December 31, 2007

New Des Moines Register Poll

Just released this evening, an important new Iowa poll conducted by the Des Moines Register shows Huckabee still ahead by 6 points. Last month's poll had Huckabee ahead by 5, so the race is virtually unchanged despite all of Romney's attacks:

Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist minister riding a wave of support from fundamentalist Christians, tops Mitt Romney for first place in a new Des Moines Register poll of Iowans planning to attend Thursday's Republican caucuses.

In a battle of former governors from Arkansas and Massachusetts, Huckabee leads Romney, 32 percent to 26 percent.

"I really like it that he is a religious man and social conservative. That is pretty important to me, especially the right to life," said Huckabee supporter Alyssa Stealey, 20, of Charter Oak, who is also drawn to his call for tax reform.

The size of Huckabee's lead is virtually unchanged from the last Iowa Poll taken in late November, despite Romney's hard-charging effort to regain the top spot that he held earlier in the year.

The new poll, taken over four days ending on Sunday, shows a resurgent Arizona Sen. John McCain grabbing third place in the Republican race for the first-in-the-nation caucuses. McCain tallies support from 13 percent in the poll -- a 6-point improvement since late November.

On McCain's heels in the poll at 9 percent each are Texas Rep. Ron Paul, whose support in Iowa has gradually been building, and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson.

- Nearly one-half of likely Republican caucusgoers describe themselves as born-again or fundamentalist Christians. Within that large group, Huckabee outpolls Romney, 47 percent to 20 percent. Romney has faced questions about his religious standing as a Mormon.

- Among those who think it's more important for the next president to be a social conservative than a fiscal conservative, Huckabee leads Romney 48 percent to 24 percent. Romney holds a much narrower lead over Huckabee -- 29 percent to 25 percent -- among those who say it's more important to be fiscally conservative.

Romney: Flip, Flop, or Slip on ENDA?

I have authored a very important guest post on

Even though they are fierce rivals for the Republican nomination, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney have been, for a long time, two of my top choices: Huckabee number one. Romney number two or three. I have some concern over Romney’s position changes on abortion, gun control, the Bush tax cuts, etc… But for the sake of all of you who have traveled that well-beaten path many times already, I don’t want to question Romney’s sincerity here. Huckabee’s positions have simply been stronger and more consistent in those areas, and that’s why he has my support.

All that said, yesterday I was confronted with a startling revelation about Mitt Romney’s current position on gay rights. It is one, to be honest, that greatly concerns me. Not the least because his own experience as governor means that he should know better.

What am I talking about? Well, I refer to Romney’s continued support for employment non-discrimination laws for sexual orientation — laws that would prohibit discrimination based on “actual or perceived” sexual orientation. This is serious, my friends.

Read the rest of the article...

December 30, 2007

Romney Supports Pro-Gay ENDA Policies

Mitt Romney, despite his dishonest attacks against Huckabee, was always one of the candidates who I felt good about supporting if Huckabee did not win the nomination. However, an article that came out this morning has caused me to pause. The article points out Romney's support of ENDA -- a law that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

This is a huge deal, because laws just like that led to Massachusetts legalizing gay marriage -- and forced Catholic adoption agencies to shut down for refusing to place children in gay households. This same battle is currently being waged in Oregon and the stakes are high. And Romney is on the other side.

Here is the article, from the Christian Post:

Pro-Gay Romney Upsets Family Values Leader
By Michelle Vu

WASHINGTON – A prominent pro-family leader is urging fellow conservatives to withdraw their support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney over his recent expressed support for a “sexual orientation” non-discrimination law.

Romney during an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” said he supports the contentious Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which adds “sexual orientation” to a list of federally protected classes that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

The bill upsets conservative leaders because it grants special protection to employees based on their “actual or perceived” sexual orientation. Moreover, it would force Christian organizations that oppose homosexuality to hire gay employees.

“Mitt Romney’s Christmas present to the homosexual lobby disqualifies him as a pro-family leader,” said Peter LaBarbera, longtime pro-family advocate and founder of the Republicans For Family Values website.

“Laws that treat homosexuality as a civil rights are being used to promote homosexual ‘marriage,’ same-sex adoption and pro-homosexuality indoctrination of schoolchildren,” he said. “These same laws pose a direct threat to the freedom of faith-minded citizens and organizations to act on their religious belief that homosexual behavior is wrong.”

The former Massachusetts governor responded on “Meet the Press” that ENDA “makes sense” at the state level. But LaBarbera warns that if Romney “openly” promotes homosexual agenda at the state level then he cannot be trusted at the federal level.

He pointed out that the state’s “sexual orientation” nondiscrimination law laid the groundwork for Massachusetts legalizing gay “marriage” – the first in the country to do so.

Moreover, the ENDA-like law forced Boston’s Catholic Charities to shut down its century-old adoption agency because it refused to place children in gay households against Catholic teaching.

“Given Romney’s extensive pro-homosexual record and willingness now to depart from principle on this crucial issue, should we trust a ‘President Romney’ not to reverse course again on federal pro-homosexual laws such as ‘Hate Crimes’ and ENDA?” LaBarbera posed.

“Now some pro-family leaders – who have raised millions of dollars over the years opposing ‘gay’ activism – will need to explain how they can go on supporting an openly pro-homosexual-agenda candidate,” LaBarbera said.

The federal ENDA bill is opposed by Christian heavyweights such as Tony Perkins of Family Research Council, Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr. of High Impact Leadership Coalition, Alan Sears of Alliance Defense Fund, the Rev. Rick Scarborough of Vision America, and Colin A. Hanna of Let Freedom Ring.

President George W. Bush has also indicated he intends to veto the bill if it makes it to his desk.
This is critical information for conservative voters as they make their decisions -- starting in Iowa this week. Spread the word.

Video: Huckabee on Meet the Press

At a pivotal point in the race, Huckabee came up with a virtuoso performance in one of the toughest interviews out there: Meet the Press with Tim Russert.

Whether it was responding to the crisis in Pakistan and his priorities as Commander in Chief, refuting false accusations from Mitt Romney, or defending and explaining his convictions on faith and human life, Huckabee excelled.

Watch the interview below, and please share it with others -- especially anyone you know in Iowa:




Reaction: Huckabee on Meet the Press

Governor Huckabee did an incredible job in a tough interview on Sunday morning, answering and countering the many recent attacks and demonstrating the conviction and authenticity that has won voters over in Iowa and across the nation.

Here's a small sampling of the reaction to his performance:

Race42008: I am not bailing on Fred Thompson and won’t until after he completes his second term in office. But given that there is at least a 1% chance that Fred will not be our nominee, and since I like all our candidates, I want to [say that] I watched Huckabee face tough questions on all the [issues] this morning and came away impressed and reassured that he would be a great Commander in Chief.

National Review Online: Huckabee's decision to appear on MTP just a few days before the Iowa Caucuses was initially viewed as a high-stakes gable. If so, it paid off... While he was pressed on foreign policy, Huck's responses were smooth, and he never got flustered. Huck came across as a confident and likable candidate.

MSNBC: Say this about Huckabee, he really can handle tough questions. Under intense questioning from NBC’s Tim Russert, Huck never lost his cool. He passed the Pakistan pop quiz of sorts and even got in some harsh Romney digs, calling him dishonest. And in defending his running on his faith, Huckabee reminded viewers he didn't try and replace the Arkansas capital dome with a steeple. Bottom line: The guy is comfortable in his own skin and despite the array of tough questions he received, he never didn't smile or stay calm.

Townhall: Just four days before the Iowa caucuses, Mike Huckabee's appearance on Meet The Press this morning included one of the most coherent and persuasive arguments in favor of the Pro-Life cause that has ever been voiced on national television.
Watch the video of the Governor's performance here. Transcript here.

Huckabee on Meet the Press - 12/30

From the Huckabee campaign:

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Former Arkansas Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee will be an exclusive guest on NBC's "Meet the Press" with moderator Tim Russert on Sunday, December 30, 2007, it was announced today.

The interview is a part of program's "Meet the Candidates" series. It will be broadcast from Des Moines, Iowa on Sunday morning.

Check local listings.

Huckabee Outdraws Romney, Big Time

An awesome anecdote from Philip Klein from the American Spectator blog:

OTTUMWA, Iowa--Last night, I attended a Mike Huckabee event at the Bridge View Center here and made the conservative estimate that he drew a crowd of 400 to 500 inside an auditorium that held 650. When I noticed that Mitt Romney had an event at the same place this afternoon, I looked forward to getting an apples to apples comparison. I showed up again today and walked into the auditorium where I had seen Huckabee the night before, only to find it empty. The Romney event "is in a much smaller room on the other side," I was told. Whereas the room where Huckabee spoke was the size of a large movie theater, for the Romney event I was directed to "Conference Room 1," where I counted about 100 people once the event started. With the race in Iowa currently a tossup, everything will hinge on turnout, which is incredibly hard to predict, but crowd size is probably the best measure we have.

To be sure, this is just one anecdote, and perhaps there are differences between Friday night and Saturday afternoon, or other varaibles that I'm not taking into account. Or perhaps Huckabee will follow the path of Howard Dean, who was unable to convert large crowds into turnout. But the dramatic difference in the crowd size is just one small example of the potential for grassroots enthusiasm to triumph over paid organization.

December 28, 2007

December 28: Huckabee News Roundup

A new Research 2000 Iowa poll puts Huckabee in the lead by 7 points:

A new Lee Enterprises/Research 2000 statewide survey of likely caucus goers in Iowa (conducted 12/26 through 12/27) finds:

• Among 500 likely Republican caucus goers, former Gov. Mike Huckabee leads former Gov. Mitt Romney (34% to 27%) in a statewide caucus, former Sen. Fred Thompson trails at 11%, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. John McCain and Rep. Ron Paul all trail at 8%.
The Sioux City Journal provides some additional details on the poll:
There is plenty of room for shifts in the final days before the Jan. 3 caucuses, with 31 percent of Republicans saying they are likely or very likely to change their minds.

The Republican race is more stable at the top, with Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, gaining 3 points since the poll two weeks ago, and Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, gaining 5 points.

Notably, Huckabee's numbers have risen despite weeks of relentless attacks from Romney and other opponents. However Romney has narrowed the gap from the previous poll from 9 points to 7 points.

The shifts in the Republican race appear to be driven by movement of undecided voters to one of the top two candidates, with undecided voters dropping from 12 percent to 3 percent between the two polls.
The New York Times debunks Mitt Romney's latest attack ad on their blog:
Mitt Romney is out on Friday with his third television ad attacking his Republican rival Mike Huckabee in Iowa, this time hitting him on the full range of issues Mr. Romney has been bringing up on the stump about his opponent — immigration, crime, foreign policy and spending.

With a week to go to the caucuses on Jan. 3, Mr. Romney’s campaign has clearly decided they must continue to engage Mr. Huckabee if they are to close the gap he has over Mr. Romney in the polls.

But Mr. Romney’s latest ad contains some misleading information on Mr. Huckabee’ spending record. Mr. Romney says in the commercial that Mr. Huckabee is “soft on government spending” and took the state budget from $6 billion to $16 billion while he was governor of Arkansas, citing an article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Fred D. Thompson, another Republican presidential hopeful, has also mentioned the figures while attacking Mr. Huckabee on the stump.

But a check with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration reveals the figures are erroneous. In addition, a comparison of annual spending growth, adjusted for inflation, between Mr. Romney’s four-year term as governor of Massachusetts and Mr. Huckabee’s ten-year tenure in Arkansas shows the difference between the two is hardly dramatic.

“Without knowing the exact circumstances in Arkansas, it doesn’t seem like a dramatic difference,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

Mike Stormes, administrator for fiscal and budget in the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration, agreed.

“My reaction is that given the many vagaries inherent in state budget cost drivers, these numbers are not significant and are fairly typical for the years in question,” he said.
Read the whole thing...

And the Los Angeles Times published a good article today called Huckabee Speaks Without Speechifying:
Some compare him to Reagan in the way he spins tales, especially stories about everyday people.

Mary Kathryn Shouse is part of the Mike Huckabee surge, having newly decided that the homespun former Arkansas governor is "the whole package" of policy and Christian values. And it doesn't hurt that he delivers a speech without seeming like he's delivering a speech.

"I felt that he was very in tune with his audience and that he was speaking to me, and not over my head," Shouse, 42, said a few minutes after the GOP presidential candidate finished a 45- minute talk at a banquet hall in this town hugging the Mississippi River. "I thought it was very comfortable."

If Huckabee's campaign has a secret weapon, it could well be the candidate's gifts as a communicator. Using Southern charm and storytelling, Huckabee's stump speech is more entertainment than oratory. Sharp jabs are cloaked by a smile and a joke, and offered in a cadence reminiscent of a warm-talking preacher -- which he has been -- and a radio host -- which he also has been.

Vanessa B. Beasley, who teaches communications at Nashville's Vanderbilt University, traced Huckabee's political use of narratives to President Reagan.

"It evokes emotion, makes people feel like they have some insight into what the candidate really believes," she said. "It sounds a lot like what Ronald Reagan would do, particularly when the star of the story is the civilian, the everyday person who gives the rest of us some profound lesson on civics, or what it means to be a patriot."
Read the whole article...

Video: New Iowa Ads

Watch the new Iowa ads:

Founding Fathers

Start Now

December 27, 2007

Video: All About Huckabee

Watch this great father-daughter team explain to voters young and old why they are supporting Mike Huckabee for President.

December 27: Iowa Poll Update

2 new polls for Iowa were released today which at first glance might seem contradictory. A Strategic Vision poll shows a tight race, Huckabee 29 and Romney 27. Meanwhile, an LA Times/Bloomberg poll reports Huckabee ahead of Romney by 14 points, 37 to 23.

However, if you look more closely at the LA Times/Bloomberg poll results, you'll find that among registered voters, Huckabee leads by 14 points; among likely caucus goers, he leads by just 8 points: Huckabee 36, Romney 28.

So while the LA Times/Bloomberg poll is certainly good news for Huckabee, even so it looks like a fairly close race in Iowa: Huckabee leads by about 5 points (if you take the average of the last 4 polls). Huckabee supporters in Iowa must not take anything for granted, but go to the caucuses next Thursday and make history.

December 27: Huckabee News Roundup

The LA Times will be releasing a new Iowa poll later today. In a preview on the LA Times blog, Don Frederick hinted at good news for Huckabee:

New L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll upcoming

Mitt Romney may be left hoping that the results in Iowa have a minimal impact on voters in New Hampshire.

We won't reveal the precise numbers here; those will be available on our homepage later today (roughly 4 p.m. PST).

We can say this much: Among the Republican White House contenders, the poll found that Romney's best-laid plans for the Hawkeye State appear to have gone awry, derailed by Mike Huckabee.
In a new national poll by the Associated Press/Yahoo News, Huckabee takes first place:
Mike Huckabee 22
Rudy Giuliani 21
John McCain 14
Mitt Romney 13
Fred Thompson 11

In November, Giuliani had 27 percent, Thompson 17 percent, McCain 15 percent, Romney 11 percent and Huckabee 9 percent.

About seven in 10 Huckabee supporters are evangelicals, roughly double Giuliani's percentage and triple Romney's.
Huckabee is still on top in the Rasmussen national poll:
With just a week to go until the Iowa caucuses, the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll continues to show five Republican hopefuls in double digits nationally. In the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination, it’s Mike Huckabee at 20%, Rudy Giuliani 18%, John McCain 14%, Mitt Romney 13%, and Fred Thompson at 11%. Ron Paul currently attracts 5% of Likely Republican Primary voters nationwide. - Freedom Lives Day

Today is the day: December 27th -- Freedom Lives Day. Visit and help us boost Mike over the $5 million mark for online fundraising this quarter and give him the resources he needs to keep rising.

Remember, every small amount is important. If all you can afford is $5, do it. If you can add $5 to what you already pledged, do that. Mike will take every dollar and put it to maximum use -- and he needs every dollar we can give him.

Go now and make your most generous donation -- then keep visiting the website to follow the drive as it happens throughout the day.

Let's all help Mike rise. It is Freedom Lives Day. Let's roll!

Remember to enter Donor Code 160 when you contribute on -- this will help the campaign know what money came through the drive! If you have one you can still use your Ranger Referral Link to credit yourself for your donation while also entering Donor Code 160 on the form.

December 26, 2007

Club for Growth Donor Linked to Romney

The Club for Growth began to attack Mike Huckabee long before he became a top-tier candidate. From the beginning concerns have been raised that they might have an anti-Huckabee agenda.

Now, FOX News reports today that the Club for Growth has received significant donations from a dedicated Romney supporter and an Arkansan who has been a longtime Huckabee critic. This information seriously calls into question whether the Club for Growth can claim to be unbiased in their analysis of all the Republican candidates:

A conservative anti-tax group Wednesday expanded its ad campaign against Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, helped by a major GOP donor who bankrolled ads that questioned Democrat John Kerry's war record during the 2004 campaign.

The Club for Growth is spending $175,000 to continue running ads in Iowa that highlight tax increases adopted in Arkansas when Huckabee was governor. During the past three weeks, the group has spent $550,000 to criticize Huckabee's economic policies.

According to Federal Election Commission records, received $200,000 this month from Bob Perry, a Houston homebuilder who in 2004 pumped nearly $4.5 million into the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth to pay for unsubstantiated ads that questioned Kerry's Vietnam service.

Perry contributed $2,300, the maximum allowed, to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who is Huckabee's top rival in Iowa. Romney has been running his own ads against Huckabee, criticizing his record on immigration and taxes.

Perry has donated to the Club for Growth in the past, including $150,000 during the 2006 election cycle, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Another major donor is Jackson T. "Steve" Stephens Jr., a Little Rock, Ark., businessman and member of the Club for Growth's board of directors. Stephens is a longtime critic of Huckabee who once considered running against him for governor. He has donated $200,000 to the group, including $100,000 this month.

December 26: Huckabee News Roundup

Huckabee leads in Iowa newspaper endorsements: 6 for Huckabee vs. 5 for McCain, according to the Iowa Independent.

An Oklahoma poll shows Huckabee in the lead:

Huckabee led polling of Republicans. Twenty-nine percent said they favored him in the GOP primary, followed by McCain at 17 percent and Giuliani at 12 percent.

Huckabee was the big winner and Giuliani the big loser since the Oklahoma Poll last asked voters about the presidential candidates.

Huckabee went from less than 3 percent of the vote and an approval rating below 20 percent in April to 29 percent of the vote and a 46 percent approval rating in last week's survey.

Giuliani, meanwhile, went from a 32 percent share of the vote and a 52 percent approval rating -- both tops among Republicans -- to a distant third among voters and 32 percent approval.
In a head-to-head poll for North Carolina, Rasmussen finds Huckabee with the largest lead over Hillary Clinton:
The former First Lady has a two-point edge over Mitt Romney (42% to 40%) and trails Rudy Giuliani by a statistically insignificant single percentage point (Giuliani 40% Clinton 39%).

She also trails John McCain by five (45% to 40%) and Mike Huckabee by seven (46% to 39%).
The Wall Street Journal has a good article defending the Fair Tax:
Much has been written lately about the FairTax, the proposal to replace the current federal income tax with a national retail sales tax. Unfortunately, much of it is wrong.

This country needs a spirited and wide-ranging debate about fundamental tax reform. But that debate is not advanced by misimpressions and distortions of the FairTax. Let us then clear up a few.

One assertion about the FairTax is that it began as a project of the Church of Scientology at a time when it was seeking tax-exempt status. This is false. The FairTax actually comes to us from market research conducted more than a decade ago by a handful of business leaders. Their goal was to determine what type of tax system would be most acceptable to the American public. The studies they paid for cost millions of dollars, included hard economic research by respected scholars, and were subjected to critical peer review. The result is a proposal, since introduced as legislation in Congress, now known as the FairTax.

What emerged from this research is that a national retail sales tax is a preferred method of taxation among most Americans surveyed. Another is that the tax would have significant benefits for the nation's economy.

The President's Advisory Panel on Tax Reform was assembled by the Bush administration and concluded its work a few years ago. Instead of seriously looking at the FairTax, the panel looked at a very different type of consumption tax, riddled with exemptions, and then declared that it would be too expensive and that the rate would have to be far higher than the FairTax rate.
Read the whole thing...

December 25, 2007


Due to overwhelming demand, Matt and Jared have created another music video for your Christmas enjoyment:


Huck! I need somebody
Huck! Not just anybody
Huck! We really need someone

(When... when I was young...)
When I was younger, so much younger than today
(I thought that I...)
I thought that I could go and throw my vote away
(Now... those days are gone...)
But now those days are gone, I know what they are worth
(There's only one...)
Now there's only one man I can vote for on this earth

Huckabee will take terrorists down
And fight to keep the right to life around
Illegal immigrants stay on your ground
Won't you please vote Huckabee

(Hey... we need a change...)
The USA will change in oh so many ways
(Let's break the bank...)
With Huck the IRS will vanish in a haze
(Give... their bill of rights...)
he'll give the veterans the rights that they deserve
(And sing and paint...)
And thinks that school without the arts is borderline absurd

Huckabee will take terrorists down
And fight to keep the right to life around
Illegal immigrants stay on your ground
Won't you please vote Huckabee

Christmas News Roundup

Merry Christmas! Here are a couple of items to tide you all over until tomorrow, when the polling and campaign ads and desperate attacks return in full swing.

Politico has an article which maps out Huckabee's path to the nomination:

Here's what's remarkable about the Republican presidential race: With days to go before the voting actually begins, it is quite possible for any of four candidates — and even a fifth — to win the nomination.

This is unprecedented in modern American politics. It reflects the hugely unsettled nature of the campaign, a characteristic historically more the case for the Democrats at this point in the election cycle.
Of course, the five candidates — Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee and John McCain — do not have equal chances to win. Thompson, especially, is the long shot.

But the fact that there is a plausible scenario for each makes this campaign unique, and therefore uncharted.

The short-term goal for each of them is to make it through the early round of primaries and caucuses so that on Feb. 5 — which has been crowned “Super Duper Tuesday” — when 22 states pick Republican delegates, they are one of two or three candidates still standing.

Here is what needs to happen for each of the five to get to that point:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Romney, most of all, needs to win the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. Anything but a win there is a huge impediment to his nomination, given his strategy of building on the early contests to provide momentum to the later, big-delegate states and the nomination.

But if Romney doesn't win Iowa, where he has spent a disproportionate share of his time and money, then his lead in New Hampshire on Jan. 8 becomes vulnerable, and his game plan becomes questionable. If he does, however, he'll have to be stopped or else.

Former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee is the hot candidate, having passed Romney in Iowa polls and with his numbers rising nationally.

An Iowa win will earn him a pass through New Hampshire, where the former Baptist minister is not expected to be competitive, and into South Carolina (Jan. 22) and Florida (Jan. 29), where his regional roots are a plus.

Huckabee's rising poll numbers have increased his donations, but he has a smaller war chest than most of the other contenders. And if he doesn't take Iowa, it's hard to see where he goes then for a win.
Read the whole thing...

Governor Huckabee was interviewed on CNBC yesterday. This is one of the best, most substantive interviews we've seen for several weeks. There was no mention of floating crosses, commutations, or the Club for Growth! Instead of going over the same old attacks for the umpteenth time, Kudlow & Company asked Mike about the real issues: the economy, immigration, taxes, etc. Check it out and please pass it along to all your friends and relatives whose former enthusiasm has been dampened by the Romney/Thompson/liberal MSM attacks.

Part 1:

Part 2:

December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve News Roundup

Today on the MSNBC talk show Morning Joe, news media correspondent David Shuster predicted a general election win for Huckabee. This report from News Busters:

MSNBC correspondent David Shuster has predicted that Mike Huckabee will be the next President of the United States.

DAVID SHUSTER: I'm gonna say that John Edwards is gonna win out in Iowa, but Hillary Clinton is going to pick up some steam afterwards and get the nomination. I think Mike Huckabee wins Iowa pretty cleanly and goes on to get the Republican nomination. Here's my big prediction, though: if it is Hillary Clinton against Mike Huckabee, Mike Huckabee will the the next President of the United States.

From 1994 - 1996, Shuster was a political reporter for ABC-affiliate KATV in Little Rock, and thus had a prime perch from which to view Huckabee in action. In the course of his reporting during this electoral season Shuster has often drawn on that experience to extol Huck's political talent. This morning, for example, Shuster related an anecdote from 14 years ago, when Huckabee was Lt. Governor and Governor Jim Guy Tucker got convicted in a Whitewater-related trial but was refusing to resign from office.

SHUSTER: I witnessed Mike Huckabee go into the newsroom of the station where I was working. He looked into a camera and spoke for 10 minutes, no teleprompter, and gave one of the most dazzling political speeches I've ever seen in which he said "Jim Guy Tucker, you have until noon tomorrow to resign, or we're going to start impeachment proceedings." I mean, this guy had those skills 14 years ago and he's been able to grow ever since.

So struck is Shuster by Huck's skills that he approvingly cited someone who had said "if you consider Ronald Reagan to be the Great Communicator, then Mike Huckabee is the Greatest Communicator."

Pat Buchanan saw Huck as even money to get the Republican nod, with Mitt at 3-2 and McCain at six or seven-to-one. His dark horse: "if you've got two extra bucks, Joe, put 'em on Ron Paul."

Mika Brzezinksi exclaimed "I agree; I second that" to Shuster's prediction of Huck as winner of the nomination, if not the general. Mika fleshed out her thinking a bit later.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I just think at this point Mike Huckabee knows what he's doing. The religion thing that he's taken care of here; he's strangling Mitt Romney, he's a break from President Bush and he's also the anti-Giuliani.
Steve Chapman from Real Clear Politics analyzes the presidential race and also concludes that if history repeats itself, Mike Huckabee will be our next president:
Every Christmas morning is a shimmering promise of surprise and delight. You never know what it will bring, and you might just get your heart's fondest desire. But in reality, surprises are not the rule. If you want to know what you'll get this Christmas, your best guide is what you got last Christmas.

Likewise for presidential elections. Every campaign raises a host of possibilities, particularly in the imagination of candidates. They may be forgiven for ignoring all evidence that is unfavorable to their dreams, which is usually abundant. History suggests there are mysterious but inflexible constraints on the outcome of these contests.

We already know it's almost impossible to elect people from certain places -- like Massachusetts, which hasn't produced a president (or even a vice president) since John Kennedy in 1960. Ted Kennedy, Michael Dukakis and John Kerry might want to break the news to Mitt Romney.

Americans also don't elect candidates from New York, even though it has a horde of electoral votes. We used to find presidents there quite often, including Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland and both Roosevelts. But not since 1944 has someone from the Empire State (Franklin Roosevelt) been elected. The last New Yorker to make a plausible run for his party's nomination was Nelson Rockefeller in 1968, and he didn't come very close.

That's bad news for Rudy Giuliani, who has something else working against him: He used to be a mayor. Only two former mayors have ever reached the White House -- Grover Cleveland and Calvin Coolidge. But both of them went on to serve as governors before seeking the presidency, a step Giuliani has skipped.

Things are even tougher for House members, such as Ron Paul. His patron saint is James Garfield, the last congressman to jump straight to the presidency, back before the invention of the wheel.

Recent history suggests that to win the presidency, you have to be a white male from the South or West, preferably with experience as a governor. That description fits only one candidate in the race -- Mike Huckabee. So by examining the portents of history, we find that he's the only person who can possibly be elected next year.

December 23, 2007

December 23: Morning News

The Dallas Morning News has endorsed Mike Huckabee as the GOP nominee:

Many Republican voters are dissatisfied with the GOP presidential candidates this year. We share that frustration. But one of these men is going to be the party's nominee. Of this field, Mike Huckabee is the best choice.

It was a hard decision. In most respects, Mr. Huckabee, who governed Arkansas as a pragmatic, compassionate conservative, is not dramatically different from his main GOP competitors. He is somewhat better on energy and the environment, and though none of the Republicans are as forward-thinking about Iraq as they should be, Mr. Huckabee's emphasis on diplomatic engagement in the Middle East is fresh and welcome.

Mr. Huckabee established a respectable record of fiscal responsibility in Arkansas. Rather than run up deficits, he backed raising taxes to pay for needed infrastructure, health care and education. That's called prudence, and it was once a Republican virtue.

I'm a conservative," he likes to say. "I'm just not mad about it." Along those lines, what sold us on Mr. Huckabee is a sense that of all the Republicans, he is the change agent the nation most needs. John McCain, whose candidacy is quite appealing despite concern about his age and temperament, was arguably that man once. But his moment has passed.

America needs a clean break from the bitter politics of the recent past. From the right, Mike Huckabee, a progressive conservative with a pastor's heart, can deliver.
Read the whole thing...

For lighter reading material, check out this hilarious article by Mark Steyn from the National Review, entitled Huckabing Crosby:
This guy Huckabee is some kind of genius. A week ago, you had to be the pope or the queen to do your own big televised Christmas message. But now, since Huck climbed into his red sweater and hired George Lucas to do the notorious “floating cross” effect, every single-digit nickel’n’dime presidential candidate is donning his gay apparel and trolling the ancient Yuletide carol. I haven’t seen so much festive knitwear since The Andy Williams Christmas Show 1973.

In seasonal market-share terms, the former Arkansas Governor remains the Huckabing Crosby, the pioneer in whose footsteps all others scamper to play Perry Como and Harry Belafonte. Barack Obama’s message is warm and fuzzy and carefully poised, with one of his kids saying “Merry Christmas” and the other “Happy Holidays.” If he had a third, she’d presumably be wishing you a hearty Kwanzaa or hailing Bob Kerrey with a cheery “Allahu Akbar!”

Ron Paul is the only candidate with the courage to be filmed in front of an artificial tree. Hmm.

In Senator Clinton’s Christmas message, Hillary is bundling up presents for all of us. They’re beautifully wrapped, but oddly, instead of putting the name of the intended recipient on the gift tag, she’s written out what’s in them: “Universal Health Care”, “Alternative Energy”, “Middle-Class Tax Cuts.” Strange. “Where did I put ‘Universal Pre-K’?” she says. “Ah, there it is.” If you thought Christmas at the mall was too materialistic, this is bonanza time. Message: It Takes A Santa’s Village Staffed By Unionized Government Elves To Raise A Child, and I’m Santa and you’re gonna need a much bigger chimney for all the federal entitlements I’ll be tossing down there. Your stocking’s gonna be packed tighter than Monica in fishnets.

And yet it’s a strangely cheerless message. Less Santa than Frosty the Snowqueen.

John McCain’s message is about the Christmas he spent being tortured. By having Hillary’s Christmas message played to him over and over? No, silly. This was back in Vietnam.
Read the whole thing...

December 22, 2007

Video: Breakfast at Huckabee's

A great supporter-made Huckabee video!

Lyrics below:

Verse 1:

You said you've got nothing in common
With the candidates to choose from
And you're starting to lose heart
You'll say the Big Three don't do it for you
Their negative ads bore you
And you just might stay home


So I said, "What about voting for Huckabee?"
She said, "I think I remember that man,
And as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked him."
And I said, "Well, he's the best hope we've got."

Verse 2:

You see he's the only one who's for them
Faith, Family and Freedom
In the right order
So what now? It seems he's the best for us
He's even got Chuck Norris
Telling us how it's gonna be

When the eyes of the ranger fall upon you
You better like Mike


So I said, "What about voting for Huckabee?"
She said, "I think I remember that man,
And as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked him."
And I said, "Well, he's the best hope we've got."

Huckabee With Low Levels of Core Opposition

A new Rasmussen poll measures the core opposition for leading candidates. They find that Huckabee (34%), McCain (33%), and Thompson (34%) have the lowest levels of core opposition, while Romney (47%) and Clinton (47%) have the highest:

Among the leading Presidential candidates, New York Senator Hillary Clinton and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney have the highest level of core opposition among voters. Forty-seven percent (47%) say they will vote against each of these candidates no matter who else is on the ballot.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is Arizona Senator John McCain. For the second straight month, McCain finds himself with the smallest level of core opposition--just 33% say they will definitely vote against him.

In between, 42% will definitely vote against Giuliani, 38% against Edwards, 36% against Obama, 34% against Huckabee, 34% against Thompson.

On a net basis (core support minus core opposition), Obama (-7) and McCain (-11) come out on top. Giuliani (-19) and Romney (-28) have the weakest numbers on a net basis.
What he doesn't mention in the article is that Huckabee's net comes out to -13, tied with Thompson and much better than Giuliani and Romney.

December 21, 2007

December 21: Huckabe News Roundup

The latest Field Poll from California shows Huckabee in 2nd place, as the San Jose Mercury reports in an article called Huckabee Shines in California:

The Hucka-boom has finally reached California.

Mike Huckabee, the affable ex-Arkansas governor who is campaigning for Christian conservative support, is now in second place, 7 percentage points behind former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani among likely California GOP primary voters, a new Field Poll released today finds.

Without any formal campaign operation in the state, the one-time Baptist minister has seen his support quadruple, from 4 percent to 17 percent, since late October.

His meteoric campaign, which took off in Iowa and then nationally about a month ago, has awakened Republicans here.

"He's been on the cover of magazines, on most of the political talk shows and with his groundswell in Iowa, the glare of publicity has penetrated here in California and the evangelists like what they see," said poll Director Mark DiCamillo.

With Huckabee's emergence as a top contender here and nationally, the GOP race is turning into the biggest free-for-all seen in decades. "There's still a lot of fluidity," DiCamillo said. Nearly one in five likely GOP voters in California still say they have yet to decide on a candidate, meaning whatever happens in January's primaries and caucuses will alter the race dynamics as the California primary approaches, DiCamillo said.

The poll found that Huckabee, who has been criticized for overtly injecting religious themes into his campaign and advertising himself as a "Christian leader," is favored by 31 percent of state GOP voters who identify themselves as born-again. That's 11 percentage points higher than Giuliani and 21 percentage points above former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Fully one-third of the GOP primary electorate consider themselves born-again Christians.

That support has propelled Huckabee to a small lead over Romney, who has moved up slightly to 15 percent since October, and Arizona Sen. John McCain, who remains at 12 percent in the poll. Huckabee's rise has come mostly at the expense of former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, whose support has dropped from 12 percent in October to 6 percent.
And the latest Georgia poll from Insider Advantage has Huckabee in the lead by 22 points:
Mike Huckabee 36%
Rudy Giuliani 14%
Mitt Romney 12%
Fred Thompson 10%
John McCain 10%
Ron Paul 4%
The Washington Post featured Huckabee today in an article called The Politics of Uplift:
Barack Obama has spent much of the year talking about "a new kind of politics" -- the politics of hope. But have you have heard of vertical politics?

"People are tired of horizontal politics, left, right, liberal, conservative, Democrats-Republicans, screaming, yelling," former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee told a crowd in Ames, Iowa this week. "Most people in America are not looking for a horizontal candidate but a vertical one."

Despite Huckabee's frequent mentions of the Almighty, "vertical politics" is not looking toward the heavens for the solution to every problem. Vertical politics is the politics of uplift -- and a close rhetorical relative of the politics of hope.

"Ultimately, people don't care whether an issue comes from the left or the right," Huckabee writes on his Web site. "What they want to talk about are ideas that lift America up and make us better. It's what I call vertical politics."

This commitment to inspirational politics isn't the only way the two candidates are alike. Both are rising in recent polls, and Bob Wickers, a top strategist for Huckabee, says that Obama's experience proves that this is a "change election," with voters looking for "authenticity."
Read the full article...

On Judges: Huckabee or Romney?

There is a good article by Manuel Miranda at The Conservative Voice on the issue of judicial nominations. Mr. Miranda was counsel to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and senior counsel to Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch:

The choice between Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney is an easy one for me.

Mitt Romney's record in Massachusetts on judicial nominations is abysmal. His conduct was either an abdication of duty or a complete disregard of the importance of a governor's role in that state's nominations process. By contrast, Governor Huckabee not only left the Arkansas judiciary better than he found it, but he also vigorously supported the President's Arkansas nominees to the federal bench. Excellent nominees, like Leon Holmes who Democrats obstructed for years. As soon as Holmes was confirmed, colleagues elected him Chief Judge.

You and I know the importance of the judge issue. As Senator Jeff Sessions once told me, "Nobody polls on it, but its what everyone wants to talk about."

We need to make sure that Republican president understands this issue without wavering and without any populist tendencies. Mitt Romney is not that man, I believe Mike Huckabee is someone who can be trusted on the judicial nominations.

First, Mike Huckabee has been unwavering on his understanding of abortion as the defining public policy issue of our generation. Mitt Romney's record is not similarly comforting. Mr. Romney defends his former pro-abortion choice position (and presumably his wife's donation to Planned Parenthood) by reminding us that President Reagan and George H. W. Bush were also converts to the pro-life cause. I reject the comparison.

Like many Americans between 1973 and 1980, Reagan and Bush came late to understanding what Roe vs. Wade had wrought. Even the Southern Baptist Convention initially supported abortion rights. Not Mike Huckabee.

Unlike Reagan and Bush, it took more than thirty years of public debate throughout his adult life for Mitt Romney to reach the right conclusion about abortion. If even President George W. Bush could falter in understanding his mandate, I cannot trust Mitt Romney's judgment.

Romney reminds me too much of Orrin Hatch but not because the two are Mormons. Hatch was a liberal Democrat when he lived in Pittsburgh, but when he moved to Utah he ran as a conservative. Paul Weyrich has reminded us that just a few days after his election, Hatch was running away from the conservative label, until Reagan made it safely popular to be one.

Second, unlike Mr. Huckabee, Mr. Romney has shown no courage or diligence in judicial nominations. Mr. Huckabee would not need on the job training. He will need no guidance in connecting the dots between the federal judiciary and all of the most defining issues of our public policy discourse since prayer-in-the-schools or even before that Dredd Scott.

December 21: Morning News

The FairTax received a significant endorsement today from Louis R. Woodhill, an entrepreneur and member of the Leadership Council of the Club for Growth:

Mike Huckabee’s recent surge in the polls has focused attention on the FairTax, which would replace personal income taxes, payroll taxes, capital gains taxes, corporate income taxes, and the death tax with a national retail sales tax.

There are many benefits to the FairTax, but the most important one is economic growth. By replacing taxes that burden capital investment with a tax that falls 100% on consumption, the FairTax would produce dramatically higher levels of investment, productivity, wages, and GDP growth. You would hear a “great sucking sound” as investment was pulled into the U.S. economy, not only from the rest of the world, but via the savings of our own people.

Right now, the Social Security Trustees forecast the real long-term growth rate of the U.S. economy at about 2.0% per year. This is a reasonable projection of what current policies would yield. However, I believe that adoption of the FairTax would increase growth to at least 3.5%.

How significant is the difference between 2.0% and 3.5% real growth? Let’s look at the numbers over a 75-year period, the way the Social Security Trustees do.

Our economy would be almost three times larger in 2082 if we average 3.5% growth than it would be if growth averaged 2.0%. The “present value” of our GDP over the 75-year period would be more than 70% larger. The implications of this difference are staggering.

For one thing, the financial problems of Social Security and Medicare, which seem overwhelming today, would simply disappear.
Read the full article...

In a WorldNetDaily column titled, Is it Down to Mitt and Mike?, former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan weighs in on the Republican race and the importance of winning Iowa:
Though the 2008 GOP race may seem wide open, it is already probably down to three candidates, could be over by Jan. 4 and will probably be down to two by Jan. 9, the morning after New Hampshire.

Two weeks out from Iowa, here are the odds.

Rudy and Thompson each 20-1. John McCain 6-1. He has to win New Hampshire, and even if he wins there, he would be an underdog. Grass-roots conservatives do not like him and would prefer Huckabee.

Mitt Romney 3-2. If he wins Iowa, he is almost unstoppable. If he loses Iowa, he has to come back and beat McCain in New Hampshire. Then it would a Mitt-Mike race through Feb. 5.

And Huckabee? He has to win Iowa. If he does, he will be the favorite in South Carolina and for the nomination, as well.

Looks like a Mitt-Mike race, with Iowa and New Hampshire giving us by Jan. 9 the two candidates from whom the nominee will be chosen.
Read the whole thing...

Another new Iowa poll from Strategic Vision:
Mike Huckabee 31%
Mitt Romney 25%
Fred Thompson 16%
John McCain 8%
Rudy Giuliani 6%
Ron Paul 5%
A Zogby match up poll released yesterday shows Hillary losing to Huckabee in a general election, 48%-43%, while Romney loses to Hillary, 46%-44%. All the GOP candidates trail Obama, but with a margin of error of +-3.2%, Huckabee's deficit (5%) looks much better than Romney's (18%), Giuliani's (9%), or Thompson's (16%).

SurveyUSA just released some new state match up polls:
Huckabee vs. Clinton, 49% to 44%
Romney vs. Clinton, 46% to 45%

Huckabee vs. Obama, 52% to 37%
Romney vs. Obama 48% to 39%

Huckabee vs. Clinton, 53% to 39%
Romney vs. Clinton, 49% to 43%

Huckabee vs. Obama, 50% to 41%
Romney vs. Obama, 44% to 43%

December 20, 2007

December 20: Poll Update

A new South Carolina poll from Live 5 News/Survey USA puts Huckabee 10 points ahead of Romney:

In the span of just five weeks the Republican candidates have gone topsy turvey. Compared to our Exclusive Live 5 News Survey done on November 13th, Rudy Giuliani has plummeted from first to fifth dropping 14 percentage points. On the opposite end, Governor Mike Huckabee who five weeks ago was in 5th place gained 16 points.

"Social conservatives are clearly going for Governor Huckabee and if a significant amount of those folks had been leaning in Mr. Giuliani's direction that would be one reason why, certainly Huckabee's support is coming from someplace," explains our election analyst Brian McGee.

Our survey polled more than two-thousand people likely to cast their vote in next month's primary. As it stands now according to our poll Huckabee has 28 percent of the vote, Mitt Romney follows with 18 percent. John McCain and Fred Thompson are virtually tied with 16 and 15 percents respectively. Giuliani rounds out group with 12 percent.
The latest national poll from FOX News shows a 3-way race between Giuliani, Huckabee and McCain:
If Republican voters were hoping for a wide open presidential race this holiday season, they are clearly getting their wish. A new FOX News poll shows that Rudy Giuliani (20 percent), John McCain (19 percent) and the surging Mike Huckabee (19 percent) are clustered together at the top of the GOP hill—with Mitt Romney (11 percent) and Fred Thompson (10 percent) still within striking distance. Since a large share of Republican voters are still undecided (13 percent), this race is about as "up for grabs" as any in recent memory.

Giuliani suffered the biggest drop in support since November, losing a full 13 points. On the other hand, Huckabee has shot up from 8 percent in November to 19 percent in the current poll. Romney (up 3 percent) and McCain (up 2 percent) scored small gains in the last month.

As has been widely reported, the overall character of the Republican race has changed dramatically over the last several months. In fact, as late as September, Huckabee registered only 2 percent in a FOX News poll. Barely three months later he is a now co-front-runner.
Huckabee's national poll average at now catapults him into 1st place:
Huckabee 23.2
Giuliani 21.2
Romney 15.4
McCain 13.3
Thompson 10.1

December 20: Morning News

2 more Iowa polls show Huckabee in the lead by 8 points. In a stunning new development, this breaking poll from American Research Group shows Romney back in 3rd place behind a surging John McCain:

Huckabe 28
McCain 20
Romney 17
Giuliani 13
Thompson 5
Paul 4
The other Iowa poll is from CNN:
Huckabee 33
Romney 25
Giuliani 11
McCain 9
Thompson 9
Paul 6
Rasmussen's daily presidential tracking poll for Thursday shows Huckabee still in a strong first place position:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows a continuing slide for Rudy Giuliani. In the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination, it’s Mike Huckabee at 21%, John McCain and Mitt Romney at 15% each, Giuliani at 13% and Fred Thompson at 12%. Ron Paul currently attracts 6% of Likely Republican Primary voters nationwide.
The Brody File just posted 10 new video interviews with Mike, including this one of a CNN press conference where Huckabee discusses the Christmas ad and combats the recent attacks from Romney and Thompson:

December 19, 2007

December 19: Huckabee News Roundup

Several new polls just came out today. One from ABC News/Washington Post shows Huckabee on top in Iowa:

Huckabee 35
Romney 27
Thompson 9
Giuliani 8
Paul 8
McCain 6
A CBS News poll for South Carolina also shows Huckabee ahead of Romney by 8 points:
Huckabee 28
Romney 20
Giuliani 12
McCain 11
Thompson 10
Paul 3
And a national Battleground poll shows Huckabee in front:
Huckabee 24
Giuliani 22
Romney 16
McCain 15
Thompson 9
Paul 6
Time Magazine's political blog, Swampland, has a great post called Why Huckabee May Not Fade, commenting on Huckabee's stellar performance on the Today Show this morning:
If you watched him on the Today Show this morning, you might have a new appreciation for why Mike Huckabee is surging both in both Iowa and in national polls in the race for the Republican nomination. In an interview with Meredith Viera, Huckabee turned the hubbub over the "floating cross" in his Christmas ad into a lament about the absurdity of political correctness and the sullying of Christmas by conventional politicians. He stood by his criticism of President Bush's "arrogant" foreign policy by touting the "Powell-Schwarzkopf doctrine" of overwhelming force. Then he deftly dismissed the GOP establishment's opposition to him with a populist riff that was Edwardsian in both style and content. One money exchange:

Huckabee: The Wall Street-to-Washington axis, this corridor of power, is absolutely, frantically against me. But out there in America, the reason we're number one in the polls is because I'm the guy that doesn't have some offshore mailbox bank account in the Caymans hiding my money. I'm the guy that worked my way up through it. And there are a whole lot of people in America that believe that the president ought to be a servant of the people and ought not to be elected to the ruling class....

Viera: So why do you think they're opposed to you, Governor?

Huckabee: Because they don't control me. has a post comparing Huckabee to the other GOP candidates. The conclusion? Huckabee is to the Right of All the Candidates:
The raging pens of the Huckahaters have declared that Mike Huckabee is a faux conservative; a Democrat in Republican clothing; a tax raising, free trade wrecking Christian crazy man. This is to provide some perspective to the enormous amount of vitriol directed toward Huckabee over the last few weeks.

Conclusion on Social Issues: Mike Huckabee is clearly the farthest right on social issues. Fred Thompson is a close second. Mitt Romney remains a clear third followed by John McCain, while Giuliani comes in last.

I understand there will be other opinions but I don’t think anyone in their right mind can make the claim that Huckabee is the farthest to the left.
Read their analysis...

Busted: on Romney Attacks

The independent site,, has released a review of the accuracy of Romney's recent attack ad against Governor Huckabee. Here's what they found:

Romney launched another negative ad in Iowa this week, where the Republican presidential candidate has been battling the new front-runner, Huckabee. This time, Romney attacks Huckabee's record on methamphetamine laws and the clemencies he granted as governor of Arkansas. We found that:
  • The ad says Romney "got tough on drugs like meth" while governor of Massachusetts, but the legislation he supported never passed, and his state's laws are much weaker than Arkansas'. Convicted meth dealers face both minimum and maximum prison terms in Arkansas that are four times longer than those in Massachusetts.

  • The ad misrepresents news articles, implying that they supported Romney's actions as governor when that's not what the news organizations said. One article, in fact, gave critical views of Romney's refusal to issue a pardon.

Read their analysis...

Huckabee and Giuliani Tied

This national poll just in today from Reuters/Zogby:

Mike Huckabee has surged into a virtual tie with front-runner Rudy Giuliani in the national 2008 Republican presidential race two weeks before the first contest, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas whose campaign has caught fire in recent weeks, wiped out an 18-point deficit in one month to pull within one point of Giuliani, 23 percent to 22 percent.

"Huckabee is on a roll, he has gotten an enormous amount of publicity and he is doing very well with conservatives, who at least for now appear to have found a candidate," pollster John Zogby said.

Giuliani, the former New York mayor who has led most national polls since early in the year, saw his support drop from 29 percent to 23 percent in the survey. His one-point lead over Huckabee was well within the poll's 4.8 percentage point margin of error.

Huckabee moved ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who was in third place at 16 percent, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson at 13 percent, Arizona Sen. John McCain at 12 percent and Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 4 percent.

Among likely Republican voters who say they are "very conservative," Huckabee drew the support of 43 percent, with Thompson second at 20 percent and Romney third at 16 percent.

December 18, 2007

Huckabee Confounds Elites as Reagan Did

Doug Patton has a column on Huckabee and Reagan at

It is interesting to note that Democrats are not attacking Mike Huckabee now that he has surged to the top of the Republican polls. Perhaps Howard Dean, the Democratic National Committee and the leading Democrat presidential candidates all believe that Huckabee is a Republican they can easily defeat.

Huckabee's national campaign chairman, Ed Rollins, was typically glib in his comparison of Mike Huckabee, circa 2008, and Ronald Reagan, circa 1980. Rollins, who managed the Gipper's 49-state landslide re-election campaign in 1984, says he remembers Democrats salivating over the prospect of running against the former actor, both in his campaigns for California governor and for president.

I remember them saying, 'Please, let us run against Reagan,'" Rollins recalled.

The Democrats' silence on Huckabee could be attributed to the usual primary season focus on candidates within their own party. Maybe they simply have been caught off guard by Huckabee's impressive poll numbers. In any case, they don't seem to know whether to ignore him or watch quietly while the Republicans nominate yet another "religious right" candidate.

If Democrats are gleeful at the prospect of running against Huckabee, Republican elites are positively hysterical at the thought of the grassroots selecting a presidential standard-bearer. It reminds one of 1976 and 1980.

When Reagan challenged the hapless, pro-abortion, accidental president, Gerald Ford, for the 1976 Republican presidential nomination, the GOP establishment was furious. This California cowboy was going to destroy the party's chances for maintaining its tenuous, post-Watergate grip on the White House.

When Reagan ran in 1980, the Republican powers that be were again apoplectic over the prospect of nominating this pro-life, pro-family, pro-capitalist, anti-communist actor-turned-politician. Most of them preferred a moderate, pro-choice blueblood named George Herbert Walker Bush. They just didn't get it.

Similarly, they do not get Mike Huckabee. For the media and the Republican establishment, the only suitable choices are Rudy Giuliani, John McCain or Mitt Romney. President Huckabee? Graduate of Ouachita Baptist University with a degree in Religion? Are you kidding me? He didn't even attend Harvard or Yale! He wasn't even a member of Skull and Bones!

National Review editor Rich Lowry, whose publication has endorsed Romney, published a dismissive column last week titled simply "Huckacide," in which he predicts disaster for Republicans if Huckabee is nominated. In a recent radio interview, Lowry frantically predicted that the GOP was headed for a 50-state loss if Huckabee was the party's nominee.

Similarly, former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan recently questioned Huckabee's candidacy and his use of his Christian faith in the campaign. Noonan wrote that "Mike Huckabee flashes 'Christian leader' over his picture in commercials; he asserts his faith is 'mainstream'; his surrogates speak of (Romney's) Mormonism as 'strange' and 'definitely a factor.' Mr. Huckabee said this summer that a candidate's faith is 'subject to question,' 'part of the game.'"

Romney was right in his recent speech on the religion issue to state that it is values, not theology, that should determine whether a candidate is suitable for public office. Conservatives should be much more concerned about Romney being a closet liberal than an open Mormon. But after Romney told Tim Russert on Meet the Press that he would not rule out nominating an atheist to the U.S. Supreme Court, Huckabee's piety seems somehow reassuring.

Huckabee's record should be scrutinized, and his conservatism should be tested and questioned. But there are similarities to our last great Republican president. Both came from humble beginnings. Both rose from unique circumstances to surprise the experts by becoming successful governors. In a campaign season when every GOP candidate is desperately trying to evoke the memory of Ronald Reagan, Mike Huckabee possesses the sincerity, humility, strength of conviction and the optimism to make us believe that America's best days are still ahead. That is vintage Ronald Reagan.

December 18: Poll Update

New Rasmussen matchup polls from Ohio and Missouri show Huckabee with a stronger lead over Democratic candidates than Giuliani. In Ohio, he fares better than either Giuliani or Romney:

In the presidential race in Ohio—whose electoral votes were just barely won by President Bush in 2004—top GOP candidates have the edge when voters consider possible match-ups in 2008.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani leads Senator Hillary Clinton of 44% to 42%, a lead within the +/- 4.5 margin of sampling error. Giuliani also leads Senator Barack Obama 43% to 40%.

Hillary Clinton and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney are tied 43% to 43%.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, newly ascendant in the Republican primary race, leads Clinton 44% to 40% and leads Obama 45% to 39%.
In Missouri, with high favorable ratings, Huckabee leads Obama and Clinton while Giuliani trails the leading Democrats:
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has a slight edge over leading Democrats in the race for Missouri’s Electoral College Votes. Not only that, he runs a bit stronger than former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani when matched against those same Democrats.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds Huckabee with a 45% to 43% advantage over New York Senator Hillary Clinton. Huckabee also leads Illinois Senator Barack Obama 45% to 41%.

While Huckabee has a slight advantage over the Democrats, another Republican hopeful finds himself at a slight disadvantage. Giuliani now trails Clinton by six points, 45% to 39%. In October, Missouri voters gave Giuliani a narrow lead over Clinton.

Giuliani now lags Obama by just a single percentage point after leading Obama by five in October.

Huckabee is viewed favorably by 53% of Missouri voters and unfavorably by 36%. Obama is viewed favorably by 52%, Clinton by 51%, and Giuliani by 45%.
Nationally, Huckabee has widened his lead over Giuliani to 6 points:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows Mike Huckabee still on top nationally in the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination. It’s Mike Huckabee at 23%, Rudy Giuliani 17%, Mitt Romney at 15%, Fred Thompson at 13% and John McCain at 13%. Ron Paul currently attracts 7% of Likely Republican Primary voters nationwide.

December 17, 2007

New TV Spot: What Really Matters

So far, the ad is drawing rave reviews. Like this one, from Newsweek:
Andrew Romano: This might be the smartest ad of the cycle. For all the observers wondering how the candidates would manage the awkward holiday/caucus overlap, Huckabee delivers a master class.

The first step: beating his rivals to the "This Is No Time for Politics" punch; now every on-air attempt they make to topple the frontrunner from his above-the-fray pedestal looks tawdry.
And from the National Review Online:
Jim Geraghty: I don't think it's any big secret that I've got my gripes with Mike Huckabee, but his latest ad, going up tomorrow in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

Everybody's been wondering how the campaigns can work and spread their message through the holidays without seeming Grinchy. This is one way that I think will work.

Rich Lowry: I agree with Jim here. I think it's simply brilliant, if for no other reason than that—like his Chuck Norris ad—it's different and it's going to cut through the clutter.

The more I think about it, that Huckabee ad may be the most subtly brilliant wedge ad ever. Per my e-mailer, it's bound to kick up a fuss, but in the ensuing fuss, Republican caucus-goers are going to side with Huckabee at least 80-20.

Mark Steyn: Rich, I think you're right: This "Merry Christmas" thing is ingenious. In essence, it's playing the secular media off against his GOP rivals in order to solidify his base. I'm no Huckabee fan but, like Peter, I think he's been amazingly nimble and very sophisticated... right now he's making these big-money consultant-led rivals look very arthritic.

December 17: Huckabee News Roundup

A new California poll from SurveyUSA has Huckabee just 8 points behind Giuliani, up 12 percent since October:

Giuliani 28
Huckabee 20
Romney 16
McCain 14
Thompson 13
Rasmussen Reports weekly presidential poll shows Huckabee leading the Republican field with 23% of the vote, 5 points ahead of Giuliani and 8 points ahead of Romney. Rasmussen's weekly analysis notes that the rise of Huckabee has thrown the race into disarray:
It was a busy week in the race for the GOP nomination. John McCain picked up key endorsements, Mike Huckabee picked up a campaign manager, Mitt Romney decided to go negative on Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani moved to rebuild his support in Florida, and Fred Thompson moved to Iowa for the duration.

Despite all the activity, one key fact now dominates every campaign--the rise of Mike Huckabee has thrown the race for the Republican nomination into disarray.

It is not possible to know who will emerge as the nominee or when the nominee will be determined. In fact, there is a growing possibility that the nomination will not be determined on Super Tuesday, February 5. Ironically, in a year when politicians in many states scrambled to move their primaries forward so that they could have more influence, the later voting states may finally determine the nominee.

For the seven days ending December 16, Huckabee enjoyed a slight lead in national polling over the other Republican hopefuls. He currently leads in Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida. He is tied for the lead in Michigan.

Nationwide, Huckabee attracts 30% of conservative voters. Giuliani earns 16%, Romney 14%, and Thompson 13%.

Among men, it’s Huckabee 23%, Giuliani 20%, and Thompson 14%. Among women, it’s Huckabee 24%, Romney 17%, and Giuliani 15%.

Giuliani is stronger among younger votes, Romney among those who used to be young. Huckabee leads them both among all age groups at the moment.

For the seven days ending December 16, 2007 show that Mike Huckabee earns 23% of the vote while Rudy Giuliani attracts 18%. Mitt Romney is at 15% while Fred Thompson is at 12% and John McCain is the preferred candidate for 11%. Ron Paul’s support for the week is at 6%.
Huckabee also recently won a non-scientific poll on Bill O'Reilly's official website:
Huckabee 43
Romney 32
Giuliani 19
McCain 6

December 16, 2007

Alex and Brett in the Washington Post

In a story in the Washington Post, titled Home-School Ties Aided Huckabee Rise in Iowa, the reporters give Brett and me a mention:

While early attention focused on Romney and other better-known and better-funded opponents, home-schoolers rallied to Huckabee's cause, attracted by his faith, his politics and his decision to appoint a home-school proponent to the Arkansas board of education. They tapped a web of community and church groups who share common conservative interests, blasting them with e-mails and passing along the word about Huckabee in social settings.

It was the endorsement by prominent national home-school advocate Michael Farris that helped propel Huckabee to a surprising second-place finish in the Iowa straw poll in August. And it was the twin sons of a home-school advocate in Oregon who helped put Huckabee in touch with television tough guy Chuck Norris, who appeared alongside him in an attention-getting television spot and on the campaign trail.


By the end of September, the campaign had finally raised its first million dollars -- a benchmark total, yet barely pocket change in present-day presidential politics. Things picked up in October, especially after Huckabee's enthusiastic reception at the Values Voters Summit in Washington. He raised $2 million in November and began running television ads, including a clever spot with Norris.

For Norris's boost, Huckabee can thank Brett and Alex Harris, 19-year-old twins and sons of an Oregon home-school activist named Gregg Harris. They started blogs to promote Huckabee and had the idea of sending e-mails to prominent conservatives, urging them to get behind the former Arkansas governor.

One of the e-mails from the Portland pair was read to Norris, who climbed aboard, filming an ad that emphasized Huckabee's self-deprecating wit and his credentials as a social conservative and gun advocate.

Read the whole article here...

IMPORTANT: Iowa Caucus Form

Do you live in Iowa, or know anyone who does? Make sure that every Iowa voter you know is signed up as a confirmed voter for Mike Huckabee on January 3rd by using this form on the official website.

Without the millions of dollars that other campaigns spend on slick vote-driving operations, the Huckabee campaign relies on grassroots enthusiasm to get the job done. So far it's vaulted the Governor to the top of national and state polls around the country -- and now we've reached the homestretch for Iowa.

Let's keep the momentum going by helping the campaign identify and organize confirmed voters for caucus night on January 3rd. Fill out the form and spread the word. Unsure of what caucusing entails? Check out Caucus 101 from the campaign below:

Huckabee Foreign Policy, More Reagan Than Bush

The Chicago Tribune's Frank Rich has this to say about Huckabee's foreign policy:

Mike Huckabee, like his fellow Republican contenders for their party's presidential nomination, is doing his level best to channel the spirit of President Ronald Reagan into his campaign.

The hiring of Reagan's old campaign manager, Ed Rollins, to play the same role in his campaign is cleary one example.

Another can be found in the Huckabee essay in the January/February 2008 Foreign Affairs magazine.

Huckabee's essay starts thusly:

The United States, as the world's only superpower, is less vulnerable to military defeat. But it is more vulnerable to the animosity of other countries. Much like a top high school student, if it is modest about its abilities and achievements, if it is generous in helping others, it is loved. But if it attempts to dominate others, it is despised.

American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude, open up, and reach out. The Bush administration's arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad. My administration will recognize that the United States' main fight today does not pit us against the world but pits the world against the terrorists. At the same time, my administration will never surrender any of our sovereignty, which is why I was the first presidential candidate to oppose ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty, which would endanger both our national security and our economic interests.

Huckabee actually sounds a lot like the Year 2000 version of George W. Bush. Remember, it was Bush, then styling himself as a compassionate conservative, who said during the 2000 presidential campaign that America needed a "humble" foreign policy.

Anyway, not long after that, Huckabee veers into what is assuredly Reagan territory, that he opposes the obscure Law of the Sea Treaty.

Reagan opposed the treaty many conservatives disparagingly refer to as LOST as a threat to U.S. self-determination. By saying he was the first Republican presidential candidate to come out against the treaty, Huckabee is telling conservatives he was the first to see what Reagan saw, hoping that makes him more Reaganesque in their eyes than the other candidates.

This position on LOST actually puts Huckabee to the right of Bush since the president supports the treaty.

Here's another example of Huckabee trying to assume Reagan's mantle. He wants to increase military spending to Reagan-era levels when they were six percent of the gross domestic product versus 3.9 percent today. Again, this goes far beyond anything Bush has tried to achieve, even during a period when he was leading the nation's fight in two wars simultaneously.

Huckabee goes on to take a very Reaganesque view of the use of the U.S. military. He's opposed to nation-building. Bush was too, of course, until he got caught up in the neocon vision to remake Iraq as part of a new domino theory in which the nations of the greater Middle East would tumble towards democracy.

Huckabee writes:

And we must stop using active-duty forces for nation building and return to our policy of using other government agencies to build schools, hospitals, roads, sewage treatment plants, water filtration systems, electrical facilities, and legal and banking systems. We must marshal the goodwill, ingenuity, and power of our governmental and nongovernmental organizations in coordinating and implementing these essential nonmilitary functions.

Not that Huckabee disagrees with Bush on every particular. There's no discernible light between Huckabee's position on Iraq and Bush's. Here's a passage from Huckabee's essay that could have just as easily been lifted from a Bush speech:

As president, I will not withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq any faster than General David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander there, recommends. I will bring our troops home based on the conditions on the ground, not the calendar on the wall. It is still too soon to reduce the U.S. counterterrorism mission and pass the torch of security to the Iraqis. If we do not preserve and expand population security, by maintaining the significant number of forces required, we risk losing all our hard-won gains. These are significant but tenuous.

But if there's a two-term Republican president whose reflection Huckabee most wants conservatives to see mirrored in his own foreign-policy ideas, it's clearly Reagan, not Bush.

December 16: Huckabee News Roundup

In another Florida poll just released by Datamar this weekend, Huckabee is in 1st place:

A statewide poll of Florida voters for the Republican presidential primary election, released today by Datamar Inc., shows that former Governor from Arkansas Mike Huckabee has taken the lead with 24.8%. Former U.S. Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani has fallen to second place in the polls with 21%. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is in third place with 19.2%. The findings are based on a December 9 – 13, 2007 survey of Florida voters.
Rick Scarborough has a great article at the Vision America website called Huckabee, Faith and Politics:
This week, after receiving little more than an asterisk in the polls in mid-October, Governor Mike Huckabee has surged to the front of the pack in the most recent Rasmussen poll. This meteoric rise in the polls at the expense of Governor Mitt Romney and Mayor Rudy Giuliani has left the pundits speechless. Interestingly, whereas candidate Mike Huckabee had been referred to as Governor Huckabee throughout the campaign, he is now increasingly being referred to as “former Baptist Preacher” Mike Huckabee.

Nothing is accidental with the media. Doubtless, now that Huckabee is a serious contender for the nomination, his Baptist preacher background is going to fall under scrutiny. After all, a ceremonial belief in God is expected by candidates, but Heaven help that we not allow a guy who actually believes the Bible to be true and worse, practices its precepts and relies upon it, get elected. The left has been working tirelessly for over 40 years to shove Christianity into the closet and ultimately into oblivion.

I can’t predict who will achieve the nomination for president of either party at this stage, but I can predict that anyone who seriously practices a biblical faith will sooner or later be assaulted by the left. And I will be the subject of liberal blogs tomorrow for saying that. But they and we know that biblical Christianity is a threat to those who advance a liberal agenda.

This week an activist in Iowa made an interesting comment to me about the Mike Huckabee phenomena. While the Romney campaign has spent millions in Iowa to attract voters, the Huckabee campaign has aired few commercials because, until recently, they couldn’t afford a full campaign staff--let alone spend money on media buys. Yet Romney is falling like a rock in the polls and Huckabee’s numbers are soaring. This long time activist in Iowa politics said of Huckabee that rank and file people of both parties in her state are attracted to him because he is neither Republican nor Democrat, but American.

As I pondered her statement I thought, how refreshing, and perhaps how insightful. Huckabee has rankled the ire of many traditional conservatives with his unorthodox politics; while being unapologetic about his traditional social views, he challenges some of the conservative conclusions with many of his views regarding taxes, immigration and education. That mix usually spells disaster among Republicans yet he is leading the pack at present.

There are many speculative reasons offered for why he holds those views, but my friend’s comment that he is American resonates with me. Could it be that people are drawn to him because in him they see a genuine, authentic American, who embraces biblical truth and is attempting, in his humanity, to apply it to public policy? No one will ever get it completely right, and Huckabee won’t, but people like the fact that he is trying and not affected by the attacks from both the left and the right. And I believe that true Americans like the fact that in his campaign, “they,” not the handlers, nor the money people, nor the media, nor the political hacks, are driving his candidacy. His campaign has lacked money but it has generated what millions cannot buy--true believers.
Read the whole thing...

December 15, 2007

December 15: Huckabee News Roundup

A new Chicago Tribune poll shows Huckabee in a virtual dead heat with Giuliani for 1st place in Illinois:

Giuliani 23
Huckabee 21
Romney 14
McCain 12
Thompson 11
Douglas Schoen has a column at Rasmussen discussing Huckabee's chance to win the nomination:
The Republican side is currently suggestive of a substantial breakthrough from Mike Huckabee. Huckabee is in a statistical tie with Rudy Giuliani in almost every recent national poll including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll. This is a tremendous increase in support, as Huckabee was in fifth place a month ago and Giuliani’s lead at that time was substantial.

Huckabee’s surge has not been felt in every state – in New Hampshire, for instance, he remains in fourth place and around 20 points behind leader Mitt Romney. But the more enduring point is that the Republicans seem to be falling in lockstep with him. Huckabee’s latest numbers suggest that if he has a win in Iowa and wins South Carolina (which he leads by 7 points), he could receive enough momentum to carry the nomination.

To be sure, Huckabee could be attacked for lacking fiscal conservative credentials, for his pardons that have received national scrutiny recently, and for being excessively close to the religious right. Still, at this point, it seems clear that Huckabee has made a greater breakthrough on the Republican side than Obama has on the Democratic side.
The Washington Post has a report about Huckabee's new national campaign chairman:
Mike Huckabee's low-budget, fast-moving campaign brought on some needed organizational muscle today in the form of Ed Rollins, the veteran political strategist for candidates including Ronald Reagan -- to whom he today compared his new client for his ability to communicate and connect with voters.

"Governor Huckabee has probably inspired me as much as Ronald Reagan did," Rollins said after being introduced by Huckabee at a press conference here. "I've looked a long time to find a candidate like that...A lot of people walk around talking about the Reagan days and the next Reagan. I was with the old Reagan and I can promise you that this man comes as close as anyone to filling those shoes."
You might also want to check out the Washington Post's in-depth bio of Huckabee:
When he climbed out of the car at Fort Robinson that morning in June 1972, Mike Huckabee found himself surrounded by 1,200 other high school juniors, each a leader in his Arkansas home town, each primed for an election. Several were carrying posters touting their platforms. Others were handing out cards.

Then as now, Huckabee didn't have the campaign apparatus of his peers. The 16-year-old arrived at Boys State, a prestigious and civic-minded youth camp run by the American Legion, from the small southwest Arkansas town of Hope with nothing but a suitcase and a gift for oratory.

By week's end he was its brightest star, elected governor in a landslide. He left Boys State with a network of high-achieving new friends who were eager to hitch their futures to his. And he'd soon have a letter from Gov. Dale Bumpers encouraging him to consider a career in public service.

It was a heady triumph for a teenager who already harbored big ambitions. But it wasn't enough -- not yet -- to lure him from his chosen path: preaching the word of God.
Read the whole thing here...

And The Center for a Just Society defends Huckabee from a recent USA Today attack:
USA Today sees a red flag in Huckabee's call for "taking back the nation for Christ" in 1998, but what they fail to point out is that Huckabee was speaking to a pastor's conference about the goals of the church, not government. Huckabee's comments had nothing to do with imposing religion by governmental decree, and the editors were duplicitous in implying otherwise. Although the secularists on USA Today's editorial board may not like it, in America the Christian church is free to compete for every single soul in the country—as is every other religion.

Finally, USA Today cites Huckabee's disavowal of evolution as a sign that he is blatantly anti-science, but Huckabee's statement is anything but anti-science. He stated, "I believe there is a God who was very active in the creation process. Now how did he do it, and when did he do it, and how long did he take? I don't honestly know and I don't think that knowing that would make me a better or worse president…. [Y]ou know, if anybody wants to believe that they are descendants of a primate, they are certainly welcome to do it…but I believe that all of us in this room are the unique creations of a God who knows us and loves us and who created us for his own purpose." Huckabee's unpardonable sin was not that he is anti-science, but rather that he affirmed the Creator's role in our creation—a view held by Americans like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and other signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Christianity is not antithetical to science. Throughout centuries, it was Christians who advanced the cause of science. Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Boyle, and Pascal, among others, were all Christians. This connection between faith and science was based upon Christianity's belief in a God who gave order and meaning to the world. Christians believed that God's consistent nature produced consistent laws by which the world operated; laws which could be studied and applied. This is why theology came to be known as the "queen of the sciences." From this basic investigation of God's nature and his creation came the vast body of knowledge we now call "science."

USA Today's editorial reveals more about the editors than it does Mike Huckabee. Their piece demonstrates a profound ignorance of Christianity and the Constitution. They prefer fear-mongering to a careful dissection of the facts. Regardless of what one thinks of Mike Huckabee, one can only hope that the editors will endeavor to remove the log from their own eyes before trying to remove the speck from someone else's.
Read the full article...