First we hear that he’s been meeting with wealthy donors in New York, then we hear that he’s chatting up prominent supporters in South Carolina, and now this. We’re going to have to start coming to terms with the fact that … he’s running.
Who’s going to tell Glenn Beck?
The man who leads in many national polls, former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee, is showing few outward signs he will get in. But Iowa GOP Gov. Terry Branstad believes that Mr. Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008, eventually will join the fray. The governor said Mr. Huckabee has begun making calls, canvassing some of the people who organized his 2008 Iowa campaign and asking some who have signed on with other candidates if they might switch back to him.
“I still say Huckabee is the favorite in Iowa if he runs,” Mr. Branstad said. “He’s made some calls. He’s ahead in the polls, and he knows it.”
Palin’s kinda sorta making contacts in Iowa too but Huck’s the one to beat. Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, Romney not only leads the field but he now leads even The One by fully eight points. Which makes me wonder if, assuming Huckabee jumps in, we’re not destined for a two-man race pretty quickly. Huck could easily win Iowa and use that as a springboard to victory in South Carolina; likewise for Mitt with New Hampshire and Nevada. That would make Florida even more important, and would set them up for a long slugfest to the nomination, with Huck winning big in the south and Romney presumably winning (albeit more narrowly) in midwestern and coastal states. I’m not sure who that dynamic would favor. Huckabee would have an obvious advantage in southern states, I assume, and could pile up delegates that way, but Romney would have deeper financial reserves and could pound him in ads. It might be a replay of the Obama/Hillary marathon, albeit with grassroots conservatives roundly horrified at having to choose between the two.
Here’s Larry Sabato’s first map of the 2012 campaign. Would Huckabee or Romney stand us a better chance of winning toss-up states?