October 20, 2007

More Straw Poll News and Reaction

Some great articles on Huckabee's straw poll win, as well as some encouraging bits of news on the money and endorsements front:

Washington Times: Mike Huckabee yesterday asked social conservatives to back him as one of their own, and they did, giving the ordained Baptist minister a giant victory among evangelical voters who participated in this weekend's Values Voter summit straw poll.

Hours later, a closed-door meeting of top social-conservative leaders did not produce a consensus on which candidate to back, but The Washington Times has learned Mr. Huckabee had the most support among the two dozen in attendance.

Chicago Tribune: Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and a former Baptist pastor, placed a close second—with Romney claiming 1,595 votes and Huckabee 1,565. However, among votes cast on-site at the Values Voter Summit, Huckabee, the clear favorite in a hall full of conservative voters, claimed more than half of the total ballots.

The Romney campaign had waged a concerted effort to enlist online votes from supporters. Indeed, the results in the hall were received with silence Saturday, another clear sign that Huckabee actually had won the house.

That was borne out in the numbers: In the on-site vote, Huckabee collected 488—more than half of the 952 cast, and far and away more than any other candidate. Romney collected just 99 on-site.

CBS News: [I]t does appear clear that the fight for these “values voters” is shaping up as a two-man race between Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee -- the winner of that fight likely to emerge as the conservative alternative to Rudy Giuliani, who leads the Republican race in national polls.

The results of the event’s straw poll were especially telling: Of the 5,775 votes received at on-site voting kiosks, by mail, and online, Romney won 1,595, while Huckabee was only 30 votes behind, at 1,565.

But these baseline numbers don’t tell the entire story. Voting online required only a nominal donation to the Family Research Council, the organization that ran the poll and the leading sponsor of this weekend’s summit, held at the Hilton Washington. Candidates sent out appeals to their supporters to cast an online vote in the poll -- such votes turned out to generate about 94 percent of Romney’s support.

Among people who actually paid to attend the conference, people FRC President Tony Perkins has called “influencers” within their communities and church congregations, the result was far different, and a decisive victory for Huckabee. Over 51 percent of those who voted at the conference chose the former Arkansas governor. Romney was a distant second, garnering just over 10 percent of the vote.

Perkins predicted that Huckabee, who also finished second to Romney at the Ames, Iowa straw poll in August, would see a benefit once attendees made their way back home from Washington. “I believe that Gov. Huckabee will get a significant bounce out of this,” Perkins said, later adding that Huckabee could join the company of Romney, Giuliani and Fred Thompson at the front of the GOP pack.

“He could be a first-tier candidate,” he said. “He has held his own, he’s got a message, he’s certainly got followers. I think he’s come down here as a winner and a favorite out of this straw poll.”

New York Times: Mr. Perkins, who has spoken positively about Mr. Romney in the past, seemed to hold back at the news conference when asked if Mr. Romney should now properly claim a mandate of being the social conservatives’ choice.

“It’s fair to say he has support among social conservatives,” he said.

In contrast, he had much more positive things to say about Mr. Huckabee.

“I believe Governor Huckabee will get a significant bounce out of this,” he said. “People were clearly enthused with his message.”

Daily Pilot: U.S. presidential candidate Mike Huckabee will pay a visit the home of a Newport Beach businessman and big GOP donor Monday.

“Huckabee is going to be the Republican nominee for president, and it’s going to happen in Newport Beach,” said local Republican volunteer Richard Dunn, who is helping organize Huckabee’s visit. “This guy is going to come out of nowhere and win. He’s going to go head-to-head with Hillary [Clinton] and win.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee will deliver an address Monday evening from the Newport Beach home of Buck Johns, president of Inland Energy Inc. Johns counts Huckabee as one of his personal friends. He also hosted a dinner in honor of fellow GOP presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in March.
And just for fun, some more comments from the Left:
Wow, over 50% for Huckabee among theocons. In the beginning of the primary season, I figured that either Brownback or Huckabee would break out. Thompson seemed to stall that thought, but now it's reappeared.

I do not like a Clinton-Huckabee match-up at all. The press eats from Huckabee's hand.


Yes, he's very 'telegenic' as they used to say. And the Clinton-Huckabee match-up seems disastrous somehow, probably because his charismatic style exposes her perceived weaknesses. The question is whether Gingrich or Dobson are going to formally commit to him soon enough to make a difference, he needs exactly what they could offer. I fail to understand what part of their courtship has stalled, given their clear alignment of values, and can only assume it is something grossly political to do with the conditions of their support in respect of policy or some quid pro quo package they demand if he is nominated. Any thoughts on that?


Mike Core said...

Fellow Huck supporters,
Please join me in contacting Newt Gingrich and requesting that he endorse Governor Huckabee.

Now that Huck has established himself as the clear choice of the largest bloc of Republican voters with his wins in all three major value votes (Florida, South Carolina and DC), Newt's endorsement is key to broadening the support for Governor Huckabee among fiscal and defense Republicans.

Please write, fax, and e-mail Newt today!

Nicole Weeks said...

After the comments this weekend and the debate tonight, I'm a convert from Fred Thompson and Mitt Rommney to a SOLID Huckabee fan. I can't wait to listen to Glenn Beck tomorrow...he'll probably talk about how awesome and right on Rommney was. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

No way. Beck is [heart]ing Huckabee more and more every day. You could see the gleam in his eye during their Friday TV interview exchange.