Could Mike Huckabee Have Beat Mitt Romney?

By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

The Republican Primary race is essentially over. Rick Santorum, having finally hit the end of his rope, has announced a suspension of his campaign. It’s going to be Romney versus Obama in November.

Rick Santorum was never a really strong candidate. For the longest time he polled at 1% in Iowa. Only when all the other non-Romney options were exhausted did Santorum begin to rise. But Santorum’s strength was always more anti-Romney than pro-Santorum. People voted against Romney, not for Santorum.

There was, however, another candidate who didn’t enter the field in 2012. This was Mike Huckabee. Mike Huckabee is a much stronger politician than Rick Santorum. Huckabee would have built the same coalition that Santorum built. And unlike Santorum, the people in Huckabee’s coalition would actually be voting for Huckabee rather than merely against Romney.

This leaves us a very interesting question: Could Huckabee have beaten Romney?

In many ways Huckabee would have been a super-charged version of Santorum. He would have done several considerably better amongst Santorum’s voters. On the other hand, he would have had many of the same weaknesses that eventually doomed Santorum. Given that Santorum never really came close to winning the nomination, that’s not good for Huckabee.

On the positive side, Huckabee would almost certainly have won conservative, evangelical Iowa – and probably by a lot. More likely than not he would have taken the state by double-digits. Huckabee would then have probably lost New Hampshire. But next would be South Carolina. Newt Gingrich, not exactly the strongest politician, won South Carolina with 40% of the vote. Huckabee probably would have broken 50%.

Here things get tricky. After South Carolina would have been Florida. This would have been one of those “must-win” states for Huckabee. At the same time, demographically Florida would have pretty unfriendly territory. Could Huckabee have developed momentum after two big victories in Iowa and South Carolina? Perhaps; Florida did give Gingrich some very good numbers before Romney started spending money.

After Florida the most symbolically important states would have been the Midwestern consortium of Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin. Rick Santorum lost all of these states, which is why he’s not the nominee.

There’s a decent chance that Huckabee would have won Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Add 10% or 20% to Santorum’s score in the rural counties, along with higher turn-out by voters excited to vote for Huckabee rather than merely against Romney, and things start looking pretty bleak for Romney.

So it looks like Huckabee would have won quite a bit more than Santorum.

But that doesn’t mean that he would have won the nomination.

In 2008 Huckabee was quite weak in urban and suburban areas. There’s no reason to think that he would have done much better in 2012. It’s hard to imagine Huckabee winning in big-city states like California, New York, and Illinois. Losing those three states is pretty devastating for a campaign. To this you have to add Romney give-mes like Arizona, Massachusetts, and Utah.

Huckabee would have had to rely on winning the big states Florida and Texas. Both of these are quasi-Southern states, but they’re also home to a lot of non-Southern voters. Winning these states would not have been a cake-in-the-walk for Huckabee.

But more important than this are two structural weaknesses which doomed Santorum – and which Huckabee would also have had.

Firstly, Huckabee would have been heavily outspent. This was a big reason why Romney won: he outspent Santorum by outrageous margins. Unfortunately for Huckabee, the same thing would have happened with him. In 2008 Huckabee’s campaign was consistently on the brink of going bankrupt. There’s no reason to think that anything would have changed in 2012.

Secondly, the Republican establishment would have backed Romney. The establishment went heavily against Huckabee in 2008 (for reasons that are mysterious to me). It would have been firmly in the camp of Romney in 2012. By the end of the campaign, Fox News was pretending that Rick Santorum didn’t exist. Something similar might have happened with Huckabee.

All in all, it’s a roll of the dice whether Huckabee could have won. The best case scenario: Huckabee pounds Romney in Iowa, runs a close second in New Hampshire, breaks 50% in South Carolina, and then Mitt Romney says that he doesn’t care about poor people. It’s an open question whether momentum for Huckabee would have started setting in at this point, but let’s say it does and Huckabee takes a double-digit national lead. Huckabee wins Florida and then Michigan at the end of February. On Super Tuesday, Romney’s final stand, Huckabee breaks 65% in the South and wins Ohio by double-digits. Romney drops out and endorses Huckabee.

All in all, it’s fun to guess what would have happened in this alternate scenario. I personally would have preferred the Republican nominee to be Mike Huckabee rather than Mitt Romney. In the end, Huckabee stayed out because he thought that Barack Obama would win. That was probably the right reasoning.

 

Huckabee the Scrivener: The Man Who Could be President, But Prefers Not To

I have been saying for about a year now that the man best positioned to become the next President of the United States is Mike Huckabee. To this day, the Republican voter is desperately in search for the anti-Romney. Even seven out of ten Romney voters say they could switch their vote to someone else. There is no brand loyalty there at all.

In fact, seven out of ten Republican voters say holding the right positions is more important than electability - which goes to show Romney's main argument on the importance of electability is not working. The bad numbers keep piling up, as 20% of conservative voters say they are less likely to vote for Romney because of his religion. It's even worse among very conservative voters, 32% of whom have no qualms about discriminating against him because of his faith. Those are shockingly high numbers of people who have already eliminated him (unjustly), and those are just the ones admitting it.

But conservative voters are right about their central arguments against Romney - he is a flip-flopper, he is a slimy politician and he will say anything to get elected. These Republicans are thirsting for a real conservative to vote for. Meanwhile, there has been an absolute implosion of the other conservative candidates. Bachmann lasted about five seconds. Herman Cain is in a tailspin now, but was obviously never qualified to begin with. And Rick Perry might as well have screamed "Allahu Akbar!" as he blew himself up in last night's debate.

Huckabee is an unquestioned social conservative, so I think he would win Iowa and South Carolina with relative ease. But more importantly, he is an excellent fake populist. I'm confident that in the end, like all Republicans, he would do whatever the big banks want him to do. But he talks a good game about feeling your pain and being against the powerful that are screwing you. He is the definition of folksy. And the country is in desperate search of folksy as opposed to slimy.

In fact, I think he is far more electable than Romney is when it comes to taking on Obama. President Obama struggles mightily at faking populism. And in reality, he has an enormous track record of helping the big banks in getting almost everything they ever wanted (he made the fatal mistake of once hurting their feelings though by calling them "fat cats"). Romney is the most obviously pro-Wall Street candidate in history, when the country is in a massively anti-Wall Street mood. I think Huckabee stands an excellent chance of cleaning both of their clocks.

But apparently, he would prefer not to. Who stands this good a chance of being the next president - and doesn't take it? Jesus, how good is that Fox News salary? I know that people think he has grown too fat and comfortable, but now that there isn't even that much time before the first caucus he wouldn't even have to discomfort himself that much. If he doesn't get in, he will go down in history as Huckabee the Scrivener - the man who could have been president and preferred not to.

 

Don't Know Much About . . .

well, anything.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Republican Presidential field for 2012, a bunch of regressive, know nothing ignoramuses.

The parody of Sam Cooke's Wonderful World is from Sad n Mad Productions.

A Commendation to Three Brave Republicans

Election season is coming up, and as if by magic little shoots of controversy are sprouting throughout the political landscape. One avenue of controversy has been with regards to the Fourteenth Amendment. Republican leaders, such as Senator Lindsey Graham, have incited a controversy over what they label “anchor babies.” They propose amending the Constitution to end birthright citizenship – ironically, one of the Republican Party’s proudest achievements, and a crucial tool in assimilating American immigrants.

A depressingly high number of Republicans have toed to this party line. For this, those Republicans broken the line – voicing support for keeping the Constitution as it is – deserve commendations.

One such Republican is Congressman Charles Djou. Mr. Djou, who represents a Democratic-leaning district in Hawaii, constitutes one of the few Asian-Americans in Congress. In response to Republican calls to amend the Constitution, Mr. Djou wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed. It argued:

Critics of birthright citizenship cite poll numbers and recent laws passed by European countries limiting citizenship. America is not Europe. Nor should we want to be. Europe has struggled for centuries with assimilating ethnic groups. By contrast, America’s unique melting pot of cultures and ethnicities has successfully assimilated new groups in far less time. This assimilation has made the whole nation stronger.

The 14th Amendment is one of the crowning achievements of the Republican Party. Following the Civil War, the 14th Amendment guaranteed due process for every person under the law and helped to reunite a fractured nation. It pains me to think that we may start tinkering with this fundamental fabric of our union.

Another Republican deserving of some praise is Marco Rubio, the Republican candidate for Florida’s Senate seat. Like Mr. Djou, Mr. Rubio is the son of immigrants; his parents came from Cuba after Fidel Castro took power.

In many ways Mr. Rubio is a standard conservative Republican. The Florida politician, for instance, is opposed to almost every one of President Barack Obama’s initiatives. Nevertheless, when asked about denying citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants, Mr. Rubio stated:

You’re taking energy and focus away from that fundamental debate and spending time on something that quite frankly is not the highest and best use of our political attention. I don’t think that’s where the problem is.

The final Republican politician is not somebody most people would imagine as a moderate: Mike Huckabee. Mr. Huckabee looks, talks, and feels like your typical firebreathing Southern conservative. Yet when asked about his stance on Mr. Graham’s proposal to end birthright citizenship, Mr. Huckabee answered:

…You do not punish a child for something the parent did.

The question is: Is [an undocumented child born outside of the U.S.] better off going to college and becoming a neurosurgeon or a banker or whatever he might become, and becoming a taxpayer, and in the process having to apply for and achieve citizenship, or should we make him pick tomatoes? I think it’s better if he goes to college and becomes a citizen.

All in all, the debate over birthright citizenship is a symbol of the choice facing the Republican Party. There are two roads it can take. One road is the path of Charles Djou, Marco Rubio, and Mike Huckabee. It is a path in which the Republican Party embraces diversity and courts immigrants as a natural constituency due to their socially conservative views.

The other road is the path of Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. This is the path of anger, in which Republicans say no – no to immigration, no to change, no to everything. It is a path in which Republicans focus their efforts on appealing to an ever-shrinking and ever-more out-of-touch constituency. It is the path that has led the Republican Party to where it is now: controlling neither part of Congress nor the executive branch.

Which path will the Republican Party choose?

--Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

 

 

Fox News Comes Out of the Closet

Fox News finally made it official. They are part and parcel of the Republican Party. They are now the largest donors to the Republican Governors Association, having given them $1 million dollars. They also employ three out of the top four Republicans in the Iowa Caucus Poll for GOP presidential candidates.

As I explain here, now that Fox News has come out of the closet, it's hard to distinguish where Fox News ends and the Republican Party begins:

But there is one more factor here. It's not just that Fox News has a point of view. Many publications and shows have a certain perspective as well, whether it's conservative or liberal. It's that Fox News does propaganda. What's the difference?

They don't just have a perspective, they have an agenda. And they drive that agenda until their political goals are met. So, they don't just do the so-called Ground Zero Mosque story on one or two shows randomly depending on the host's interests. They all do it. Their talk show hosts do the story. Their so-called news anchors do the story. They do it 24-7 until it spreads to the other cable news stations, and then thereby spreads into the whole media.

That's not a coincidence, that's a well thought out strategy. And it works like a charm. So, for example, people are confused as to why the Democrats always seem to get slammed in the summers. That's because Congress is in recess, there is a news void and Fox fills that void with whatever propaganda they have decided will incite fear and loathing at that time. So, last summer it was death panels and Tea Parties. This summer it's the "Ground Zero Mosque."

And next summer it'll be something else, but here are the elements I guarantee it will have - a story that is covered non-stop, an incendiary topic that gets people talking, something that either stokes fear and/or hatred and involves a charge based on almost no facts. That's the formula. Watch, come back to this article next August and you will see that's exactly what happened again. The rest of the media is putty in Fox News' hands. So easy to manipulate and control.

Don't get me wrong, this happens year around, too. It's just that the summer is their killing fields because of the dearth of other political stories.

And how about the poor Democrats that are the victims of this propaganda machine? They are so clueless and feckless that it's almost hard to feel sorry for them. You begin to feel contempt. Is anyone ever going to fight back against this machine? Do you people even know what's happening to you?

The longer the Democrats and the rest of the media treat Fox News as a legitimate "news station," the longer this will happen. And then everyone will sit around confused about how such a large percentage of the country could think Obama is a Muslim, or that ACORN stole the election for Obama or that Saddam Hussein was connected to 9/11. They will wonder how these demonstrably false stories could get so much traction. All the while as the Fox News propaganda machine hums in the background.

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