line everyone used against Huckabee, and perhaps they were right. People just didn’t know him well enough yet, and he as painted as a religious bigot by the media (people here at HotAir still believe a lot of those lies). This time around, though, he’s doing just as well as Romney against Obama, while Gingrich and Palin poll further back. Huckabee does well with independents because he’s genuinely a likable guy, and he understands that governing means not always getting everything you want, but finding a way to get as much as you possibly can. Huckabee’s electable because he’s willing to admit it when a Democrat comes up with a good idea. Sometimes he disagrees on the approach or the implementation, but he’s willing to build bridges instead of burning them down. He understands that as an executive, if you go around burning down all your bridges you’ll never get anywhere. The same is true for candidates aspiring to win over independent voters.

Comparatively, Palin has a little executive experience but it’s not the same. Alaska and Arkansas are just very different states with very different problems, and you can’t tell me being mayor of Wasilla is comparable to being Governor of Arkansas, or any state for that matter. Gingrich has a little executive experience but not in elected office, and Romney used his executive experience to play politics and position himself for a run at the White House. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for why he’d refuse to pardon an Iraq war veteran’s BB-gun conviction, among other dumb moves he made as Governor. As I mentioned earlier, many of the dark horses whom I really like (Pence, Cain, etc.) need to prove they can beat Obama, and thus far I’m just not convinced.

So there you have it. Certainly not exhaustive but I gave it a shot. Genuine conservatism, competence, and electability. Huckabee’s not perfect and I don’t 100% agree with him on every issue, but he’s the best combination of those three things in my opinion.

Let the rebuttals begin!

cschande on January 21, 2011 at 11:38 AM

270 to win

Try this:

*Assume the Republican wins all the McCain states.
*Give (R) 1 other EV from NE. (4 in ’08 to 5 in ’12)
*Make the following states red: IN, OH, FL, NC, VA, as they will probably turn.

Then wonder where the 5 EVs will come from to win and kick Hussein back to Bill Ayers’ living room. CO? WI? WA? PA? NV? NM? NH & ME? Look what happened in the Lake Superior districts. Could MI or MN be in play?

If Palin is the nominee, and the VP nom is named Paul Ryan, color WI red and reserve your tux for Palin’s inaugural in ’13.

Greek Fire on January 21, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Mitt is considered a “safe” choice for some. Not too easily SNL-skitted; nowhere around when there’s controversy. Think of it like a candidate covered in a condom. You will feel safer in the morning.

RepubChica on January 21, 2011 at 10:04 AM

The “safe choice for some” signed socialized medicine into law in Mass-uh-chew-sits. He’s a candidate covered in a government-mandated condom that came from a public high school.

gryphon202 on January 21, 2011 at 11:41 AM

By the way, where does she go when she loses Iowa?

Iowans Rock on January 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM

More appropriately, where does Huckabee go when he wins Iowa? He won nearly 3-to-1 over McCain…

Greek Fire on January 21, 2011 at 11:44 AM

You are correct. Mike Huckabee should be shaking in his boots over a Palin candidacy. If she gets in, it’s over for him….right? By the way, where does she go when she loses Iowa?

Iowans Rock on January 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM

I know many Palin detractors hate Reagan comparisons…but in 1980, Reagan had his “I’m paying for this microphone” moment in Nashua, New Hampshire after a particularly devastating loss in the Iowa caucuses. After Nashua, Reagan soundly trounced Bush in most of the succeeding primaries. Just sayin.

gryphon202 on January 21, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Mitt is considered a “safe” choice for some. Not too easily SNL-skitted; nowhere around when there’s controversy. Think of it like a candidate covered in a condom. You will feel safer in the morning.

RepubChica on January 21, 2011 at 10:04 AM

+100 Romney the rubber soled condom candidate. Priceless.
And check that hair. He’s lubricated!

shmendrick on January 21, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Please! No excessive Sarah Palin support! It makes some people here uncomfortable. And we wouldn’t want that…

SurferDoc on January 21, 2011 at 11:29 AM

We need government control of excessive support, it’s the only way.

darwin on January 21, 2011 at 12:01 PM

We need government control of excessive support, it’s the only way.

darwin on January 21, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Peggy Noonan thinks we should ban politicans with more than 30 supporters.

steebo77 on January 21, 2011 at 12:07 PM

As poll after poll shows him either in the thick of the race or leading outright, and with Palin’s favorables down after the media bombardment she took last week, how could he not run? The Christian base is potentially his for the taking.

Allah says with bated(baited) breath.

Herb on January 21, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Is Huck buying these polls? I still can’t find a single person who would vote for him…wth? We had our niece over and she is from Ark and says he won’t even win his home state. Someone give him a game show so we move on.

Brian on January 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM

So it’s bad to be an enthusiastic supporter of Palin? It’s bad that Palin creates enthusiasm? That’s odd. I thought most politicians and political parties want enthusiastic supporters – they are more likely to contribute, work hard in campaigns, stick by you in tough times, and actually vote on election day.

Viator on January 21, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Annoying people on message boards cancel all that out, or something.
alwaysfiredup on January 21, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Funny comeback.

Our passion is our greatest strength. Don’t let anyone try to neuter your enthusiasm. They wish their candidate could muster this kind of support that Palin commands.

Geochelone on January 21, 2011 at 12:54 PM

I look at these polls and my only thought is “I can’t believe this; we’re going to re-elect Obama.”

Over50 on January 21, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I look at these polls and my only thought is “I can’t believe this; we’re going to re-elect Obama.”

Over50 on January 21, 2011 at 1:20 PM

It’s a national abilene paradox. For the love of God, don’t let yourselves be conned, people!

gryphon202 on January 21, 2011 at 1:44 PM

I hope some other candidates come out of the woodwork soon. I’m not liking our chances with any of these three.

maables on January 21, 2011 at 1:45 PM

I hope some other candidates come out of the woodwork soon. I’m not liking our chances with any of these three.

maables on January 21, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Then take my friendly advice and stay out of the primaries. That is all.

gryphon202 on January 21, 2011 at 2:07 PM

The Washington Post is so pro-Obama that there is nothing they say that doesn’t reflect that bias. It is as corrupt as Immelt being awarded billions by Obama for turning over NBC and MSNBC to him as his personal propaganda machines.

volsense on January 21, 2011 at 3:39 PM

And let’s not overlook that GE was given the ok to sell advanced jet engine technology to China to help their airforce improve.

shmendrick on January 21, 2011 at 3:52 PM

I figured my ‘colorful’ choice of words would evoke derision
from someone out there. So. be. it. “Our light in shining armor” sounds so much better than “knightess in shining armor” in my view. It was intended to tie into my earlier comment regarding our nation being the shining city on a hill. I also believe in American exceptionalism (gasp).

Like Sarah, I don’t plan to sit down and shut up because some annoying little twerp calls me a cultist on a blog.

Am I an enthusiastic and passionate person? Yes. As a supporter for my chosen candidate? You bet!

Sarah is a knight because she is the only potential candidate who effectively speaks up for my values, and the only potential candidate who I see engaging those who are trying to destroy my country. Given the incessant attempts to malign and destroy her, I believe she needs all the support I can muster.

If someone would like to control my choice of words or mischaracterize them, or if they would like to dictate the ‘appropriate’ level of enthusiasm I should express, I’ll reserve the right to think very little of their own comments.

I’ve read that Sarah reads this blog. If so, I hope she found my words of support.

Opinionator on January 21, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Why all these retreads? Are we really so bad off that this is ALL we can come up with? That these retreads have to given an opportunity, like McCain FINALLY got, to prove to us how bad they suck before we take their millstone from around our necks? Seriously? Huckabee is what you can come up with to beat Pres. Obama and take us back from the brink of Socialism? Has Huckabee ACTUALLY come out in agreement of Repeal ObamaCare? Heck has Romney even? Seriously, why not add some people who are already putting their hat in the ring like Herman Cain and Michelle Buchmann? These folks should start being added to straw polls. Let’s just move past the list of MSM approved candidates and find something better. Geez, I’m sure if we even go to the effort of lifting up a rock we could do better.

Sultry Beauty on January 21, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Someone give him a game show so we move on.

Brian on January 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM

LOL!
I think he would be very good at that.
POTUS-not so much.
And seriously, we’ve already got an American-hater in the White house.
Why do I want a Mormon-hater in this White House?
I’m really sick of all these losers hating me for one reason or another.
IMHO Huck is a POS.
STEAMING PILE OF IT.

Badger40 on January 21, 2011 at 5:37 PM

I’s enjoy reading the polls they don’t publish

entagor on January 21, 2011 at 11:17 PM

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