“He’s just so media-savvy and has such a great constituency that any kind of presidential run would have to happen in an organic way,” said Bob Wickers, who has been Huckabee’s top media consultant and a close friend since his successful 1993 run for lieutenant governor of Arkansas. “It would have to be a movement conservative type of campaign, and it’d have to be something that would happen late.”…

“Since the caucuses, I think his following here has only expanded,” Rogers said, noting that Huckabee earned a well-deserved reputation in the retail-heavy state for being the rare politician who is genuinely easy to talk to. “I think he’d be very competitive in the Iowa caucuses and also nationally.”

While he never warmed to the idea of running for president in 2012, Huckabee retains a chip on his shoulder that might also lead him to think about the feasibility of a 2016 campaign. Members of his former political team often convey irritation that he has not gotten the respect he deserves as a true force in American politics…

“Finance is it,” one Huckabee confidant said of the rationale for not running in 2016. “It’s just not something he enjoys doing, and it’s hard to win campaigns when you say, ‘Well, if the money comes to me, I’ll do it,’ because it’s not going to happen.”