Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Huckabee Leads 2012 Field in WSJ/NBC Poll

Following right on the heels of the POLITICO/George Washington University poll comes another poll of national favorables — this one from the Wall Street Journal and NBC:


1. Mike Huckabee (26/25, +1)
2. Mitt Romney (21/30, -9)
3. Newt Gingrich (24/35, -11)
4. Sarah Palin (30/48, -18)

Read the full results...

Analysis: As some will point out, the better known a candidate is, the higher their unfavorables. But Huckabee beats Romney by 10 points, despite identical name identification — and he nearly matches Palin's total favorables (the highest in the lot), despite her far greater name recognition. This has been a good week for Huckabee.

PPP: Huckabee Leads in WV, Trails in CA and MI

Public Policy Polling releases their latest 2012 state polls — for California, Michigan, and West Virginia. They will have Illinois and North Carolina numbers later this week:


1. Mitt Romney (24 percent)
2. Newt Gingrich (21 percent)
3. Sarah Palin (18 percent)
4. Mike Huckabee (17 percent)


1. Mitt Romney (30 percent)
2. Sarah Palin (17 percent)
3. Newt Gingrich (16 percent)
4. Mike Huckabee (14 percent)

West Virginia:

1. Mike Huckabee (27 percent)
2. Sarah Palin (24 percent)
3. Newt Gingrich (16 percent)
4. Mitt Romney (13 percent)

Full results here...

Analysis: While Huckabee supporters would wish it otherwise, it is not surprising that Huckabee trails Romney, Gingrich, and Palin in the first two. Neither were strong states for him in 2008. But Huckabee leads the field in West Virginia in almost every category, including men and women, every age group, and among moderates and conservatives. The only group he fails to win is self-described "liberals," proving his controversial victory in the 2008 primary was no fluke. With high national favorables, a bigger platform, out-of-the-gate grassroots and fundraising, and enduring support in the states where he won last time — Huckabee should only improve on his 2008 showing.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Halperin: Huckabee with Substantial Iowa Support

The Globe Gazette (based in Mason City) has a great article on Mark Halperin and John Heileman in Iowa, working on their 2012 sequel to the 2008, behind-the-scenes book Game Change — with the following analysis of the 2012 caucus:

THE RACE FOR 2012: It’s a wide open Republican field in 2012 with more than a dozen possible GOP presidential candidates, and Heilemann said the race is shaping upto be the most competitive he’s ever seen.

Halperin said he sees seven main contenders in 2012, three of whom are Fox News contributors. Halperin believes former Georgia congressman Newt Gingrigh, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels are the most likely to make deep runs for the nomination.

Halperin isn’t picking a Republican who might fare best in Iowa in 2012, but said Huckabee, won the 2008 GOP Iowa caucus, still has a lot of supporters in the state.

“His Fox role has helped that too. He’s the reigning champ, but I think it’s too soon to say the potential that some of the others would have,” Halperin said.

Heilemann named Huckabee, Palin and Gingrich as Republicans who would play well in Iowa in 2012, with Palin appealing to Christian conservatives and Huckabee having substantial continuing support. He said Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty would likely have a hard time nosing his way into the top tier of candidates, unless he found a key issue to make inroads.

Read the whole thing...

411 Politics: Most Likely GOP Nominee in 2012

411mania.com — a user-driven, pop-culture site — puts together a collection of rankings for the GOP nomination for president in 2012. The rankings are far from scientific, but Huckabee shows up in a number of the submitted lists, along with good-to-great analysis:

2. Mike Huckabee - Has the ego and charisma to connect with voters. Has executive experience. The fact that he's been out of office for a few years, allows him to brand himself as an "outsider". Will appeal to social conservatives. Good in debates. Moderates may be scared off by his extreme social conservatism.


1. Mike Huckabee - I put him first because he has run one campaign and is the host of his own show on Fox News. This gives him a ready platform to espouse his ideas and to increase his name recognition. His positions are basic republican positions and he has nothing in his past to contradict this.


3. Mike Huckabee - This is your stereotypical GOP golden boy (I don't mean that in a negative sense, mind you). Strong religious/moral background as a former pastor of the Baptist Church, Reagan fiscal acolyte, wealth of experience as a two term governor in a liberal leaning state, strong 2nd amendment advocate, capital punishment supporter, strong anti-abortion stance, national notoriety, good deal of personality (performs in his own rock band... seriously),and an overall likable/approachable guy. In addition to all of that, according to a recent Public Policy Polling presidential survey that was posted a week or so ago, care to take a guess who the only Republican was that beat out president Obama in a hypothetical head to head 2012 match up? It was Mike Huckabee, beating out Obama 47 to 44. So why don't I have him higher on the list? There are two things the Huckster lacks that #1 and #2 on this list have going for them-Voter Anger, and Balance. I will explain as you read on.


2. Mike Huckabee - Mike Huckabee is the candidate that even liberals can't hate. He appears to be a real person as opposed to the fake Romney. He ruined Romney's early strategy by winning Iowa with no money and very little name recognition. This time around he'll be able to raise money and everyone knows Mike with his Fox News show and great appearances on the Colbert Report. His preacher background will make him stand out in a crowded field of Republicans.


1. Mike Huckabee - In August Mike Huckabee won the Iowa Straw Poll beating out Romney, Gingrich and Palin. He's widely considered to be the favorite among the Republican Party apparatchiks and he's kept a pretty positive public profile with his Fox News gig. Provided that Sarah Palin doesn't eclipse him in the eyes of the Republican establishment, it is likely that he will end up being the nominee for president. Though primaries are known for candidates running far to the left or right depending on which party we are talking about, for some reason the nominee ends up being the safe bet rather than the really exciting or polarizing figure (see John Kerry's nomination over Howard Dean). Huckabee has made major inroads with national Republican Party and seems to have moderated his image such to the point that he's being referred to as the "American Mullah" anymore. I think that many will see him as a likely candidate to beat Obama even though he's not the ideal conservative candidate in many people's eyes. Many people agree with the idea that you should vote for the most (in this case) conservative candidate that can win the election. Out of all 17 people running, the only one that really fits that definition at this time is Huckabee.

Read the whole thing...

POLITICO: Huckabee Polls Best for 2012

The latest Politico/George Washington University Battleground poll is out, and it's good news for Governor Huckabee — who beats out all the other potential GOP candidates:

Favorable (Strongly and Somewhat)

1. Mike Huckabee (49 percent)
2. Mitt Romney (45 percent)
3. Sarah Palin (44 percent)
4. Newt Gingrich (39 percent)

Strongly Favorable

1. Mike Huckabee (23 percent)
2. Sarah Palin (22 percent)
3. Newt Gingrich (17 percent)
4. Mitt Romney (16 percent)

Unfavorable (Strongly and Somewhat)

1. Mike Huckabee (25 percent)
2. Mitt Romney (28 percent)
3. Newt Gingrich (39 percent)
4. Sarah Palin (49 percent)

Strongly Unfavorable

1. Mike Huckabee (14 percent)
2. Mitt Romney (15 percent)
3. Newt Gingrich (29 percent)
4. Sarah Palin (39 percent)

Analysis: While poll watchers rightly point out that both Huckabee and Romney do well (Gingrich and Palin, not so much), Huckabee is the clear winner. Particularly, his strong favorables are over 25 percent higher than Romney's, who comes in 4th — another indication that Romney's support is shallow compared to the rest of the field.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Huckabee on the "Pledge to America"

Governor Huckabee has posted some great thoughts on the House Republican's recently released "Pledge to America" — which you can read in full here:

I read with great interest "A Pledge to America" introduced today by Republican Congressional leaders.

The 21 page document contains many good core conservative ideals - but as my parents taught me as a small child - the proof is always in the puddin'.

Republican Congressional leaders have pledged "to advance policies that promote greater liberty, wider opportunity, a robust defense, and national economic prosperity;" and "to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values."

These are all very good things and like many, I will be watching to see what concrete steps Republicans offer to actually stop out of control spending, reduce the size of the federal government, repeal Obamacare, reduce our growing deficit and solve unemployment. These principles are fundamental to conservatism and there's no doubt in my mind that a Conservative Congress can accomplish these things - or at the very least, serve as a backstop to prevent President Obama's radical liberal agenda.

However, personally, I wish they would've also pushed for term limits and a balanced budget amendment because - many groups like the Tea Party are sick and tired of career politicians and budgets that saddle our children will trillions in debt.

I am glad though that Republican Congressional leaders are willing to put forth a pledge that clearly outlines the difference between conservatives and liberals because elections matter. After all, we've seen what we get with a liberal Congress: universal healthcare, higher taxes, weak foreign policy, refusal to acknowledge the use of the term "terrorist" or "terrorism," weaker borders and amnesty talk, extreme government spending and a certain level of disregard for the sanctity of marriage and life.

"A Pledge To America" shows the clear differences in the two parties and motivates voters to support conservatives this election . . . and that's a good thing. Also, when you provide voters with a checklist of what conservatives stand for and should do in office - voters can more easily hold members of Congress accountable - and if our GOP Congressional leadership fails to honor their "Pledge to America" we will vote them out too.

Read the whole thing...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Huckabee and Unions = Strength for 2012

Philip Dine, a Washington-based journalist, author, and expert on labor issues (see his website, here), has an editorial in the Washington Times that argues that the Republican nominee in 2012 should look to draw more support from unions. He explains:

Now, it's true that unions inevitably support a Democrat for president. But members' votes are more complex. More than a quarter of rank-and-filers are Republicans; in some unions, the number tops 40 percent. Then there are the Reagan Democrats/NASCAR dads/blue-collar conservatives who helped elect Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. And the continuing high unemployment rate and other concerns might put even some other Democratic members' votes in play.

In recent national elections, one-quarter of all voters have come from union households. Among this group, three-quarters have chosen the union-endorsed candidate. This means that the Republican starts at a distinct disadvantage, having to win 58 percent of the rest of the vote just to pull even, while the union-endorsed candidate needs only 42 percent of the remainder to secure half of the electorate.

So the more a Republican presidential candidate cuts into the union vote, the easier his overall task is.

Dine then turns his attention to which Republican candidates are most positively perceived by "union folk." Topping the list? Governor Mike Huckabee:

Mike Huckabee: Much good will here. Though the media explained his strong showing in the 2008 primaries by his religious appeal, this was just one factor. Mr. Huckabee is a rare Republican who speaks the language of the working people, not of corporate America (which is why he's distrusted by Wall Street and the GOP establishment), while welcoming union support (including last time from teachers and machinists). With him, working-class social conservatives don't have to sacrifice their economic interests.

This is high praise, especially when you read Dine's evaluations of the other GOP contenders. Palin and Pawlenty round out the top three, but both are a mixed bag:

Sarah Palin: Ridiculed by many union folks, revered by others; not much different from among the population as a whole. It's less her views than questions about her qualifications that turn off some, but others admire her independence and moxie. Being married to a card-carrying union member doesn't hurt her standing, but being vague about job creation does.

Tim Pawlenty: Seen by some as a fiscal conservative who relates to average people. A former labor lawyer (for management), he's not particularly friendly to labor. He displays concern about what he calls "Sam's Club" people and their struggles, while warning the GOP not to be the party of the "country club." But he did himself no favor by recently opposing federal aid to states to prevent teacher layoffs.

And bringing up the rear, Romney, Daniels, Gingrich, and DeMint:

Mitt Romney: Widely viewed as a champion of the wealthy and business executives. Although he is grudgingly respected for his knowledge of economics, his opinions are strongly opposed.

Mitch Daniels: Aggressively took on Indiana's public employees; no love lost here.

Newt Gingrich: Fuggedaboutit.

Jim DeMint: Seen as a bomb thrower; talks frequently of the need to confront "union bosses." He might gain an audience if he occasionally mentioned the problems wrought by "corporate bosses." Actually not, after he put a hold on a qualified presidential nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration after the attempted Christmas airplane bombing. His aim: to prevent TSA workers from forming a union.

Granted, many Republicans support positions union members would oppose — but when it comes to defeating Obama in 2012, Dine's analysis provides a glimpse at a hidden demographic for the GOP, one missed by pundits and pollsters: the blue-collar worker.

As I have noted elsewhere on this blog — and Dine confirms — this is a demographic with which Huckabee has earned a lot of credibility and goodwill, and long before it was the popular thing to do. If he runs, which I hope he does, it could serve him well.

Read Dine's full editorial here.

Chuck Norris Fundraises for HuckPAC

Chuck Norris, martial arts legend and Huckabee endorser in 2008, is back in the saddle raising funds for his friend Mike. From POLITICO's Morning Score:

2012 WATCH - LIKE OLD TIMES: Martial arts star Chuck Norris, the most influential and popular endorser of Mike Huckabee's 2008 campaign, is making another pitch for the former Arkansas governor in a fundraising e-mail today for Huckabee's PAC. "I've been watching with interest as conservatives in state after state go to the polls to express their frustration with the status quo in Washington. You and I are witnessing a powerful moment in our nation's history," Norris writes. "We must get more involved today and help Mike Huckabee and Huck PAC fight for strong conservatives. If we don't, then we will have lost a great opportunity to elect candidates who will work to turn this country around." Norris even raises the thought of Huckabee in the White House: "Had we elected Mike in 2008, things would have been very different today - they'd be better."

Read the whole thing...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Huckabee on Pre-Existing Conditions

After receiving criticism over his (misunderstood) comments about the Obamacare and pre-existing conditions, Huckabee has released a statement through HuckPAC.

I can relate with those who criticized (if not with their colorful choice of words). As a young husband navigating the health insurance world for the first time this past year, the elimination of pre-existing conditions was the one thing I kind of liked about the new health plan. Huckabee's comments struck me as odd — and perhaps politically unwise — even though I saw his logic. Regardless, I was glad to see him comment.

His statement is both clarifying and typical Huckabee — genuine, common sense, and refreshing. It reminded me again of why I so appreciate his approach to politics:

Contrary to published reports I believe that there is a way to cover people with pre-existing conditions. I have said that from a practical standpoint, it doesn't make sense to demand that every private health insurer be required to cover all people with pre-existing conditions. Forcing companies to take on uninsurable patients is no different than what we did in forcing banks to give mortgages to people who they knew couldn't pay them back, and look where that got us. However, what does make sense is to separate the uninsured from the uninsurable. There are people who are uninsurable through no fault of their own.

In fact, I am very familiar with the challenges of getting insurance in the face of pre-existing conditions since my own wife had cancer when we were 20 years old and just married - she was uninsurable for the next 10 years.

I truly believe those people should be covered and can be covered by individual states creating pools that provide coverage for people in high-risk categories.

What I said at the Value Voters Summit was that in today's economy we must take a realistic look at demanding that private companies provide coverage that will put them out of business. I have said for many years that the key to providing affordable health care for individuals is working to get people into healthier lifestyles. For example, obesity among our children is a growing epidemic. Thirty and forty years ago children were not fat because they played outside, rode bicycles, and didn't eat much junk food or sit in front of the computer playing video games. For the first time in our history, children will have shorter life spans than their parents and grandparents - and that's sad.

Right now, our system is a treat-the-snake-bite system. The system doesn't cover a $40 pro-active health screening, but the system does cover a $400,000 quadruple bi-pass. It's upside down and nonsensical. Instead of covering the health screening that might have caught the heart problem, our system is designed to help you only after you're sick.

I oppose Obamacare because the Democrats have tried to make the American health care system the enemy. It isn't - poor health of the American people is the real enemy. What's truly necessary is a cultural transformation in the way we eat, exercise and use our leisure time. Given the state of the American economy and the growing size of our deficit, realistically we have to know that we can't possibly sustain the type of system that became law in March.

Read the whole thing...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Politico: Huckabee, Palin Bid for Conservative Base

Andy Barr and Jessica Taylor of POLITICO have written a long article on Huckabee and Palin's competing bids for the conservative base of the Republican party:

Throughout the primary election season, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee have made different — and often rival — bets on candidates in a wide variety of races. It’s a happenstance that has some Republicans wondering if there is more to the rivalry than meets the eye, since the two former governors share a similar ideological space within the party.

Both camps downplay the idea that there is a low-intensity conflict taking place and deny that any animosity exists. Publicly, the two rarely talk about each other.

Still, it’s hard not to notice how frequently the two outside-the-establishment presidential prospects have lined up against each other this year.


Bob Vander Plaats, who was endorsed by Huckabee in the Iowa governor’s race, told POLITICO that he was shocked when Palin endorsed former Gov. Terry Branstad, the eventual winner.

“Our campaign, myself included, was more than a bit surprised that Sarah would endorse Branstad,” said Vander Plaats, a favorite among Iowa’s grass-roots conservatives. “If she prided herself in going rogue and endorsing the conservative candidate or tea party candidate, we just didn’t see Branstad fitting that mold at all.”

“Was she doing that because Huckabee endorsed me? Did she do that because a poll showed Branstad winning in Iowa?” asked the still-puzzled former gubernatorial candidate. “She seems to be all over the board. I think Huckabee has shown a lot of consistency in his endorsements.”


“There are several occasions where Gov. Huckabee and Gov. Palin endorse different candidates and many where they endorse the same candidate — that’s just politics,” [HuckPAC director, Hogan] Gidley said. “Whether front-runner, underdog or somewhere in between, it makes no difference. HuckPAC supports conservative Republicans who are passionate advocates for human life, tax reform, a strong national defense, real border security, the family, less government and individual liberty.”

Huckabee isn’t completely unaware of his overlapping constituency with Palin. When Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) selected Palin as his running mate, the former Arkansas governor publicly made a point of noting their similar profiles.


Asked about Huckabee’s past comments regarding Palin, Gidley said that “the media often take Gov. Huckabee’s comments out of context, and there is no conflict with Gov. Palin.”

“In fact, Gov. Huckabee has said repeatedly — even in interviews documented by POLITICO — he personally likes Gov. Palin and what her popularity brings to the Republican Party,” Gidley added. “Any perceived animosity or feud is a fabrication of the media.”

Read the whole thing...

After Huckabee Prod, Obama Goes to Church

Just two days after Huckabee suggested that President Obama could quiet rumors about his faith by attending church — the First Family worships publicly for just the third time in almost two years. Ben Smith has the story and draws the connection here:

President Barack Obama, beset by substantial public doubts about his religion and right-wing suspicions that he is Muslim, took a few steps on Sunday to dispel those image problems: He and his family crossed Lafayette Park to St. John’s Episcopal Church, just the third time he has worshipped in public since he became president last year.


At the Values Voter Summit on Saturday, Mike Huckabee was quoted as saying that Obama could quell rumors about his faith by “leading the example of attending worship” and mentioned that Obama once talked of finding a home church in Washington.

“I hope he’s still mapping that out,” Huckabee said.

Read the whole thing...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Huckabee 2nd in Values Voter Straw Poll

Via a "special update" text from FRC Action. More to come...

VVS 2010 Presidential Straw Poll RUNNER-UP is Gov. Mike Huckabee - Who will win? Stay tuned...

Update 1: If the winner is Romney, Palin, or Gingrich (or even Santorum), this could be cause for concern. If the winner is Pence or DeMint or someone else, not so much.

Update 2: Mike Pence places first with 24 percent, followed by Huckabee (22 percent), Romney (13 percent), Gingrich (10 percent), and Palin (7 percent). Apart from a win, this is a best case scenario for Governor Huckabee.

Update 3: Pence is a true conservative, but unlikely to run for President in 2012. Hopefully this boosts his chances as future governor of Indiana. For Huckabee, he continues to dominate Romney, Gingrich, and Palin among values voters.

Update 4: My final analysis is that Pence just gave a better speech than Huckabee this year. Mild disappointment for Huckabee. Major disappointment for Palin and Santorum — his biggest challengers for the social conservative vote.

Update 5: Full results, with vote totals here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

PPP: Huckabee Tops Obama, Entire GOP Field

Public Policy Polling (D) has their latest monthly 2012 poll results — and it is all great news for Huckabee. He is the only member of the GOP field to top Obama in a head-to-head matchup, the only Republican to beat Obama among independents, and the only Republican with positive favorability ratings. He also pulls nearly 1 out of 5 Democrat votes. Across the board, it is a dominating showing for the Governor:

Mike Huckabee is the only possible GOP contender polling ahead of Obama this month, at 47/44. Going from arguably most pleasant to most angry across the spectrum of leading Republicans you then have Obama ahead of Mitt Romney 46-43, Newt Gingrich 47-43, Sarah Palin 49-43, and Glenn Beck 48-39.

Huckabee is the only candidate we polled this month to post positive favorability numbers, at 35/32. That's because he's relatively inoffensive to Democrats with only 44% having an unfavorable opinion of him. Mitt Romney's favorability numbers are only slightly negative at 33/35. The rest of the GOP folks are highly unpopular with Beck's favorability at 31/41, Palin's at 38/52, and Gingrich's at 30/50.

Read the whole thing...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

POLITICO: Huckabee, Tea Party, and 2012

As Ben Smith notes, POLITICO has a long article this morning on the Tea Party and 2012 — "a Huckabee party." I can't disagree. Who are the anti-establishment candidates in 2012? Palin, Huckabee, and (possibly) Ron Paul. We haven't seen Palin actually run a campaign, but we know Huckabee can — on less money and powered by grassroots:

Putting the issue matrix aside, imagine a primary that looks more like the Iowa caucuses in 2008, where Mike Huckabee had little cash and less infrastructure but won in a romp because he was in sync with the grassroots and running against the establishment.

“There are moments I think, gee, I got into this two years too early,” Huckabee quipped in a POLITICO interview Wednesday.

As veteran Republicans like Sen. Robert Bennett in Utah and Rep. Mike Castle (the front-runner knocked off by O’Donnell) go down in flames, it may also signal an end to the venerable GOP tradition of presidential primogeniture. Grassroots conservatives right now want a candidate who will take on the status quo, not one who has waited his turn to carry the party’s banner in the fashion of Bob Dole or George H.W. Bush. This time out, Romney has figured to be the beneficiary of the it’s-his-turn instinct.

Issues such as TARP—the bipartisan program to bail out failing banks--could join abortion and other cultural issues as new litmus tests in the Tea Party era.

“Every person who voted for it is going to have explain if not apologize for their vote on it,” warned Huckabee, of the 2008 financial bailout. “It doesn’t wash to say, “Things would have been so much worse if we hadn’t done it.’”

Money will still be important in 2012, Huckabee said, but he added: “The wonderful thing out of the Tea Party movement is it causes money to matter less.”

Read the whole thing...

Huckabee to Endorse, Campaign for Rand Paul

From today's edition of POLITICO's Morning Score — Huckabee to endorse and campaign for Rand Paul and Todd Lally in Kentucky later this month.

This is surprising (at least, in the case of Paul), because Huckabee has always had well-reasoned reservations about libertarian ideology. It is unsurprising, because Huckabee knows he will need Tea Party support in 2012 — and because, since January, his former campaign manager, Chip Saltsman, has been consulting the Paul campaign.

2012 SNEAK PEEK - HUCKA-TEA - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will travel to Kentucky this month to campaign for two of the 2010 cycle's original tea party insurgents: Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul and House candidate Todd Lally. He'll formally endorse both of them and hold separate events to boost their campaigns, likely on Sept. 25. It's almost a distant memory in a post-9/14 world, but it was in Kentucky back on May 18 that the tea party revolt first exploded this year.

Read the whole thing...

As Alexander Burns, the man behind Morning Score, points out — this is all about 2012.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Huckabee Stumps for Brady in Marion, IL

WSIL TV has a great story (with a video) on Huckabee's stop in Illinois to campaign for Bill Brady in his race for governor — including analysis of Huckabee, Illinois, and 2012:

he Bill Brady campaign brought a well-known republican to Marion Tuesday to help with the race for Illinois governor.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee delivered Brady’s message like a pro Tuesday. He may have been delivering a message of his own as well.

Huckabee knows something about campaigning and rallying the base.

Despite raising relatively little money, Huckabee managed to win the Iowa Caucuses in the 2008 race for the Republican presidential nomination. That success propelled him to a series of primary wins in the South.

Huckabee was the last candidate to concede the Republican presidential nomination to Senator John McCain.

Since 2008, Huckabee’s voice has grown in the Republican Party. He currently has a talk show on Fox News.


Brady told reporters he admired Huckabee’s record of fiscal conservatism, and promised to emulate it if he’s elected.

“[Huckabee ]knows how to rebuild an economy, how to lower the burden of taxes on families and businesses, [how] to grow private sector jobs and spend state resources [responsibly]," Brady said.

Huckabee and Brady—who are also social conservatives-- find especially friendly crowds in southern Illinois, making Marion a good place for Huckabee to focus on national issues as well.


David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, covered Huckabee during the 2008 presidential primary.

“Governor Huckabee's visit to Southern Illinois is politics at a couple of levels. First, he's helping the Republican candidate for governor. Second, he's helping himself run for president in 2012," Yepsen said.

Huckabee said he doesn’t know if he’ll run for president again, but drumming up support for Brady now could be helpful in a couple of years.

“In 2012, Illinois will have an early primary,” Yepsen said.

“Republican candidates will come out of the contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada and they’re going to be looking at Illinois, Barack Obama’s home state, and they’re going to want to do well.”

If Brady becomes governor, his endorsement would help.

Read the whole thing...

The Guardian Corrects Itself on Huckabee

On Monday the UK's The Guardian ran a feature on Sarah Palin and Iowa in 2012 — including a short dismissal of Huckabee, the 2008 caucus winner:

A Des Moines Register poll in June gave Romney a 62% favourability rating among Republicans, Palin 58% and Gingrich 56%. Others trailed well behind. Mike Huckabee, who won in 2008, has ruled himself out of the race.

After an outcry by Huckabee supporters (and observant members of the public), The Guardian corrected itself, running both a correction and amending the online article:

A story from Iowa about visits to the midwest state by potential Republican presidential candidates said that Mike Huckabee – who ran for the party's presidential nomination in 2008 – had ruled himself out of contention for the 2012 race. What he has said is that he will not decide whether to seek the nomination until after the 2010 midterm elections.

And the amended article reads:

A Des Moines Register poll in June gave Romney a 62% favourability rating among Republicans, Palin 58% and Gingrich 56%. Others trailed well behind. Asked why the poll omitted Mike Huckabee, who won in 2008, the Register said that Huckabee had ruled himself out of the race. However, his stance seems to be that he will not make a decision or announcement about 2012 until the 2010 election is over.

Read the whole thing...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Huckabee at Michigan Chamber of Commerce Dinner

Huckabee played hard for Michigan in 2008 — some said to the detriment of his chances in South Carolina. In retrospect, with his unique role in voicing concern for the blue-collar worker in 2007-08, he probably deserved to do better than he did (3rd, with 16 percent).

All of this makes it all the more interesting that he is speaking at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce's annual Future Forum dinner tonight. Another hint at 2012?

Fox News host and ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will talk about what he calls "common sense solutions" for Michigan and the nation during the Michigan Chamber of Commerce's annual Future Forum event.

Huckabee will discuss issues from education to health care and manufacturing as the evening's keynote speaker at Tuesday afternoon's forum in East Lansing. It's at the Kellogg Center on the Michigan State University campus.

Huckabee ran in the 2008 GOP presidential primary before dropping out. He's considered a possible 2012 presidential candidate.

Fox News commentator Glenn Beck was the keynote speaker at last year's Future Forum

Read the whole thing...

Monday, September 13, 2010

American Thinker: Huckabee's "Tax Me More" Fund

Up this morning on American Thinker is an article by Bruce Walker praising Huckabee's ingenious "Tax Me More" fund in Arkansas — which has since been emulated in Virginia, Kansas, Oregon, and Alaska. Walker thinks we need a federal fund:

Huge numbers of these "rich" Americans are leftists, and yet these rich leftists try to reduce their tax burden as much as possible. If the best government policy towards wealth is to tax it heavily, then why don't leftists lead the way? Isn't this sort of leadership -- leadership by example -- the most effective?

Mike Huckabee, when he was Governor of Arkansas nine years ago, created the "Tax Me More Fund" which allowed those leftists in the state who felt that tax rates should be higher to send a check to this fund, which would be used to help the general revenue crisis that Arkansas was facing at the time. Huckabee did not have the support of the Arkansas Legislature. He did not even have the support of Republicans in the legislature. But he acted anyway.


These leftists passionately argue that soaking the rich is good public policy...and they are "the rich." So why don't these leftists put their money where their mouths are? Why doesn't President Obama challenge them to pay more for the cost of the federal government voluntarily? Obama might be able to establish a "Tax Me More Fund" by executive order, as Huckabee did, but would it not make more sense to seek a bipartisan consensus? Why not ask Congress to formalize the "Tax Me More" for the rich in the tax code?

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Geraldo Rivera: I Would Vote for Huckabee

Over on the pop culture site PopEater, FOX News' resident (and self-proclaimed) "Obama Republican" Geraldo Rivera talks about his differences with — and support of — Huckabee:

I'm sorry, but I still find it fascinating that you are at FOX. Do you get along with Mike Huckabee?

He's a great guy. Obviously I don't agree with him on a lot of issues -- abortion and immigration foremost -- but he's a wonderful guy. I would vote for him.

How could you vote for him if you disagree on key issues?

Because sometimes honor is more important and he is a very honorable guy. I consider myself an Obama Republican. I'm liberal to moderate on most issues.

Read the whole thing...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Barbour: Huckabee a Formidable Candidate

After fragments of Mississippi governor and RGA head Haley Barbour's comments about Huckabee came out earlier this week, The Fix has fuller remarks. Barbour, another 2012 hopeful, has been described by many as the de facto leader of the GOP:

While Barbour was tight-lipped about his own White House prospects, he spoke at length about another possible contender, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R).

"Mike's got a following," Barbour said on Wednesday. "He was 10 years governor of Arkansas and was very much in the middle of things in 2008. He's got a popular TV show. If he chose to run again, I think he's got a starting place. But I think that's all anybody's got, is a starting place."

Barbour added that he expects the 2012 primary to be "a very, very wide-open nomination contest, but if Mike ran, I think he would be a formidable candidate."

Asked whether he thinks former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) may run, Barbour was less effusive. "I have no idea," he said.

Read the whole thing...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Jefferson Thomas: Little Rock 9 Member Liked Mike

Jefferson Thomas, one of the nine black students to integrate a Little Rock high school in the historic battle over school segregation, died on Sunday at age 68. In the AP story on his death, Thomas is quoted expressing his affection for Huckabee:

Following the 2008 election, Thomas said in an interview that he supported Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Ohio primary and he also liked former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who made a bid for the Republican nomination.

"It would have been a hard decision for me to make if Huckabee was running against Obama," Thomas added.

Still, he said, he was overjoyed with Obama's victory.

Read the whole thing...

Following yesterday's article noting Huckabee's appeal to black voters, this is yet another (extraordinary) example of the appreciation he has cultivated through years of civic leadership — that a Democrat-leaning member of a group of black civil rights heroes would have been torn in a general election between Huckabee and Obama. Wow.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Huckabee and His Base: 2008 and 2012

Over at RightOSphere, blog contributor Jonathan has a blog post identifying reasons Huckabee ultimately failed to win the nomination in 2008 — despite his thrilling surge from asterisk to frontrunner. Here is one of his observations, followed by my commentary:

1.) Failure to expand his base: This could mean several things. Mostly though, I see it as unable to show the voters that Huckabee was anything more than the evangelical candidate in the field. True, he did make an attempt to become the voice of the blue-collar worker, but that mainly turned blue-collar voters against Mitt Romney (“I want to be like the guy you work with, not like the guy who laid you off”).

Read the whole thing...

Commentary: This did hurt Huckabee in 2008, and it will be a challenge again in 2012. Evangelicals composed the backbone of his early support and he was not ashamed to identify himself as a Christian and former pastor. That said, what hurt him most was not his own actions — but the attempts of many in the media to pigeonhole his campaign and supporters. It may not have been malicious, but it was still inaccurate.

At times it seemed like Huckabee was more often referred to as a "former pastor" than as a "former governor." The New York Times story on Huck's Army focused on "young evangelicals," but never mentioned that only two of the four members they interviewed fit that description — our organizer in Michigan was Roman Catholic and our organizer in South Carolina was an agnostic. Back in Oregon, my Portland-area Meetup group attracted independents who liked the FairTax and Democrats who appreciated his stance on energy independence and the environment. Calling Huckabee the "evangelical candidate" is convenient, but it doesn't tell the whole story.

On the economy, Huckabee deserves a lot more credit than just "mak[ing] an attempt to become the voice of the blue-collar worker." He was the only candidate, starting in 2007 (2007!), who was willing to say the US economy was not doing well — particularly for working-class Americans. Simply by merit of a lack of competition, Huckabee was the voice of the blue-collar worker in 2008. And it earns him a ton of credibility for 2012.

Speaking of credibility, I think Huckabee is poised to make big strides in expanding his base in 2012 with another group: minorities. In Arkansas, Huckabee received 48 percent of the black vote — a historic number in a heavily Democrat-leaning state. In 2008, he was the only big-name (eventually) candidate willing to appear at the PBS presidential debate on minority issues — to rave reviews. There are already a lot of black voters who love Huckabee, and I think that support will only grow in 2012.

The same is true about the Latino vote. In Arkansas and since, Huckabee has been one of the few reasonable conservatives on immigration — dealing with the children of illegal immigrants, voicing concern over the Arizona law, and opposing GOP calls to change the 14th Amendment. While some on the right have (and will) attack him, his principled stands, along with his early support of Marco Rubio, boost his standing with a very large, traditionally socially conservative, but not traditionally Republican demographic.

All this is on top of Huckabee's expanding appeal through his hit TV show "Huckabee," his ABC radio commentary, and growing political media presence. In sum, on the issue of expanding his base, the future looks bright for Governor Huckabee.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Fix: Huckabee 9th Most Influential Republican

Chris Cillizza is out with his latest ranking of the 10 most influential Republicans in the party. Huckabee is ranked 9th — up from 10th the last time:

9. Mike Huckabee: The former Arkansas governor continues to be the darling of Iowa Republicans, taking the top spot among potential 2012 candidates in a GOP poll of Iowa caucus-goers earlier this month. Add to that his recent round of Iowa endorsements and the success of his endorsed primary candidates -- including attorney Joe Miller (R) in the Alaska Senate race and former Rep. Nathan Deal (R) in the Georgia gubernatorial race - and Huckabee's on a roll as of late.

Read the whole thing...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Fix: Huckabee Broadening Geographic Appeal

Chris Cillizza of The Fix analyzes Huckabee's upcoming swing through the midwest to campaign for Jackie Walkorski in Indiana (US Representative), Rob Portman and Steve Chabot in Ohio (US Senate and Representative), and Bill Brady in Illinois (Governor):

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will spend four days stumping for Republican candidates in the Midwest later this month, the latest sign that the 2008 presidential candidate is working to broaden his geographic appeal in advance of a potential 2012 bid. ...

Huckabee's Midwestern swing comes on the heels of recent victories in Alaska (Huckabee, like Palin, had endorsed Joe Miller) and Georgia (Huckabee was behind former Rep. Nathan Deal's gubernatorial candidacy) for the former Arkansas governor.

Huckabee has openly speculated about whether he will run again in 2012 and polling in Iowa, where he won the caucuses in 2008, suggests he would start as the frontrunner in that critical state if he decided to make a bid.

It appears as though Huckabee's travel this month is aimed at the perception within the political chattering class that his appeal is generally limited to the south and to social conservatives. The more Huckabee can show his effectiveness as a surrogate in races across the country, the easier it is for him to make the case that he could be the party's standard-bearer against President Obama in 2012.

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Straw Poll: Huckabee Wins Iowa Republican Idol

Posted on IowaPolitics.com this morning is a press release from For America’s Republican Majority PAC, announcing the results of their online contest called Iowa Republican Idol. Included in the contest was a 2012 presidential straw poll:

Congressman Tom Latham, Honorary Chairman of For America’s Republican Majority, announced on Thursday the winners Thursday of the For America’s Republican Majority’s Iowa FARM Team project’s unique online contest – Iowa Republican Idol.

The online contest, held at the organization’s website IowaFARMTeam.org, asked Iowans to cast their votes for their favorite Iowa Republican House and Senate State Legislative Candidates.

Thousands voted over the past two months ....

The online poll also included a straw poll for the Republican nominee for President in 2012 which was won by Governor Mike Huckabee with 25.5% of the vote of participants.

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Miller Thanks Palin and Huckabee

In case you missed it, following Lisa Murkowski's concession to Joe Miller on Tuesday night, Miller released a statement thanking both Palin and Huckabee:

Earlier this evening, I received a call from Senator Murkowski honorably conceding the race. I want to thank her for a hard fought contest.

Tomorrow, the general election begins.

But tonight I'd like to reflect back on the amazing feat we accomplished together. We started from a handful of people knowing who we were and what we stood for to now being the Republican Party nominee.

I want to thank the many people that made it all possible. First the people of the Great State of Alaska. As I traveled throughout the state, I met and spoke with more and more people who shared the same concern that our nation has reached a critical point, and we needed to change course.

I would like to especially thank my wife and children who have sacrificed quite a bit during this primary campaign. I love you all, and you are the most important reason I decided to enter this race.

I need to thank others who provided vital support to this campaign including Governor Sarah Palin, Governor Mike Huckabee, and the Tea Party movement. ...

Thank you once again to the great people of this wonderful state. I look forward to the campaign ahead. God bless you and God bless Alaska!

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