February 29, 2008

Folger: McCain In Trouble

Janet Folger explains why Huckabee is the only candidate who can spend your donation:

Don't count your delegates before they're hatched.

Let me tell you why the race for the Republican nomination is not over yet. Notwithstanding Saturday Night Live skits and political pundits, Gov. Mike Huckabee doesn't need to reach 1,191 delegates to win the nomination – all he has to do is keep John McCain from doing so. And that may have just gotten easier.

A Huckabee nomination isn't so "mathematically impossible" when you consider that he may be the only one who can spend any money in the race from here on out. Highlights from a Friday Washington Post article explain:

  • McCain cannot spend without risking violating the Federal Election Commission matching grant rules (he helped create). The limit is $54 million (until the convention in September), and he's "already spent $49 million."
  • He can't get out of the matching grant program because there isn't an FEC quorum to vote on it.
  • Knowingly violating the spending limit is a criminal offense that could put McCain at risk of stiff fines and up to five years in prison.

Don't you hate it when your ideas come back to bite you? Maybe now he's starting to understand that government regulations that stifle free speech are a bad idea. Maybe this personal lesson could turn McCain around on his McCain-Feingold gag rule, too.

If you care about life, liberty, marriage and the family, we must now go full throttle and give this everything we've got and spend every dime we can right now.

Go to http://www.mikehuckabee.com and give to the limit of $2,300 per individual and $4,600 per couple.

Get rid of all the "mathematical impossibilities" discussion you've been fed by the political pundits. In fact, let me shed a little light on just whom you've been listening to. Given recent events, I believe a more appropriate definition of pundit is in order:

pun dit

1. n. a self-declared expert who, in an effort to achieve media prominence, communicates bias, random thoughts and wild guesses with confidence and arrogance in order to convince the masses of a desired result. 2. v. to be dead wrong. 3. v. to "correct" dead wrong political opinion with more dead wrong political opinion until a certain result is reached.

For example, first they said Rudy Giuliani was the "certain" nominee. But that didn't go so well. Then there was Fred Thompson, who was the media rock star until just about the time he entered the race. Then, with the help of many who mistakenly call themselves "conservatives" and "leaders," Mitt Romney became the "shoe-in." The pundits were also the ones who declared John McCain's campaign "dead on arrival" – after all, "people were fired." The ones who should have been fired were the pundits.

But now, people are starting to see that, and through this process, new leaders are being raised up who know that God is more powerful than the pundits and the polls.

As if opposition to the campaign-finance reform gag rule weren't enough, I'm supporting Gov. Huckabee because I actually believe what we've been saying for three and a half decades: that our goal is to restore legal protection to children awaiting their birthdays, even it takes a Human Life Amendment to do it. And, Gov. Huckabee is the only candidate who shares that view. But let me give you two more reasons why you should support Mike Huckabee: Joshua and Rachel Hubbard.

These two kids were formerly frozen embryos, vulnerable to the whims of those who would experiment on them and snuff out their individual, unique, human lives.

Not only would these two kids NOT be protected under a McCain, Obama or Clinton administration, but each would force even the most pro-life taxpayer to foot the bill to kill them.

Yeah, it's tough. Sure it's uphill. But I want a president who won't give up when the going gets tough. The pundits didn't much care for a guy named Winston Churchill either, but thank God he "never gave up."

THIS is the moment when we must surge with every ounce of strength, money and faith that we have, keeping my home state of Ohio's motto in mind: "With God ALL THINGS are possible." And when Gov. Mike Huckabee wins in Ohio and Texas, the remaining states (and funds) will follow … while John McCain stands around with his hands in his pockets unable to spend his money because of the rules he helped create.

February 25, 2008

Texas Poll: McCain 45%, Huckabee 41%

The American Research Group has a new poll out today that shows Huckabee closing the gap on McCain in Texas:

ARG Texas Poll (Feb. 23-24)

McCain: 45%
Huckabee: 41%
Paul: 10%

February 24, 2008

Huckabee Draws Big Crowds in Texas

Charmaine Yoest of Reasoned Audacity blogs the following:

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee continues to play to packed houses. At last night's rally in Plano, Texas, the campaign staff were forecasting some 500. Not a bad crowd.

2,000 cheering voters showed up.

The race is far from over. John Culberson, congressman from Houston, recently endorsed Huckabee. Culberson's district borders Tom DeLay's old district -- who also endorsed Huckabee.

John predicts that Houston will go for Huckabee. And as Houston goes, so goes Texas.

Representative Culberson made his decision after hearing Huckabee at CPAC and talking with him afterwards.

John McCain's race to 1,191 delegates is not a given.

February 18, 2008

Not So Fast, McCain

From Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON - Not so fast, Sen. McCain.

John McCain's campaign issued a statement last week claiming the Arizona senator had surpassed the number of delegates needed to secure the GOP nomination for president, after Mitt Romney endorsed him.

John McCain sure looks like he has the nomination all but wrapped up. But he isn't there yet, and here's why:

It will take 1,191 delegates to secure the Republican nomination at the national convention this summer.

McCain has 908 delegates, including those won in primaries and caucuses as well as endorsements from party leaders who automatically attend the convention. Romney has 253, according to The Associated Press tally.

Together, that's 1,161 delegates, which could make it tempting for some to put McCain over the top Tuesday evening if he fares well in primaries in Washington state and Wisconsin. A total of 56 delegates will be at stake.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has 245 delegates, placing him behind a candidate who isn't even in the race anymore. Texas Rep. Ron Paul has 14.

GOP rules, however, say McCain still has work to do.

The rules vary state to state. But in general, Romney has little authority over his delegates after he releases them. The vast majority haven't been named. Once they are, most will be free agents at the convention, free to support whomever they choose.

Huckabee has said he won't quit until somebody reaches 1,191 delegates. And a few more Huckabee victories in upcoming primaries could prove embarrassing for McCain.
Read the whole thing...

ARG Wisconsin: McCain 46, Huckabee 42

From the American Research Group, released on Saturday. McCain is down 5 points since February 7, Huckabee up 38 points:

John McCain leads Mike Huckabee 47% to 44% among Republicans and McCain leads Huckabee 45% to 37% among independents and Democrats likely to vote in the Republican primary. Huckabee leads McCain among men 53% to 35% (52% of likely Republican primary voters), while McCain leads Huckabee 58% to 31% among women.

February 17, 2008

Long Odds Don't Faze Huckabee

This Los Angeles Times piece gives readers a glimpse into why Governor Mike Huckabee is still in the race for the White House. As well as why you should never count him out. Ever.

WHAT I COULDN'T DO . . . MOTIVATED ME: Huckabee has never lacked naysayers. As a teen he was told he couldn't be elected a class officer; as an overweight young man he labored to finish a marathon walk; as a poor student he worked his way through college in 2.5 years.

February 12, 2008

February 12: Huckabee News Roundup

As voters go to the polls today, one final American Research Group poll shows a tight race between Huckabee and McCain in Virginia. Since Saturday, Huckabee is up 7 points, McCain down 7 points:

McCain 47
Huckabee 39
Paul 4
There is a good article in the Times Record today:
It’s hard to know why pundits are making such a fuss about Mike Huckabee’s decision not to drop out of the race for his party’s nomination for president.

They argue that Huckabee should drop out now and let John McCain get to work consolidating his support. Nice job, Governor, forcing Mitt Romney out, and thanks for that. But now it’s time to take your Baptist preacher self back to the wilds of Arkansas and let the big boys get to the serious politicking.

As Arkansans, we are insulted.

To be sure, McCain has a pretty commanding lead in the delegate counts, but darned if Huckabee just doesn’t seem to keep winning states. That’s kind of inconvenient for the Let’s-Get-the-McCain-Juggernaut-Going crowd.

It’s kind of nice for the people who believe Huckabee’s voice is closest to theirs.
Did you see that Super Bowl a couple of weeks ago? The one the New England Patriots were overwhelmingly favored to win? The one they were favored to win as late as the last three minutes of the game?

Well, as they say, that’s why they play the game.

Similarly, if we were willing to give up the notion of actually letting the citizens of the country vote and just let the keen political pundits and the wise political commentators and the powerful political operatives just tell us who will be the next president, we could forego this quadrennial messiness.

In the meantime, though, we have to stick with elections.
Read the whole thing...

Pat Buchanan has a great post at WorldNetDaily:
During his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, among the best he has delivered, Mitt Romney suspended his campaign, so as not to imperil GOP prospects in the fall. Said Mitt, "If I fight on ... all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senators Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror."

Thus did Romney endorse the John McCain view that the Democrats who intend to pull all U.S. combat brigades out by a date certain are raising the "white flag of surrender" to Islamo-fascist terror.

But when Mike Huckabee, who also delivered one of his best at CPAC, was asked if he would stand down for the good of the party, as his winning the nomination is now a near-mathematical impossibility, he brusquely dismissed such demands as "total nonsense."

"I didn't major in math," said the Baptist preacher, "I majored in miracles." Good for Huck. Why should he drop out?

For too long conservatives have suppressed their convictions or meekly submitted, so as not to oppose a Republican president or get out of step with the party leadership.

Huckabee has a chance to do himself a world of good by piling up votes and delegates and making himself a conservative alternative to McCain. But he also has a chance to serve his party and country, by putting on the table the issues neither party is addressing.

For his party's and his country's sake, as well as his own, Mike Huckabee should keep the conversation going. Because right now, his party is looking at Hillary, Obama – or Bush's third term.
Read the whole thing...

There's also a great article at Human Events by George Neumayr:
The GOP's "Big Tent" looks more and more like a Circus Tent, and the barkers inside it never wanted Mike Huckabee under its spotlight. To his success, he has ignored them, picking up victories even as they instructed him to "get out of the race."

Usually party operatives tell a candidate to drop out of the race because he is likely to do badly; in Huckabee's case, they told him to get out because they feared he would do well. On the weekend before Super Tuesday, prominent GOP operatives called Huckabee "selfish" for staying in the race. He then proceeded to sweep much of the South.

How selfish of him to win. Doesn't this Arkansas hillbilly know that he belongs in coach with the other Christian conservatives? Doesn't he see that he should let the gents from the Squash Club call the shots in the party?

Even after winning in Kansas and Louisiana, the harassing question dogged him. Surely Huckabee is one of the only candidates in American political history who, upon winning, received as the first question: So when will you be getting out of the race?
Read the whole thing...

February 11, 2008

February 11: Poll Update

An exciting new Survey USA poll for Virginia:

Eve of VA GOP Primary, Huckabee Closes-In On McCain:

Big movement in Virginia following Mike Huckabee's strong showing over the weekend in Louisiana, Kansas and Washington state. On the eve of the Virginia Republican Primary, it's John McCain 48%, Mike Huckabee 37%.

Compared to an identical SurveyUSA tracking poll released 72 hours ago, McCain is down 9, Huckabee is up 12. McCain had led by 32, now leads by 11. Among Conservative voters, McCain had led by 21, now trails by 5. Among Pro-Life voters, McCain had led by 20 points, now trails by 6. Among voters in Southeast VA, McCain had led by 28, now trails by 12. Among voters focused on Immigration, McCain had led by 16, now trails by 17. Among voters who attend religious services regularly, McCain had led by 24, now trails by 2.

1,700 VA adults were interviewed by SurveyUSA 02/09/08 and 02/10/08. In the middle of the field period for this survey, Mike Huckabee won the Louisiana primary, won the Kansas caucus, and finished a strong 2nd in the WA state caucus. Any momentum Huckabee accrued from those wins would only partially be reflected in these interviews, half of which were completed before the results of the Saturday wins were known. By contrast, interviews in the SurveyUSA poll released 72 hours ago, on Friday 02/08/08, were conducted during the post-Super-Tuesday media coverage that described McCain for the first-time as the "almost certain" party nominee. These competing, buffeting forces are at work: McCain supporters may feel he has the Republican nomination mathematically "locked," and may not be as motivated to turn-out as they would otherwise. Anti-McCain supporters may be uniquely motivated to vote in protest against McCain, and may turn-out in larger numbers than here forecast.
An AP/Ipsos national poll reflects the same Huckabee surge that Rasmussen reported earlier this morning:
McCain 44
Huckabee 30
Ron Paul 9

RASMUSSEN: McCain 46, Huckabee 34

From Rasmussen's daily presidential tracking poll:

In the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination, John McCain currently earns 46% of the vote, Mike Huckabee attracts 34%, and Ron Paul is supported by 8%. Conservative voters are evenly split between McCain and Huckabee.

Among Republicans, McCain is viewed favorably by 66% and Huckabee by 67%.

February 10, 2008

February 10: Huckabee News Roundup

Here are a couple of must reads. First from CBS News' Joy Lin:

It may be miracles he’s espousing, but Mike Huckabee’s done a little math of his own. Even if he might not be able to attain 1,191 votes necessary to win, he’s banking on the possibility John McCain can’t either.

“If John McCain doesn’t get 1,191 delegates, this goes to the convention, all bets are off,” Huckabee told reporters. “And after the first ballot anybody can end up being the nominee.”

So what if Karl Rove went on CBS' Face the Nation saying it’s implausible that Huckabee will get the numbers necessary to win the nomination. Huckabee’s response: “Karl Rove has also maxed out personal contributions to John McCain … The fact the opposing team has their cheerleaders and band blowing songs against me hardly motivates me to quit. It only motivates me to play harder.”

For Huckabee, the game is not over.

“I’m really not very persuaded by the party officials and the party establishment who come out now and are saying 'Oh, well John McCain has 700 delegates, we oughta just quit,'” said Huckabee.

“When they wrote the rules, it said you had to have 1,191. So why did they write the rules for that game of play and now want to change the rules, that’s crazy. And so, you know, I’m playing by the rules that were written for me and I’m not trying to make them and I’m not trying to break them, so we’ll continue doing it.”

Referencing Hillary Clinton’s tearful moments in recent months, Huckabee said, “If I cried and whined every time someone ignored me in this, I’d quit a year ago. But you have to realize that in every stage of this, there’s yet to be a time when the pundits said, Huckabee’s the guy to pull this off…I’m enjoying it if no other reason than to just intimidate the daylights out of all the other people who feel like they have it figured out.”

Following what he called an “overwhelming” win in Kansas and “shocking” victory in Louisiana, Huckabee said he felt “confident” going into Virginia.

"When [your opponents] really don’t think you have a chance, they ignore you. When they say bad things about you, they fear you. So the fact that I’m being asked to leave and all these things are being said, it’s an extraordinary honor. I don’t necessarily enjoy it, but I sure appreciate it."
And from David Stokes at Townhall:
In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s still a long time until the Republican National Convention, which doesn’t convene until Labor Day (September 1st) in Minneapolis. This will be the latest any major party convention has ever been held. The Democrats will meet in Denver the week before.

Mr. Huckabee’s continued campaign is actually very healthy for the party and the process, calls for stop-the-race unity notwithstanding. First, though Romney suggested that a protracted campaign would delay a party-wide national campaign, it’s actually more likely that any such national unity campaign, with the nomination being a done deal, would compete poorly for media attention as compared to the apparent fight to the finish of the other gal and guy.

The Democrats will have high drama while the Republicans could become the victims of the political equivalent of writer’s strike-driven viewer apathy. There simply will be no news there. Shadow boxing seldom draws the crowd a real match does – even a seemingly uneven one.

Then there is the personality thing. Mike Huckabee has one. John McCain is a great American, but he is not a great communicator. As people look for the “Reagan-factor” these days, I think it must be acknowledged that he was a president known first and foremost as The Great Communicator. And, if Barack Obama is the Democratic candidate in the fall, Mr. McCain will make many people long for the witty charm of Bob Dole.

Governor Huckabee is a dynamic and charismatic communicator who could go toe to toe with Obama in the war of words that a presidential campaign essentially becomes. His preacher training would serve him well.

Conservatives should take a good look at Mike Huckabee before all is finally said and done.

It’s still early in February – and a long way to September and November.
Read the whole thing...

WA Update

The Washington State Republican Party updated the election results this afternoon. Huckabee has gained 2 tenths of a percent, but not much has changed:

Statewide Results 2008 Precinct Caucuses:

Precincts Reporting 93.3 %

Candidates Percentage

Huckabee 23.8 %
McCain 25.4 %
Paul 20.7 %
Romney 16.7 %
Other 1.0 %
Uncommitted 12.3 %
Earlier today I emailed the Washington State Republican Party asking them to post the full WA results. They responded by saying: "The counting was never stopped. We just haven't heard from all the precincts yet. The numbers continue to trickle in."

They also said that yesterday's caucuses only elected delegates to their county conventions, but no actual delegates will be won by any campaign until May 31st at the state convention. They also said that since Washington is not "winner take all", it is very likely that they will send delegates for 2 or more candidates.

Washington Results Update

David Postman from the Seattle Times has been covering this story:

February 10, 2008 10:27 AM

As votes were tallied yesterday by the state Republican Party, Sen. John McCain led in an early count, Huckabee led briefly later in the night and then at 11:30 p.m., state party chairman Luke Esser declared McCain the winner.

But there was a razor thin margin between McCain, with 25.5 percent of delegates, and Huckabee, with 23.7 percent, and there was still about 13 percent of precincts around the state that had yet to be counted.

February 10, 2008 1:56 PM

Republican Mike Huckabee's campaign is sending attorneys to Washington state to investigate what happened with the count of yesterday's Republican presidential caucus. Campaign Chairman Ed Rollins issued this statement:

“The Huckabee campaign is deeply disturbed by the obvious irregularities in the Washington State Republican precinct caucuses. It is very unfortunate that the Washington State Party Chairman, Luke Esser, chose to call the race for John McCain after only 87 percent of the vote was counted. According to CNN, the difference between Senator McCain and Governor Huckabee is a mere 242 votes, out of more than 12,000 votes counted—with another 1500 or so votes, apparently, not counted. That is an outrage.

“In other words, more than one in eight Evergreen State Republicans have been disenfranchised by the actions of their own party. This was an error in judgment by Mr. Esser. It was Mr. Esser’s duty to oversee a fair vote-count process. Washington Republicans know, from bitter experience in the 2004 gubernatorial election, the terrible results that can come from bad ballot-counting.

“Frankly, I am disappointed in the way that Mr. Esser has handled this urgent matter. So I call upon Mr. Esser and his colleagues to cooperate fully with the Huckabee campaign—and all Republicans, everywhere, who care about honest and transparent vote-counting—to make sure that every vote is counted and that all Republicans in Washington have the chance to make their votes count. Attempts by our campaign to contact Mr. Esser have been unsuccessful. Our lawyers will be on the ground in Washington State soon, and we look forward to sitting down with Mr. Esser to evaluate this process, to see why the count took so long, and why the vote-counting was stopped prematurely.

“It would be a disservice to every voter in Washington State to not pursue a full accounting of all votes cast.

“This is not about Mike Huckabee. This is not about Senator John McCain. This is about the failings of the Washington State Republican Party. All Republicans should unite to demand an honest accounting of the votes, so that Republicans can have full confidence in the results, and full confidence in the eventual Republican nominee. As I said, we are prepared to go to court, and we are also prepared to take our case all the way to the Republican National Convention in September.

“Our cause is just. We must reemphasize the sacred American principle that all ballots be counted in a free, fair, and transparent manner.”
February 10, 2008 3:12 PM

State Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser said the party will start counting again this afternoon. But he said he has no reason to think the outcome will be any different when ever vote is counted.

“I am confident it will hold up,” he said of his call last night that John McCain had won the Washington caucus. “I don't blame anybody for strongly supporting their guy and Governor Huckabee is a great guy. If they're mad at me, I'm sorry. But I would have done the exact same thing if Governor Huckabee had the same lead, and the same number of votes were outstanding.”

Esser said he declared McCain the winner after calculating what Huckabee would have to win in the remaining precincts in order to take the lead. And even with being generous with a forecast of Huckabee votes, and purposefully assuming McCain's support dropped significantly in the late counts, McCain still looked like the winner.

“There's no certainty in this mortal coil. But I am confident these numbers will hold up.”

Esser said he talked today with Joe Fuiten, the Bothell pastor who heads Huckabee's volunteer effort in the state. Esser said that Fuiten told him about complaints from specific precincts about votes were handled. Esser said the party will investigate those claims.

Esser said he was not lobbied last night from either McCain's or Huckabee's campaigns about whether or not to to declare a winner.

“Maybe it would have been safer if I hadn't said anything. But it was an exciting and historic day for the state and I thought if I was confident about what the outcome would be I should share that with the people who had gone out to their caucuses.”

NY Times: The Republican Reformation

The New York Times has an excellent op-ed piece by Ross Douthat:

Having spent the better part of three months attacking Mike Huckabee and John McCain as crypto-liberals who would destroy the Reagan coalition, the pundits, talk-radio stars and professional activists who make up the establishment of the conservative movement had to grit their teeth this week as their preferred candidate, Mitt Romney, bowed to the inevitable and abandoned the field. Mr. Huckabee and Mr. McCain are now the last men standing in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Worse than watching the two heretics celebrate in the right-wing temple, perhaps, was that many of the conservative movement’s own constituents had put them there. Despite Rush Limbaugh’s insistence that nominating Mr. Huckabee or Mr. McCain would “destroy the Republican Party,” on Tuesday more than half of self-described conservatives voted for one of the two men over Mr. Romney, the candidate endorsed by Mr. Limbaugh.

After being denounced as a tax-and-spender and a pro-life liberal, Mr. Huckabee won four primaries in four Republican strongholds, including Alabama and Georgia.

The failure of conservative voters to fall in line behind Mr. Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, among others, reflects a deeper problem for the movement’s leadership. With their inflexibility, grudge-holding and eagerness to evict heretics rather than seek converts, too many of conservatism’s leaders sound like the custodians of a dwindling religious denomination or a politically correct English department at a fading liberal-arts college.

Or like yesterday’s Democratic Party. The tribunes of the American right have fallen into the same bad habits that doomed their liberal rivals to years of political failure.

Mike Huckabee signed a no-new-taxes pledge and campaigned on a (borderline-crackpot) tax plan to abolish the Internal Revenue Service and institute a national sales tax. Yet he found himself caricatured as a “Christian socialist” because he had raised gas taxes and cigarette taxes while governor of Arkansas. Merely acknowledging that some corporate chief executives might be overpaid and some working-class voters might be struggling was enough to get him dismissed by George Will as a “radical” who had supposedly repudiated “free trade, low taxes, the essential legitimacy of America’s corporate entities and the market system allocating wealth and opportunity.”

The conservative critics of Mr. McCain and Mr. Huckabee weren’t wrong on every issue. But in their zeal to read both candidates out of the conservative movement, often on the flimsiest of pretexts, the movement’s leaders raised a standard of ideological purity that not even Ronald Reagan could have lived up to.

This sort of purism would have been folly in Mr. Reagan’s era, when conservatism was an insurgency with its greatest victories still ahead of it, and there were real liberal Republicans to slay along the way. It represents political suicide today.

Precisely because the right has won so many battles — on taxes, welfare, crime and the cold war — in the decades since it squared off against Gerald Ford and Jacob Javits, the greatest danger facing the contemporary Republican Party is ideological sclerosis, rather than insufficient orthodoxy.

Conservative voters seem to understand that.

Too bad their leaders don’t.
Read the whole thing...

February 9, 2008

Huckabee Wins Louisana Primary, Beats McCain

Huckabee won his second contest on Saturday, again sending the message that he is the true (and viable) conservative in the race for the Republican nomination. From the Washington Post:

On the Republican side, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee delivered two humiliating defeats to Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in the Kansas Republican presidential caucuses and the Louisiana primary, while running slightly behind McCain in Washington state with incomplete returns.

With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, Obama led Clinton, 58 percent to 36 percent, in Louisiana. Obama romped to victory earlier in the evening in Nebraska, 68 percent to 32 percent, and then overwhelmed Clinton in Washington, 68 percent to 31 percent, with 96 percent of the caucus vote counted.

Huckabee, a former Baptist minister who first emerged from a crowded field of Republican contenders with an impressive win in the Iowa caucuses, said of his contests with McCain: "We both made our case, and ours seemed to sell pretty well."

"While people in Washington and insiders continue to maybe gravitate to the senator's campaign, people across America are gravitating to our campaign and realizing there is a choice," he said in Washington, D.C.

Although McCain appeared to have locked up the nomination with a strong Super Tuesday performance and former governor Mitt Romney's announcement he was dropping out of the race, Huckabee beat McCain in Kansas, 60 percent to 24 percent, with 11 percent going to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.). With 99 percent of precincts reporting in Louisiana, Huckabee led McCain, 43 percent to 41 percent.

In Washington state, McCain was clinging to a slight lead, 26 percent to 24 percent, with 83 percent of the caucus vote counted. Paul trailed with 21 percent of the vote.

Huckabee has vigorously disputed party leader's assertion that McCain is unstoppable at this point, and he said this evening that he was running strong among conservatives and that the race was far from over. "I didn't major in math," Huckabee told a cheering crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference meeting in Washington, D.C. "I majored in miracles."

Huckabee Wins Kansas by Landslide

NBC and Fox News have declared Mike Huckabee the winner of the Kansas GOP caucuses. With 76% of the precincts reporting, Huckabee has 62% to McCain's 22%. Find the latest results here.

FOX News:

“This is a huge win for us,” Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman said. “This is a state that both candidates competed in. This shows that Washington pundits don’t pick the nominee. The folks in the states and outside the Beltway pick the nominee. So not so fast, we still have a long way to go until the nominee is picked, with 20-plus states left.”

Huckabee will have a lot farther to go to catch McCain. Kansas offers 36 total delegates, but the Arizona senator began the day with 719 delegates.

Huckabee had 198, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul had 14.

Eighty delegates are stake for the GOP in Saturday’s contests in Kansas, Louisiana, Washington and Guam. McCain’s campaign has said the earliest the Arizona senator could seal the nomination with the needed 1,191 delegates is the March 4 primary.

Some Kansas Republicans thought their caucuses would provide an indication of whether conservatives grudgingly accepted McCain as the GOP candidate or whether they still hoped to nominate someone else despite the long odds.

February 8, 2008

A Memo to Huckabee Supporters

Chip Saltsman, national campaign manager for Governor Huckabee, and Ed Rollins, his national campaign chairman, sent out the following memo to supporters this afternoon. Spread it far and wide!

Memorandum to Huckabee Campaigners (February 8, 2008)

From: Ed Rollins, Campaign Chairman; Chip Saltsman, Campaign Manager

Re: Our Path to Victory at the Minneapolis-St. Paul convention

Too many Republicans have tried to turn this nomination battle into a coronation, not a series of further election contests. Big mistake on their part. They are wrong. We know that we are running an underdog campaign, but that’s nothing new—we have always been the underdog. And yet a whole lot of onetime “overdogs” are now on the sidelines, licking their wounds. The Republican National Convention is seven long months away; a lot can happen in that much time. A lot will happen.

But in the meantime, as you all know, Governor Huckabee is not a quitter. He has never shirked from a challenge, and he never will. He has always told us—and personally reaffirmed to us just today—that he is in this race to win. That is, to win the Republican presidential nomination, and to win the White House. Why? Because he cares deeply about the issues that inspired him to get into politics in the first place—back in the 60s, when he started studying the works of the great conservative thinkers and writers, back in the 70s, when he was an ardent supporter of another underdog Republican. And what was that fellow’s name? Oh yes—it was Ronald Reagan.

So don’t let anyone tell you that it’s over! In fact, as of today, no fewer than 27 states, districts, and territories have not yet had a chance to vote. That includes such big states as Texas (Chuck Norris’ home state, ‘nuff said), Ohio, and Pennsylvania. All the Republicans and Republican-minded independents in those states want to be part of the process, too, and they deserve to have a choice put before them. Folks don’t want the Republican Establishment to pick the nominee for them, through a premature rush to judgment, and they sure as heck don’t want the media to pick the nominee!

We note that in many of the hottest contests so far, the vote has been divided into thirds—typically, about one-third for Governor Huckabee, one third for Senator McCain, and one third for all the other candidates. And as you know, typically, Governor Huckabee has done best among hardcore Republicans—the activist base. That’s one reason why we are looking forward to Governor Huckabee’s speech to the legendary CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, in DC tomorrow morning. You’d better believe that the folks gathered at the Omni Shoreham hotel are the go-getters who make or break primary elections. Just wait till they get a load of Mike Huckabee!

We are confident that we will get most of the activists, the folks who work the hardest because they care the most about the issues. In addition, we note that many of the jurisdictions that have already voted have merely had the first round of their delegate-selection process. To be frank, there’s still plenty of time for politicking, as Republicans really focus on the question of who should lead their party into the November election. Who’s the most stalwart champion of Republican and conservative values? Who’s the most articulate and effective campaigner? We know the answer to those questions—that’s why we have been working our hearts out for Mike Huckabee. But soon, everyone paying attention will know that, too. As the campaign season grinds on—and let’s again remember, this is just February!—there will be plenty of time for reflection and reconsideration, especially among those hundreds of delegates pledged to candidates who have now dropped out.

As we saw in West Virginia on Tuesday—where Governor Huckabee swooped in on the day of the state convention and won a decisive victory that changed the tone of the remaining Super Tuesday coverage—a single good speech from our candidate is often worth more than all the tens of millions of dollars, and all the big-shot endorsements, that the other candidates have been able to drum up.

Indeed, it’s interesting that Mike Huckabee has done so well in the states so critical to Republican prospects this November. That is, those “swing states” that are essential building blocks of a Republican victory coalition this year. Let’s face it: This November, we’re not likely to be looking forward to a GOP landslide! The last two presidential elections were close—the GOP won 271 electoral votes in ’00, and 286 in ’04—and we fully expect the ’08 election to be hard-fought and close, too, as both parties wrestle to get the majority of those 538 electoral votes. What does all this mean to Republican activists? Well, it means that the next Republican nominee has to be able to nail down the electoral votes of such “must-win” states in the South and Border States—exactly the states where Mike Huckabee has done so well this year. Hard-nosed political activists know that it doesn’t do much good, November-wise, to run well in the blue bicoastal states. Sure, it would be great to carry New York and Massachusetts and California, but those mostly liberal states aren’t a part of any gut-it-out “270” strategy. (In fact, we think that Mike Huckabee would actually run stronger among traditional Independent and Democratic constituencies than any other Republican, but that’ll be the subject of a future memo.)

And now, with the endorsement of Dr. James Dobson, who is the “gold standard” of social conservatism, we fully expect that Movement Conservatives—those who fight the good fight on Life, on Marriage, on the Second Amendment—will increasingly rally to our cause. In fact, come to think of it, any American who reveres the US Constitution has a stake in Mike Huckabee’s success, because he has been an unstinting proponent of all our Constitutional freedoms, including the First Amendment, which he believes has been wrongly abridged by wrong-headed campaign finance “reform” legislation. Of course, there is one amendment that MH doesn’t like: The 16th Amendment. That one was a mistake, which he will fix with the Fair Tax!

Mike Huckabee has great respect for John McCain. He has always defended the senior senator from Arizona against unfair and scurrilous attacks, and he always will. And because MH is who he is, he will continue to campaign as he always has—in an honorable and honest way. He will draw distinctions, he will debate and debate hard, but he will always be civil and decent. In fact, even many McCain supporters have told us that they appreciate the constructive role that Governor Huckabee can play in the months to come, because a vigorous discussion will keep all the media “oxygen” from migrating over to the heated Democratic contest.

Faith. Family. Freedom. Those are the words that have guided Mike Huckabee this far, and they will continue to guide him, and us, all the way to the White House next January. The 44th governor of Arkansas will be the 44th President of the United States.

See you at the Inauguration!

Dr. James Dobson Endorses Huckabee

From the Associated Press today:

James Dobson, one of the nation's most prominent evangelical Christian leaders, backed Mike Huckabee's presidential bid Thursday night, giving the former Arkansas governor a long-sought endorsement as the Republican field narrowed to a two-man race.

In a statement first obtained by The Associated Press, Dobson reiterated his declaration on Super Tuesday that he could not in good conscience vote for John McCain, the front-runner, because of concerns over the Arizona senator's conservative credentials.

"The remaining candidate for whom I could vote is Governor Huckabee," Dobson said. "His unwavering positions on the social issues, notably the institution of marriage, the importance of faith and the sanctity of human life, resonate deeply with me and with many others."

Dobson criticized McCain for his support of embryonic stem cell research, his opposition to a federal anti-gay marriage amendment and for his temper and use of foul language. He said he'd sit out the presidential election if McCain were the nominee.

John Green, a senior fellow with the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, said Dobson's endorsement can help Huckabee in upcoming Southern states — Louisiana votes Saturday.

"It is rather late in the game," Green said. "But Dr. Dobson is well known for sticking to his guns. It doesn't surprise me this late in the game he would make an announcement like this because it fits in well with what he's been saying. He really doesn't want a moderate Republican nominee, he wants a conservative."

Dobson emphasizes that when he endorses candidates, he is doing so as a private citizen and not as a representative of Focus on the Family, a tax-exempt organization he founded. His endorsement of Huckabee was to be e-mailed to 110,000 people through Focus on the Family Action, a separate entity that is allowed to be more politically active, Schneeberger said.

February 7, 2008

Huck's Army Reaching Out to Romney Supporters

Huck's Army releases the following press release after Romney's departure from the race:

Huck's Army troops: Huckabee's conservative credentials are real
McCain will struggle to beat Hillary or Obama in the South -- Huckabee won't

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The 17,000 grassroots "troops" of HucksArmy.com are encouraging Gov. Mitt Romney supporters to take another look at Huckabee. They have set up a welcome and question and answer forum at http://forum.hucksarmy.com where Romney and Huckabee supporters can interact.

"Although many have been misinformed, we really believe that Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney have similar credentials and conservative positions," said Lucas Roebuck, Public Affairs Officer for HucksArmy.com.

NO TAX INCREASES: Both Huckabee and Romney signed the Americans for Tax Reform Taxpayer Protection Pledge. John McCain has not signed the pledge (atr.org).

ENERGY INDEPENDENCE: Both Huckabee and Romney have said energy independence is vital for American security and would make it a top priority of the administration.

GUBERNATORIAL EXPERIENCE: Both Huckabee and Romney believe that the experience of being governor is most beneficial when preparing for the presidency. Romney was governor for a term in Massachusetts; Huckabee was governor of Arkansas for over a decade.

SECURE THE BORDER NOW: Both Huckabee and Romney opposed amnesty. Both support getting the Mexican/American border fence done in the first months of the next president's term.

SANCTITY OF LIFE: "We must promote a culture of life," said Romney. No candidate has done more to promote life than Mike Huckabee, according to the National Right to Life PAC.

Huckabee supporters also believe Huckabee is the most electable GOP candidate at this point.

"Republicans don't win if they don't carry the south," Roebuck said. "McCain may be polling well in national polls, but how will he do against an Obama or Clinton in the critical Southern states? Both Barack and Hillary have a unique appeal to the South that only Huckabee can negate."

If Obama is the candidate, Huckabee's oratory excellence will be critical in national Republican debates.

"Huckabee is clearly the best GOP debater," Roebuck said. "He's the one who will be able to face down the siren rhetoric of Obama in the general election."

About HucksArmy.com

With core values of faith, family and freedom, HucksArmy.com is an online grassroots movement not owned or operated by any candidate or political campaign. With more than 17,000 recruits, HucksArmy.com is dedicated to mobilize support for candidates who honor God and country.

Romney Drops Out, Huckabee Goes On

The big news of the day -- it's about time:

Huckabee’s campaign said Thursday he will continue his quest for the Republican nomination now that Romney is out of the race.

“We know it's an uphill climb, but we knew that a year ago when we announced,” said Kirsten Fedewa, a Huckabee spokeswoman.

She said Huckabee’s campaign planned to “press forward.”

With Romney out, McCain is considered by most to be the presumptive frontrunner. That said, Huckabee strung together an impressive slew of Southern victories on Super Tuesday, winning contests in his home state as well as West Virginia, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

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Huckabee's Super Tuesday Miracle

From Doug Wead, presidential historian and New York Times best-selling author, on Huckabee's establishment-shocking showing on Tuesday:

It’s a good morning in the Huckabee nation. Written off by experts and urged by a drumbeat of pundits to drop out of the presidential race, Mike Huckabee surged to victories last night in Arkansas, West Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama and came within one percentage point of taking Missouri and Oklahoma, as well.

For the last week, as if orchestrated by the very same talking points, all the giants of talk radio and FOX News poured on the heat to force Mike Huckabee out of the race and let Mitt Romney have a chance to stop John McCain.

Huckabee was on the ropes, they said. He had lost the close one in South Carolina and that had been his make or break point for the nomination. They said Huckabee wasn’t a true conservative, anyway. Only Romney had the money and the support now to make the difference.

The networks all caved into this reasoning, relegating Huckabee to the end of the bench at the GOP CNN, Reagan Library Debate, making it a defacto race between McCain and Romney.

It seemed to be working. When the anti-Huckabee campaign began he was actually tied with Romney in national polls and leading in several Super Tuesday states. Huckabee supporters desperately tried to point all of this out but in the Boston-New York-Washington corridor the perception becomes the reality. The polls, reluctantly but very clearly began moving in the direction the pundits were ordering. Romney seemed to inch up from Huckabee, showed promise in California and would win Missouri if only Huckabee would only drop out.

By the morning of Super Tuesday, the drumbeats were intense. A commentator on FOX openly sneering at Huckabee’s effrontery at staying in the race. Some were now saying that he would lose his own home state of Arkansas. But they were wrong. Their evidence, their opinions were all incestuous ideas developed over drinks at the same receptions in Georgetown.

The Huckabee nation, give them credit, stayed calm. Their man was the true conservative, they pointed out. He had not changed his positions on civil unions for gays or abortion or any of the other so called litmus tests that Romney had been forced to violate to win the governor’s mansion in Massachusetts, arguably the most liberal state in the nation. Huck’s tax plan was libertarian. And the votes that left him in Florida did not go to Romney, they went to McCain. And why? The media who had for a year declared Rudolph Giuliani the likely GOP nominee didn’t want to know.

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