I don’t think Mike Huckabee was ever in this thing to win it, which is why he was out there stumping on his book tour while he was allegedly running for President. I think that Huckabee from the beginning jumped in to make sure that social issues had a place in the national conversation, and to solidify his standing as one of the chief kingmakers among social conservatives. He wanted all the other candidates to have to make the polite noises and at least do obeisance towards the social conservative wing of the party in order to win.

And at this point, he’s already made that point. By flying out stand with Kim Davis, he forced the hand of several other candidates to make public statements in support of religious liberty. With Huckabee on the stage, no one has dared to suggest that Planned Parenthood should continue to receive public funding.

But the longer Huckabee stays in the race, continuing to attract his 5-8% of dedicated supporters, the less efficacious his support will become. Huckabee’s biggest asset, specifically, is his cachet among evangelical conservatives in Iowa. If Huckabee throws his support behind a candidate there, and stands on stage lauding that candidate there and in South Carolina, he stands to wring quite a bit out of that candidate in the end game. And he could do some real good for the conservative movement in the process.