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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Huck Might Be Running

Mike Huckabee has left Fox to explore a presidential race.  At The Daily Beast, Lloyd Green writes:
Practically speaking, Huckabee must win in places like Florida, Texas and Virginia, which is no small task given Bush’s footprint in Florida, and Sen. Ted Cruz’s favorite son status in Texas. For the moment, national polls show Bush and New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie, at the front of the Republican field, with Huckabee, Paul, and Ben Carson in contention, and Cruz looking like an also-ran.
Huckabee will also need to establish a reliable fundraising base, something that up until now has proved to be elusive. In 2008, Huckabee raised a little over $16 million, with less than $55,000 coming from political action committees. By contrast, John McCain, the eventual GOP nominee, had raised approximately $12.7 million in the first quarter of 2007 alone.
Despite his fundraising challenge he has some advantages.  He is well-liked, enjoys enthusiasm among religious conservative, and appeals to the base on taxes.
More to the point, Huckabee has a natural appeal to a party that has come to represent the bulk of working class white voters. He has taken a tough stance on unilateral presidential amnesty for illegal immigrants, and has backed “fair trade,” in the face of globalization. Huckabee is also not burdened by, or beholden to, foreign investors. In a sense, Huckabee may be America’s UKIP candidate, melding nationalism with traditionalism.
 In July, Gallup found that "he reigns as the single candidate with the best combination of familiarity and net favorability among Americans who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party nationwide."
Potential 2016 Republican presidental candidates favor and familiar ratings
As for problems, back to the Green article:
As for his campaign staff, Huckabee is going with people who were with him in 2008, Chip Saltsman, the Republican National Committeeman from Tennessee, and Alice Stewart, his 2008 press secretary—but that may not necessarily be the best thing. Saltsman is best known for circulating a CD containing the satirical ditty, “Barack the Magic Negro,” as part of Saltsman’s own failed bid to be tapped as chairman of the Republican National Committee. As for Stewart, she is known and generally liked by the press corps, and she’s a veteran of Michele Bachmann’s short-lived 2012 presidential campaign and the equally successful Santorum drive.
Despite his ease in front of the camera, he also has to watch out for damaging gaffes.