Posted by Rojas @ 5:13 pm on November 28th 2007

Hawkeye Huckabee

For the first time, a poll has Huckabee actually leading in Iowa, though the second-choice skew to Romney could still mean he’s the real leader in terms of the way the caucuses themselves operate.

The swing to Huckabee over the last two weeks or so has been dramatic and is registering in a big way both in external preferences and in the internal dynamics of polls, particularly Rasmussen’s. At the moment Huckabee’s core voters are not merely more likely to be previous caucusgoers than Romney’s, they are also more committed to their man.

Needless to say, if Huckabee does win Iowa, Romney’s campaign won’t survive the event. Romney’s already done just about all he can to portray himself favorably in the state media; now he more or less has to go negative. No other candidate is going to do the work for him–they have too little to gain in the state.

Mitt Romney has one month to save his candidacy.

5 Comments »

  1. After seeing the campaign commercial in which Huckabee identifies himself *primarily* as a “Christian Leader”, I cannot vote for him. Not that I was likely to anyway, but it’s set in stone now.

    Comment by Talarohk — 11/28/2007 @ 5:20 pm

  2. I certainly don’t see this as a death knell for Romney.

    Iowa is tailor made for Huckabee. The question should be ‘if Huckabee can’t win Iowa, what can he win?’

    Besides Arkansas.

    Comment by Mark — 11/28/2007 @ 5:23 pm

  3. We’ve discussed the matter elsewhere, most notably in the most recent cattle call.

    I wasn’t a believer in Huckabee’s candidacy either until I saw him at the Iowa Straw Poll. His personal charisma is in an entirely different class than any other Republican contender, and his positions are more reliably in line with Republican beliefs than any candidate other than Fred Thompson.

    A strong performance by Huckabee in Iowa annoints him as a co-frontrunner, and if he gets the same amount of free media that the other Republicans get, he’s going to clean their clocks with the Republican electorate. That’s my opinion, anyway.

    Romney’s entire strategy is built around a clean, decisive sweep of the early primaries. He has spent untold millions of dollars building his Iowa machine and establishing name recognition in the state. A failure to win there represents a crashing failure relative to expectations, and signals that the more Republicans find out about him, the less they’re inclined to vote for him. Huckabee would replace him as the ChristCon candidate of choice. Romney might manage to win NH regardless, but would almost certainly drop Michigan and would then get completely buried in the south.

    Comment by Rojas — 11/28/2007 @ 5:42 pm

  4. Romney should go on the offensive and accuse Huckabee of not being a mormon.

    Comment by Adam — 11/28/2007 @ 7:59 pm

  5. I agree with Rojas, Mark. Huckabee is at this point all but guaranteed to come out of Iowa as the anointed winner, if he gets even within a single digit margin.

    Romney is already barely hanging on. He’s at, what, 10% nationally. I’d say he’s got about as much national support as Ron Paul.

    His ONLY hope, at this point, is he’s spent so many millions of dollars and years of work on early state organization, that if he has any hope of going anywhere, he has to decisively win, often, early. And, that’s the expectation.

    If he loses Iowa to Huckabee, he’s done.

    And, frankly, I fully expect Huckabee to win Iowa. I bet on it it in September.

    Think of what Huckabee might be able to accomplish if he had, you know, money, or had put in some work on this campaign, or had any organization to speak of. He would be a dark horse favorite for the nomination, easily.

    As it is, I think he’s got a VP slot in the bag if Rudy is the nominee. Or, at the nomination in 2012.

    Ironically, the more impressed I’ve become with him the less I like him.

    Comment by Brad — 11/28/2007 @ 9:48 pm

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