IS A VOTE FOR McCAIN A VOTE FOR HUCKABEE?
So I see that a new poll has McCain at 25% in New Hampshire, three points behind Romney. I think Mike Huckabee should regard that as excellent news.
As I said a while back, it's hard to imagine Huck getting majority support in the primaries -- but he can start piling up delegates if the secular candidates don't drop out early. McCain might drop out after New Hampshire if he does poorly, but if this poll is right, he'll do well and stay in for several more contests. We know Romney won't drop out early, and Giuliani's in through at least Florida, so the only big name who might drop out early is Thompson. I think that keeps Huckabee in the race.
And yet if he does get the nomination, I think his party will vote for him, even the secularists -- at least if Hillary Clinton is the nominee. And if it's a multi-candidate race (I think Ron Paul will run, and more and more I think Bloomberg and Hagel will run), who nows how much support the winner will need?
I've been thinking that Huckabee is a sure loser, but I look at the Real Clear Politics roundup of head-to-head polls and I see that Huckabee's doing about as well against Clinton and Obama as Mitt Romney is, and he's doing better than Fred Thompson. That doesn't jibe with the conventional wisdom, does it? Huck loses to Hillary by (on average) a mere 6 points right now, and loes to Obama by 10. Those leads really aren't insurmountable. So I'm saying right now that a Huckabee win in the GOP race isn't the gift from God we all think it is. I think he could be competitive. Yeah, really. You still have to be practically off the edge of the earth to be a Republican and be beyond the pale in this political culture.