Huckabee Crushes All Comers.

By Erick Posted in Comments (149) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

ImageThe FRC Action Straw Poll confirms that Mike Huckabee is the big winner here today.

In the online poll that the Romney campaign pushed hard to win, he only managed to get thirty more votes than Mike Huckabee -- 1595 to 1565 or 27.62% to 27.10%.

But, of the crowd *at* the Washington Briefing, Huckabee dominated everyone else.

Huckbee got 488 votes for an absolute majority out of the 19 candidates (all the Dems and GOP'ers) on the straw poll ballot (51.25%). Romney received 99 votes. What makes that even bigger news is that several sources connected to the FRC Action Washington Briefing have said Romney brought in "around 100" people to participate and assist.

Fred Thompson, by the way, came in third with 77 votes and online came in fourth with 564 votes, falling behind Ron Paul. The MoRons hit the online poll hard over the past week bring in 865 votes for Paul.

You can see the full results here.

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Romney has banked a significant part of his strategy on winning Iowa. Mike Huckabee has raised less during this entire campaign than Mitt Romney's last loan to himself. And yet, if the latest Rasmussen is accurate, Huckabee is probably a month or so away from catching Romney in Iowa. Oh yeah, he's catching Romney in the national polls, as well.

At this point, the sad thing is that people who spend as much of their own money on a campaign as Romney has are not likely to drop out and help the consolidation of the social conservative vote.

The Red Sox Republican: Burkeanism, Baseball, and Sundries.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

Romney is leading in the first two contests and its "sad" that he won't drop out? Come on Leon.

You do realize that even if he were to win pluralities in Iowa and New Hampshire that a) he won't get all the delegates and b) that it's only a small fraction of the necessary delegates to win, right?

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Let's nominate the Nash Equilibrium for President.

on me Neil. I know the basics of how the primary system works.

It works like this. You don't quit when you are still able to raise money (Huck?) and are near the top in fund raising (a chunk of it your own) and lead in the early states.

Mitt may or may not win but your calling for him to fold at this point is the sad part.

He can't win, he's losing momentum (I think Huckabee's more likely to 'win' Iowa than he is, and Giuliani's in excellent position in New Hampshire), and he's been a flat line for months nationally.

Romney has peaked and it's only a matter of when he goes, to allow the right to start to unify against Giuliani.

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Let's nominate the Nash Equilibrium for President.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

What are you going to do, claim that Giuliani is a right-winger now? Speaking generously he's a centrist.

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Let's nominate the Nash Equilibrium for President.

Much hairsplitting going on as well.

I would also say that Mitt isn't particularly appealing on many conservative issues. So just which right is it ?

The Economic Right ?
The Law and Order Right ?
The National Security Right ?
The Second Amendment Right ?
The Libertarian Right ?
The NeoCon Foreign Policy Right ?

The list goes on. If I left out a particular Right well that just emphasizes how many there are.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

Some don't think of Mitt as (right) at all. That's why I'd like to know what strategy is at play here. Does Romney quit to help out someone in particular or should he just go home while still leading in the fist two states? Sad huh.

loses Iowa his "early state" strategy has failed and he is likely finished, but NOW is premature.

I'm curious about what strartegy role you would have him play?

Oh yeah man!!! He paid 52 million dollars to learn how to Campaign like R** P*** with "internet savvy"!

Maybe if Mitt hangs in there long enough the Huckster will cave in to financial defeat so that we can have Rudy for a nomination just to be stomped to death by HRC!!!! YEAH TEAM!!!


And what happened to the republican's concervative choice, Fred Thompson? Mike huckabee beat him by 500%.

Oh yeah, I forgot... The FRC poll is nothing like the Iowa Caucus is nothing and the value voters are nothing and so on and so on...

gotta love it!

Jim Tomasik

Jim by Cowboy

Get a grip there man! The sun will rise tommorow even with Mitt or Rudy.

It's un-American to ask someone to quit so you can win.

both of which contests are of far less strategic importance in this now-compact nominating process -- show his leads slipping, and this before the other candidates have gotten more than a foothold in the States' airwaves with his own money for month.

Granted, Romney's campaign is much better off than is Huckabee's right now, but that arguably has to do with the money he's been willing to spend. For little return. Romney's problem is that he is generating very little excitement outside those people who've been sold on the guy since Day One. Mike Huckabee is generating excitement among the more-active.

The question now is, Rudy may, in the coming months, solidify himself as the solid favorite. This will give rise to the need for an anti-Rudy, what with Rudy's stance on human life. I think that anti-Rudy will be Fred Thompson if he can catch fire, but if not... it might be Mike Huckabee. He's not my choice by any means, but given the money that he would generate if he is the nominee, the American voter will love that Arkansan compared to the other.

Normally, I think you have a pretty shrewd analysis, and I'll admit I'm solidy in Romney's camp, but here's how I see it.

Huckabee has yet to catch fire, as much as I would have liked him to at one point. For all his strengths on social issues, when it comes down to fiscal conservatism and restraint, Huckabee doesn't have a strong platform to stand on. When you listen to him, you can tell he cares, but I can't pin him to Ronald Reagan's brand of compassion versus George W. Bush's brand of compassion.

Mitt is a different breed. He knocks them out of the park consistently. He had a successful run as governor in a state more known for socialism than conservatism. He has consistently proven his fiscal conservatism, and he is, at the very least, moderate on social issues, if not becoming more and more conservative.

Now, I haven't seen these polls you mention. But, according to you, with Mitt up by a lot, Huckabee gaining a few points on him is enough for him to just throw in the towel before Huckabee even breaks the top 3? It's like telling a 100m sprinter that he's got 20m to go, but there's someone about 40m back that might pass him, so why even try?

If you're truly worried about consolidation of the social conservative vote, why doesn't everyone in that category (Huckabee, Tancredo) drop out and then we can consolidate that under Romney? Furthermore, let's drop the economic conservatives out (Paul, Hunter) so that Romney can consolidate the economic conservative vote as well? And, for that matter, since Romney has a pretty solid plan for the GWOT, why not have Rudy, McCain, and Fred! do the same, so that we have a unified platform under a unified candidate?

The glory of the primaries is that everyone's guy gets their chance to shine, and in doing so, we don't get one guy versus another guy in a chance to only bring two issues to the front (see Bush v. McCain). Let the primaries work themselves out.

Vos can't ledo astrum si vos intentio pro clouds

Formerly known as ShowMeConservatism. For more common sense conservatism, visit the Show Me Conservatism blog.

He's up by 6 points over Fred and 7 over Huckabee in Iowa. He's up 3 over Giuliani and 6 over Thompson in NH. Those leads are what you call "within the margin of error," not huge. Again, with all the money he's spent on Iowa, to be 7 points ahead of a guy like Huckabee, whose total fundraising hasn't cracked $4 million (IIRC), is pretty lame.

The Red Sox Republican: Burkeanism, Baseball, and Sundries.

It's pretty lame to think that a guy who can't raise more than 4 million is going to beat Hillary. Or that some guy who cant even organize his own supporters at a straw poll is going to beat Hillary.

And the value of any straw poll not conducted in Ames is pretty freaking dubious, and there's serious disagreement over how important Ames is anymore. Romney spent big $$ to win the Ames poll and got a bounce that lasted about two weeks. So I don't blame camp Fred for not wasting his time trying to organize something he knew Huckabee was likely to win.

The Red Sox Republican: Burkeanism, Baseball, and Sundries.

to explain why you think it's "sad" that he's still in the race.

In March of this year, Romney was drawing 9-15% in national polls. Roughly a bazillion dollars later, he's still at 9-15%. A significant amount behind a guy (Thompson) who announced a month ago, and being caught in his signature state by a guy (Huckabee) with less name ID and a fraction of thoe money that he has. Polls show Romney with the same national name ID that Thompson has - the problem is that his unfavorables are always higher than his favorables. The bottom line is that Romney's got his people who are committed to him, and he's not moving anybody else, period. And those people are not enough. As he has expanded his message and his audience to reach new people, they don't like him.

So what's sad is the same thing that I said earlier - Romney and Thompson, who are competing for essentially the same audience, outpoll Rudy combined, but when the vote is split, Rudy wins.

The Red Sox Republican: Burkeanism, Baseball, and Sundries.

Still don't think it's time for anyone to fold'em yet. Man, we haven't had one ballot cast yet.

Just so you know I don't have a favorite yet but in the general he WILL have an R next to him.

The problem there is that, there isn't much time any more. If Romney (or anybody else) waits until after IA to drop out, there isn't enough time to rally voters around someone else. Everything happens too fast, and by the time someone picks up the pieces left by the drop out you could be giving away several states to Rudy that might have gone for someone else. The short schedule makes timing a big issue.

Romney and Thompson, who are competing for essentially the same audience, outpoll Rudy combined, but when the vote is split, Rudy wins.

Totally agree with this... but I wouldn't want to see Romney out until it is clear that Thompson is the guy. I don't think he has been in long enough to know whether he will have staying power.
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

who has a big led anywhere of importance? Every early state and every national poll has the leader with less then 10%.

And that is a nice selective use of polling.

The RCP average has him 9.9 over his nearest competitor in Iowa and 4.2 in NH. He is bouncing back and forth for first in MI and Nevada, also showing some great gains in South Carolina.

Yeah, but he should drop out because Huckabee won the onsite part of the straw poll (never mind a lot of onsite people voted in their hotel rooms) and because Leon despises him. Sounds like sound strategy.
Member of Romney for President Faith and Values Steering Committee-an unpaid advisory position, that does not require an endorsement.

I would also point you to the Des Moines Register poll has Romney with a 17 point lead over Huckabee and an 11 point spread between Mitt and his nearest competitor. Many in Iowa would argue that Des Moines Register is the most accurate of the Iowa pollings.

The Strategic Vision poll done after the Des Moines poll and the Rasmussen one you quote had Romney with a 14 point lead over his nearest competitor and 15 points above Huckabee.
Member of Romney for President Faith and Values Steering Committee-an unpaid advisory position, that does not require an endorsement.

Believe it or not, I'm actually defending Romney here, but the Strategic Vision firm has a real bad history when it comes to accuracy in elections. I found that out in my research on polling firms for

Tommy Oliver

That's fine, but I am not pushing Strategic Vision as the poll. I am making the point that Leon is painting a picture based on 1 poll that fits what he would like the reality to be, while totally neglecting the other polls and the RCP average. And then using that as his case for Romney dropping out, which is a total joke.

It's ludicrous.
Member of Romney for President Faith and Values Steering Committee-an unpaid advisory position, that does not require an endorsement.

Would be that I chose a polling organization that had done both states recently, and has a long and established record of accurate polling. If I wanted agenda-driven polling, I'd have cited some crappy polling organization that's polling outside the margins of all the other polls, like Strategic Vision.

Really, the more persuasive argument for him dropping out is the fact that he remains - yet still consistently under 15% in the national polls. As his name ID goes up, he remains unfavorably viewed. The bottom line is that Mitt has got a core group of extremely dedicated people who think that Mitt walks on water, but most everyone else just doesn't like him. The fact that Romney is behind Fred at this point pretty well demonstrates the futility of his campaign. And it has nothing to do with name ID as Mitt and Fred have exactly the same name ID.

The Red Sox Republican: Burkeanism, Baseball, and Sundries.

My point about Huckabee had nothing to do with him winning the straw poll today, as you would have known if you actually read my comment. It has to do with the fact that he's catching Romney in Iowa despite spending what is, comparatively, no money at all.

The Red Sox Republican: Burkeanism, Baseball, and Sundries.

Rasmussen is the only poll that has those numbers. And actually you totally ignore the Des Moines Register poll which is highly respected and the RCP average. Choosing only one poll. It'd funny you narrowed in on Survey USA, event though it was the third poll I mentioned, after RCP and Des Moines Register.

You also ignore that the fact that Rasmussens Daily National Tracking poll has fluctuations as well. Rasmussen is highly respected, and the most respected for national polling. If they have fluctuations in polling (sometimes by nearly 10% for Giuliani) why could they not have a state poll that is an outlyer?

Also you totally ignore the fact that national numbers are really not relevant. It's a state by state primary last I checked. You also ignore all the campaigns that have made huge gains in national numbers after winning an early state. Kerry's jumped nearly 40% from winning the Iowa caucus in 04. McCain jumped 30% after winning New Hampshire and had a very decent shot going into South Carolina.

Name ID is another tricky thing. Name ID is name recognition. It is not name familiarity. Someone may now who Mitt or Fred is, but being familiar with their positions stances, personality, etc. is totally different. Those things will change as the primaries near. Also lost on you is recent polling about who voters will not vote for. That polling (I think released in the last day or two) had nearly all the candidates within 6% of each other.

Somehow I think this really has nothing to do with polls, name ID or anything else other than your ditaste for Romney. That's fine, just be up front about it.
Member of Romney for President Faith and Values Steering Committee-an unpaid advisory position, that does not require an endorsement.

In the sameRasmussen poll you quote we see Romney with great leades in both the 50 and over and the 65 in over and with women. These are you two largest group of caucus goers in Iowa. It's really the category that Romney needs to be ahead in. Lets also not forget that the groundgame is what wins there. It takes no effort to answer to a phone call. But to go to somebody's home on a cold January night and sit around for an hour so, does.

My prediction is Romney could be under by 5-10% in Iowa polls and still carry Iowa against GIuliani or Thompson. Under Huckabee, I would say more than that due to his having no skill at organization. Huck's a long shot in nearly every way. Across the board Romney has just a good of a chance as Giuliani. Thompson looks to be in bad shape as of now, but who knows for sure.
Member of Romney for President Faith and Values Steering Committee-an unpaid advisory position, that does not require an endorsement.

Wow, I thought he only had 2.5 million total so far. I should pay closer attention. I was wrong earlier, Actually Mitt has only spent 48 million more that Huckabee has raised TOTAL!

Let's get that guy Mitt Romney on spending our tax dollars right away! He is MUCH more fiscally responsible than Huckabee, 4 SHORE!!

How far in the red in millions would Romney be today if he had not loaned his campaign any money? Good thing he is so rich.

Jim Tomasik

Jim by Cowboy

We know 4 SURE you hate Mitt.

"Romney has a pretty solid plan for the GWOT"??? What the heck have you been smoking? Romney's stated "plan" for Iraq is a return to the *disastrous* Gen. Casey strategy that Petraeus has had to spend all of 2007 (and hundreds of lives) undoing -- and you call that a "solid plan"?

Wow. Explain how that works, please!

but the whole "Huckabee isn't strong on fiscal conservatism" thing doesn't work in Iowa--the whole state is basically one giant government subsidized farm. If anyone is going to win there, it'll be Huckabee. He has the SoCon's agenda down pat.

Romney will have a devil of a time recovering from this strategic mistake of running as THE conservative's conservative, including the socons'. He should have run as the pragmatic executive, without Rudy's personal baggage.

As it is now, he's fighting on very inhospitable terrain. It is hard for me to see how he closes the deal.


It doesn't take a bot to know that Huckabee would do well in this poll. It doesn't take a bot to know that Romney has a credibility debt with some on the right. It doesn't take a bot to see Romney executing his strategy even in regards to this straw poll. It does take a bot to know that he has more than a chance to win the Primary, and that there are more bots out there than most people here like to consider. By my overall count that's 30 more bots than Huckabee had, 730 more bots than Ron, 1031 more bots than Fred and 1266 more bots than Undecided. If grassroots are getting folks out to vote, then Romney had the best grassy bots of the bunch.

It doesn't take a bot to know that if Romney gets the momentum in three months according to his strategy to win the Primary, then many here will be voting for him in the general, warts and all. Then we may finally find out that the majority of the 40% in American who won't vote for a Mormon are liberal democrats who are voting for Hillary anyway.

[Content of this comment is 100% bot]

I have to commend you for covering this event so thoroughly!

I agree the online poll is skewered, because I believe one can vote multiple times, if one just donates multiple times. Even Ron Paul got 3rd place on the online poll.

This is incredible.

Oddly enough though he manages to come in third in the poll where you weren't required to be present to vote.

My guess is that the the two RP supporters haven't built enough animatrons yet. Once they do though, they will be a force to be reckoned with.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

Mike Gamecock DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer
"One man with courage makes a majority" - Andrew Jackson

ALL absolutely 100% meaningless.
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Romney is doing just fine... And why knock Romney when he still trounced Thompson, McCain and Rudy. Also, Jack Willke, one of the founders of the National Right to Life Committee and fromer Brownback supporter, has endorsed Romney this week. Bob Jones of South Carolina has also endorsed Romney this week. People keep waiting to derail him, but he keeps trucking along.

You don't really think an online poll is a barometer of true strength, do you? Romney and Paul had calls out for days for their supporters to vote as often as possible in the VV poll, and it looks like Huckabee and Thompson did the same. Spam voting cannot be cited.

Read the poll results yourself. Are you saying that all the candidates could not must more that 1500 in spam votes. I don't think you understand how the FRC straw poll worked. If sapm wasallowed Ron Paul would certainly have garnered more than 800 votes.

or a donation. I'm not sure the amount, but some money would have to be paid to vote online. And I'm not sure if you were limited to voting only once. And there were several notes (including links on NRO) where Romney and Paul supporters were urged to vote in the online straw poll.

I only learned you could vote about it online from the Romney letter and

There were no emails sent out to contributors to get out the online vote. There were no posts about voting online at the draftfredthompson website. There was no effort.

Wow. He is less effective and more poorly organized than I imagined.

Online polls are worthless. Why skew the results? Look, he lost some ground today, but he played it fair. Rudy is extremely organized, but he didn't spam the online polls either. We just didn't see the purpose of doing so. It's not really honest. People who didn't see the event could vote, so who knows if that person really won over the voters.

Huckabee did his job. Plus, he had the advantage of speaking today, instead of yesterday.

I believe Fred is much more palatable to so-cons than Romney. Fred would have placed second onsite if Romney had not bussed in 100 supporters.

Huckabee v. Thompson is the real story here if you want one. The Anti-Romney crowd wants to pit any succss on the part of Huckbee as damaging to Romney, but it is much more damaging to Thompson. Thompson and Huckabee fill a similar niche. Of course the Morman CEO Governor from Massachusetts is going to have an uphill battle against Huckabee and Thompson when competing for Southern evangelicals, but where is Thomnpson and why are voters going to Huckabee and not Thompson now that he has offically declared.

100% dead on.

Why are voters moving to Huckabee and away from Thompson?

I'm one of those who has just moved away from Thompson and to Huckabee. The main reason is because I have just recently even considered Huckabee. All I ever thought about the man previously was that he had no chance, but was a nice guy. Also, when compared to Thompson, I think he's more electable versus Hillary because he can relate to the people better. Thompson's good on the issues too.

5 by Cowboy


Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.

is anti-Rudy, anti-Romney. I simply don't see how Huckabee's effort to sell us on another "compassionate conservative" agenda is the same as what Thompson is trying to do.

I don't think I could ever move from Thompson to Huckabee during the primary process. I presume that the people that are moving that way or would later are of the truly deep SoCon variety, where they want some sort of hard-core purity on social issues that they don't feel Thompson provides and are willing to overlook the nanny-state policies that have spewed forth from Huckabee.

I think that the organizers here did themselves a disservice by having the online poll. How much clearer could things have been if conference participants voted in-person only? Then we could have seen total turnout among registrants and see who had the support. This situation is allowing too much uncertainty and spin, and will probably mean it makes no impact on the race.

You'll notice the Thompson vs. Huckabee comments are coming from Romney supporters.

Tommy Oliver

What voters are going to Huckabee in large numbers? Rasmussen had him tied with Thompson in Iowa, but the Des Moines Register poll (which has a very strong track record of accuracy in Iowa) taken at about the same time had him six points behind Thompson and 17 behind Romney. In SC, the only October poll has him in 5th place, ten points behind Thompson and the RCP average for SC has him 15 points behind and in single digits. The few polls taken in other southern states (NC, GA, AL, and MS) has Thompson with large leads, and the national RCP average has Fred in 2nd with 19% and Huckabee in 5th with 5%.

One thing about the Value Voter poll of actual particpants -- I saw that the total on-site votes cast was about 980, and there were over 2,200 attendees. This is supposed to be the most politically active and savvy group of Christian conservatives and the voting procedures were not onerous. Why did more than half not even bother to vote? Is is a sign that perhaps there is less enthusiasm for ANY of these candidates with Christian conservatives than anyone thought? Did the FRC consider this level of participation below expectations? I wonder if Erick could follow-up on that?

rom Byron York:

A representative of the Romney campaign just called to point out that some people who attended the Values Voters conference in person might still have voted online. "You could vote in person or you could vote online," he said. "That might be a reason why there is a bigger gap." He didn't claim that Romney actually won the on-site contest, only that it might not have been quite the Huckabee blowout that it appears. And indeed, that might help explain why the on-site vote total was just 952, when more than 2,500 people registered for the conference.

Why would someone pay a registration fee for a conference where you could vote in person for $1 but then decide to vote on-line when an additional fee was required to do so? That makes no sense. I would be very surprised if more than a handful did that. Certainly not in the hundreds. This is what I don't like about Romney. If he stuffs an online poll to win he comes up with what most people would consider an implausible scenario to explain why it wasn't really ALL spam voting and his "win" is really more significant (or the actual winner's victory LESS significant).

Some thoughts on the straw poll
posted by Justin Hart | 7:28 PM | permalink
Kudos to Mike Huckabee who gave an excellent speech and was able to win the local straw poll. Congrats to Mitt for winning the overall straw poll with online savvy.

Couple of thoughts here:

1. Here's a quick genesis of how things happened from the Romney side of things. Over a week ago the Romney camp caught wind that over 1000 people had already voted in the straw poll. I guess Romney can count better than the other candidates (j/k) and quickly realized that this thing was going to be won online. In short: if 2500 people were attending the straw poll and 1000 people had already voted... anyone who didn't make an online showing would lose. They called up supporters and asked them to email their personal lists about the opportunity. We held the news from our blogs until Thursday night so as not to tip the other candidates (who apparently didn't put 2 and 2 together - again j/k) and the race was off.

2. 600 attendees actually voted online.... so the 952 votes is misleading. I'm not saying Romney won... but the seeming on-site rout for Huckabee needs a little context.

3. The big losers as Erick and Politico point out are Fred and Rudy. The former came in behind Romney and the later came in second. Second, that is, in the least acceptable candidate group.

4. Talking to numerous people at the convention... the flurry of Romney endorsements didn 'tnot go unnoticed. Many people came up to me asking numerous questions about Mitt. At one point a prominent radio host asked me to come over and explain where Mitt stands on stem cell research to another fellow news maker.

5. Here's a better contextual look at why Huckabee is a great guy... but won't be able to make it happen:
"What most people really object to when they object to a free market is that it is so hard for them to shape it to their own will. At the bottom of many criticisms of the market economy is really lack of belief in freedom itself."

-- Milton Friedman

I'm not suprised that he did well among a gathering of evangelical leaders who don't particularly care about fiscal and federalist issues.

Thompson and Huckabee do not fill a similar niche. Thompson is a fiscal/security/fedralist conservative who is decent on social issues, while Huckabee is a social conservative who is okay on security issues (except immigration) and weak on fiscal and federalist issues.

Talk about an unfounded statement. "don't particularly care about fiscal and federalist issues?" Care to back that with any evidence? I think you'll find that most social conservatives are also very dependable ficons as well. And few have issues with federalism...FDT's federalist position hasn't dissuaded too many socons.

...when they see me they'll say, "There goes Loren Wallace,
the greatest thing to ever climb into a race car."

I'm a socon, and I can't in good conscience vote for Huckabee, even over Rudy. I don't want a larger government. Huckabee is GW Bush Jr., except he's not as strong on the GWOT. He raised taxes in Arkansas. "Compassionate Conservatism" is the last thing we need right now.

Look, I really like Huckabee as a person, but he has yet to be vetted. The CATO institute won't support him, the Club for Growth won't support him. He's the anti-Rudy. I'd vote for McCain over Huckabee. Campaign Finance is a wedge issue, but he's consistently conservative, across the board.

Thompson and Romney are the only candidate who can concievably make an appeal to unite the party. Personally, I can't trust Romney, so I will support Thompson, but he has to get his message out. At the same time, many in the media are so hellbent on writing off McCain and Thompson that it's ridiculous.

I am a so-con and look at the following issues for deciding how to vote:

1) Judges
2) Immigration
3) Electability
4) Small Government
5) GWOT (only this low because I think most of the GOPers will do fine)

Huckabee to me fails on 2 and 4 completely and somewhat on 3 (I think being painted a thousand times as a Baptist minster will be killer in the General).

I have been a fence sitter between Romney and Fred for a while, but decision time is likely coming this month for me.

As for Huckabee vs Rudy .. while I doubt that I would ever have to make the choice, this would be a very painful one for me. Huckabee is probably the worst of any candidate on immigration that the GOP has and Rudy of course has problems with his (non-)So-con side.


It challenged the idea that being a social conservative and a fiscal conservative are mutually exclusive. Many (I would guess most) social conservatives are also fiscally conservative. However, if you take Redstate as a barometer, I would say that the reverse is not true...lots of ficons here are NOT socons.

...when they see me they'll say, "There goes Loren Wallace,
the greatest thing to ever climb into a race car."

Do the voters really want another President from Arkansas.
Is Huck really the angel everyone thinks he is or is there that little something in his closet, you know like that other Governor from Arkansas.

Rudy has a full garage.

Said the huckabot!

Jim Tomasik


What I should have said was what are the Arkansas newspapers saying? They warned about Clinton and the MSM did not.

at least GOPers, ended up not very happy with Huckabee as a governor, mainly because of the tax hikes, the nanny statism he was starting to advocate, and a few scandals that were evolving around the Governor's office. Plus, he had a very low tolerance for criticism. No one is targeting him now because he isn't perceived as a threat. If he starts to gain some traction, it will be interesting to see if he can take it as well as he dishes it out.

very interesting article, and this outcome supports the view.

If we have five guys in double digits, then the idea that there are clear tiers starts to become meaningless.

HTML Help Central for Red Staters
Let's nominate the Nash Equilibrium for President.

a general election, not a leader in the polls.

I like Huck - a lot. He's got a great story and a darn good record. He's very likeable and personable and every time I hear him speak I like him better and better.

But I have to say that someone who's domestic policy rhetoric and playbook could just as easily be pushed by Johnny Brek Girl is not someone I'm going to have an easy time getting excited about come next November.

When it comes to domestic polich, he makes GWB look positively Reaganesque by comparison, IMHO.

Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.

Or the fat fingers, one of the two...

Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.

So when Ron Paul wins a Straw Poll, it must be fixed, but when Romney and Huckabee perform well then it actually means something?

I think that Romney's supporters just spammed the online voting. Anyone agree?

In Liberty,
Matt Shelby
The University of Alabama School of Law
Class of 2008

don't you get. It doesn't matter who wins, they are either bought or rigged.

With respect to the poll in question, who cares.

And with respect to RP, he's a moonbat and has never managed to accomplish anything. Hopefully he'll get trounced an go back to TX and deliver babies and we can forget him.
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Why is Dr. Paul a moonbat? Please explain. Ad hominem attacks are nice (and apparently news networks think they're good journalism), but they don't really prove much.

So explain which views of Ron Paul's are crazy and why they are crazy. And saying, for example, a belief is crazy because it is "stupid" or "ridiculous" is not acceptable. Lay out reasoned, logical thinking, not just a series of ad hominem, circular arguments. Thanks.


Read these diaries for starters, and take the discussion to one of these diaries so this won't be a threadjack.

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and I won't stretch this out into a threadjack.

Foreign policy. He's clueless and has absolutely no idea what the founders actually DID in that respect.

Tax policy. He has no position, other than to support convicted felons like the Browns.

Accomplishments. He's been in Congress for twenty years and has not accomplished a single thing, other than lots of earmarks for shrimp fishermen.

He is not a leader. He's not a consensus builder. He's a whiner with no plan and no proven ability to do anything other than successfully screw the life out of his constituents.
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

This is what I'm talking about. Simply saying, "He's wrong because he has no clue" is a circular argument. You've proven nothing.

What precisely is he clueless about in foreign policy?

Why is his tax policy so wrong?

What's wrong with voting your conscience on every vote? She he vote for or propose bills that other people will support even if he doesn't agree with them simply so people like you can say he "did" something?

Why is he not a leader? Why do you think he has no plan? What has he done to "screw the life" out of his constituents?

I understand you probably watch Fox News and think that comments such as yours pass for real political discussion, but I'm sorry, they just don't pass any kind of logical muster. They are, in the end, statements of opinion supported by more unsupported opinion.

CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

mbecker908 and Neil Stevens,

I agree with Catholic Libertarian. I would like to see more reasoned debate rather than ad hominem attacks.

By the way, Ron Paul wins many in-person straw polls.

I really hate to indulge any sort of "He who must not be named" images, comments or anything else, but this clip from the first debate is about all I need to say I would vote for darn near anyone over this piece of excrement.

Proud member of the Barry Goldwater wing of the party !

Do you consider the word, "excrement," a logical argument, or another ad hominem attack?

Your video showed Rudy's view at the end, without any statement from Ron Paul. Here's a more complete version of the exchange, with an interview of Ron Paul at the end.

Ron Paul was simply explaining the CIA's view of blowback. The former head of the CIA's Bin Laden unit agrees with Ron Paul. So does the 9/11 report. Here's Ron Paul's explanation.

Considering that Ron Paul supposedly is a nonfactor, it's amazing how often people who do not like him keep bringing him up.

And you should feel free to post somewhere folks like the taste of koolaid.
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Quoting Michael Michael Scheuer, author of 'Anonomius', Hubris, and other articles may be your thing, but he's also an outspoken critic of the state of Israel.

I'm not sure if he was in the agency during the Pollard affair or what the bug up his rectum is, but he has made some statements that border on Anti Semitic. While I do enjoy his writings and he makes some good points, to quote him as an "expert" is a bit problematic. He was at best a GS13, maybe a 14 analyst, and not a member of the Senior Executive , so his world view may be a bit more of a "worms eye" view than someone who's brief was a bit broader.

Proud member of the Barry Goldwater wing of the party !

straw polls are absolutely, utterly, completely MEANINGLESS! They are either stacked, hacked or bought and don't reflect squat. If you are not bright enough to understand that basic fact you'll never get the rest and I can absolutely understand why you support Ron Paul.

Second, I don't have the interest or patience to try to disabuse you of your love for RP. Go read the links Neil provided. If you're still sold on the worthless jerk, go post somewhere else because we no longer have time to deal with the cult following.
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.


Which is a bigger threat to this country?

Ron Paul Ron Paul Ron Paul....Spin....Spit



As a Republican I hate to say this, but I think "He who must not be named" is a bigger threat.

Proud member of the Barry Goldwater wing of the party !

he'll do what he's done for 20 years - sit on his butt and do nothing.

The middle east will go to hell, we'll likely get attacked again, we'll probably have an extended govt shutdown or (more likely) nothing worse than continuing resolutions for 4 years, but we won't have nationalized health care.
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Or OBL might end up on a street corner preaching his hatred to no one if the USA becomes popular again.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

The when we were liked around the world is clinton speak.

So what would you call a clintonista masquerading as a Ronulan ?

Convention goer ?
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

Resist paranoia. It's not good for you.

I thought it was the more complimentary conclusion I was affording you.

Just when was it that the USA was liked and UBL would have been on a street corner ?
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

The F-country built us the Statue of Liberty when we stayed out of Europe's wars. OBL wasn't around then, but there were many other jerks raising heck around the world. Gotta go now. Bye.

to not hurry back...
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

...the Barbary pirates not being too keen on America back then.

As Lord Vegas pointed out in this piece, President Paul would veto everything that Congress passed, and Congress would ignore everything that RP would propose.

In order to accomplish anything, Dems and Republicans would have to reach a consensus in order to override his veto...major gridlock! Nothing gets done! Congress AND the Executive branch totally ineffectual!

Almost makes you want to vote for him doesn't it!?!

If you don't have time to deal with Ron Paul, then why do you (not just you, but also many others) keep bringing him up in such a provocative way?

I applaud the advances the Paul campaign is making in AI.
Its just this election cycle Spambots are ineligible to vote*.

*The Democrats are threatening to sue over this.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

And is it really necessary to refer to Ron Paul's supporters as MoRons? Are we that juvenile that we that is political discourse?

In truth, I think that it takes a great deal of education (either formal or not) to come to believe in the libertarian views that Dr. Paul espouses. Austrian economics isn't exactly the most intuitive thing (well, it is to me, but I'm just weird).

I'm a college graduate and will graduate from law school next May. I supporter Bush/Cheney in 2000. I'm a Ron Paul supporter. And I don't think I'm a moron. But I guess that's up to you to decide, huh?

Just a brief correction of a typo:

"Are we that juvenile that we >>think<< that is political discourse?"

If he hadn't raised taxes in Arkansas I'd be more interested in him as a candidate. I feel however that we need a Conservative on all 3 traditional Republican strengths:

1: Social Issues
2: Fiscal Issues
3: Foreign Policy

I only see three viable candidates who can do that:

1: McCain
2: Romney
3: Thompson

McCain is too unreliable on other important issues like Campaign Finance, and Immigration- worries me as to what he'll do next.

Romney still strikes me as a solid B+.

I was hoping Thompson would impress me more- but instead he comes across as another B+.

Romney has more organization and better geographical appeal (Michigan, midwest swing states, ect.).

So I'm still stuck with Romney.

Not that I wouldn't be okay with Thompson, and I's support almost any of the other Republican candidates in the general.

That's just were I'm coming from.

Huckabee does certainly impress, and he's likable- just not enough fiscal bonifides to close the deal with me.

Seems like we've heard it all before. Politicians go back on pledges all the freakin time. No pledge is going to make up for a bad record.
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

In an interview with The Hill last week, Norquist said he was led to believe by Thompson’s economic advisers that Thompson would sign the pledge.

"I think he will," Norquist said. "However, he did not sign the pledge when he was in the Senate."

Norquist added that Thompson’s hesitance to sign "makes me nervous."

Perhaps sensing that Thompson would rule out signing the pledge, Norquist said such a decision could come back to haunt Thompson’s campaign in conservative areas.

"If he decides not to [sign], it wouldn’t end his race tomorrow," Norquist said. "But over the next several months, I think it would be a tremendous drag on the ticket."

CfG gives Thompson a thumbs-up, citing only an "enigmatic record on tort reform" and his support for the BCRA as his ownly downsides.

And I think it's pretty hard to say BCRA actually is a growth issue, heh.

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Thompson is the only candidate who gets the support of CATO AND the Club for Growth. His tax record from the National Taxpayers Union ranks lower only to Paul and Tancredo, recieving an "A" grade with a 93% rating over his entire career.

Do I care what someone thinks because he didn't sign a pledge? Hell no. Richard Viguerie doesn't like him either. Should that concern me? Hell no. Thompson's record is second to none.

But George Bush Sr. promised to raise no new taxes too. I could care less what they promise, if they didn't represent that position in the past.

Huckabee's a good man, but he should be running for Senate this year. However, like Romney, he would have trouble winning (re-election in Romney's case) because his actions in office defy his rhetoric. If he ran for senate, and established a conservative fiscal record that countered his record as governor, he'd be the favorite in four or eight years. He's not as old as the other candidates, and would have the best chance of winning.

Instead, he's running against his record in elected office, and although I really want to like him, it would be hard for me, as an all around conservative, to vote for him over Rudy. Although social issues are important to me, so are the other issues.

If it somehow came down to Romney or Huckabee for the nomination, I'd have to vote with my heart or my head. I don't even want to think about making that decision, because of my animosity towards the way Romney's campaign have handled themselves, and the inconsistencies with his record. If it came down to Rudy or Huckabee, I'd have to vote with my heart or my head. I'd vote for Rudy, because for all his faults, I don't think he'd expand the size of government. I'd hate it, but I don't think I could go the other way.

As someone who is socially conservative, but doesn't want the federal government to intrude in my life, wants to feel the GWOT is in good hands, and wants lower taxes, what in Huckabee's record indicates he could win my support?

I may not be a fan of Romney, but judging each's record, I'd have to vote with my head and vote for Romney over Huckabee, at this point.

Just to remind you, Mitt only got 99 votes at the Washington Briefing. And he bussed in 100.

I really really really like Mike Huckabee. But if it came down to it, what in his record in office would make him better than Romney, except for the fact that he's so likeable.

I don't support Romney, but even though I like Huckabee a lot more as a candidate, what makes him better than Romney? Everyone is so quick to accuse Romney of pandering, changing his position, and moving to the right only for the election, couldn't you make the same argument about Huckabee if he took a harder fiscal approach? Romney is running on a more across the board conservative platform, so why shouldn't I support him when I agree with him more when compared to Huckabee. I want a candidate who is best positioned to endorse a federalist agenda, and although Romney's not a federalist, he's more of one than Huckabee, judging by record and rhetoric. If I can trust Huckabee on taxes, then why shouldn't I trust Romney on abortion, gay rights, etc...?

I'm not a pure socon. I am against abortion, but I am not a pro life activist. I am more favored to overturning RvW than I am a federal amendment.

some huge assumptions, ignore some facts and buy the spin from competing camps.
Member of Romney for President Faith and Values Steering Committee-an unpaid advisory position, that does not require an endorsement.

it needs to raise taxes. It seems that those who are federalist would see a difference between state fiscal policy and federal fiscal policy. I really don't get the " never ever raise taxes" people. It seems that if taxes raises were always evil, than tax cuts would always be good, and we would keep lowering taxes untill there was anarchy. Why are people upset that Huckabee raised some taxes in, especially since it was state not federal.

LOL by zuiko

It seems that if taxes raises were always evil, than tax cuts would always be good, and we would keep lowering taxes untill there was anarchy.

Yea that's the real problem today... we have to be really careful to avoid government shrinking to the point where there is complete anarchy. We are pretty much on the razor's edge right now. Thanks for the laugh, PopulistLiberal.
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

Huckabee's "tax and spend" record in Arkansas will NOT go over well here in Michigan. We are in a one state recession and our economy is getting worse. Our legislator just signed a new service tax. Any candidate with even a hint that he'll be a big spender will probablly not do well here - conservative or liberal. That's going to make Michigan a tough state for Huckabee to take in a primary, especially where Romney is seen as the home-town boy.

Please, Granholm was just fine running as a tax and spender, hell Blue Staters eat that stuff up, and I know, Im from Illinois.

I always knew that Huckabee was the best speaker in both the GOP and the Democratic field. I'm just glad that, finally, voters and the establishment are starting to catch on as well. :-)

By the way, thanks Erick for the awesome reporting that you did today. :-)

Rep. Tom Tancredo finished fourth in the onsite poll. He trailed Fred Thompson by twelve votes. He finished ahead of Guliaini, Hunter, McCain Brownback and Paul.

"The defense of our nation begins with the defense of our borders." - Rep. Tom Tancredo and

5775 total votes
952 in Person
3000 people at the conference.

Most of Mike Huckabees votes were online just like everybody else.

Huckabee got 1107 votes online
Huckabee got 488 votes in person.

Obviously Huckabee knew about, promoted and encouraged online voting.

If it is acceptable for Huckabee then it has to be acceptable for everybody else.

Even the person who did it better.

Note who positively dominated the in person voting though...

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How many of these people went online and voted without watching the conference? Then I guess we can accept all those Ron Paul debate straw poll wins that have followed every single GOP debate. Online polls are stupid, have no value, and just don't show anything worthwhile.

Tommy Oliver

also consider most if not all of the strawpolls as being equally dubious especially when candidates bus in supporters.

Straw polls are nothing more than mouthpieces for bragging rights to me. but that's just my opinion

Tommy Oliver

That's why oooonly Ruuuuuudy can beat her!

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I doubt that even many socons have heard of FRC or pay more than passing attention to it.

You must have a good showing with moderates and independents to have a good showing in presidential elections. W compiled his winning popular vote by upping his showing in the blue states and the swing states. In terms of EV, he did poorly for a winning candidate.

As far as Hillary, I enjoy it when Her Highness bombs. So shoot me!

There are some real problems with Huckabee - take a look at Wikipedia and elsewhere. For one thing he's creepy, making the comment that the other presidential candidates should be using razor blades in a bathtub. When someone asked him how he lost 100 pounds almost overnight he said he had been in a concentration camp. He increased the debt in Arkansas by $1 billion and is a serial tax increaser - the 'biggest taxer and spender in Arkansas history'. As governor he pardoned Wayne Dumond, a convicted rapist, who then went out and raped and killed another woman. Then he had a wedding registry made up and took gifts that way so that he could skirt the gift laws as an elected official. He is also pro-illegal immigration and illegally took money from his governor's special fund to help set up a Mexican consulate in the Arkansas state capital. These are not qualities I would like to see in a president. On the other hand, Dr Ron Paul has sterling credentials. What he says makes sense. He says what the founding Fathers said, and always has. He has been married to his wife for 50 years and is pro-life in everything including the fact that we should not be warring on countries who pose no harm to us.

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I notice all the ghouls and vampires coming out at once!

The Ronulans are mad that Huckabee now makes FIVE candidates with credibility over the illustrious Representative Doctor Ronald Ernest Paul.

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...candidates with credibility over the illustrious Representative Doctor Ronald Ernest Paul?

There are candidates not yet born who have more credibility....oh, never mind.

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