Wow. Simply Wow.

January 4, 2008

I was at the party in downtown Des Moines last night, as the predictions were announced and speeches were given and hugs and high-fives, and cheers and huge smiles were ever-present. Gov. Huckabee’s speech was electrifying. It made ever single phone call I made this week here in Iowa completely worth it.

I’ll try to write a summary blog of my experiences later, but I wanted to share with you all part of a column written late last night by Michael Medved that I think needs serious attention by our so-called party leaders (those with the nice titles — not the party leaders, the voters, as was shown tonight):

NOW THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT: Key revelations from the Entrance Poll of some 1600 respondents reported by CNN re-enforce the idea that cheerfulness and optimism were crucial to Huckabee’s success.

The Huck-meister built his impressive victory margin almost entirely among younger voters –the group most likely to respond to a positive appeal, and least likely to respond by mean-spirited fights about who can be tougher or angrier regarding illegal immigrants.

Among voters (many of them first-timers, obviously) between the ages of 17 and 29, Huckabee crushed Romney by an almost two-to-one margin (40% to 22%). In this youthful group, the Mad Doctor (Ron Paul) virtually tied Romney with 21%). In the next youngest age group (30 to 44), Huckabee won by a similarly devastating margin (39% to 23%) Only among the oldest (and, presumably grouchiest) segment of the electorate did Romney even come close to matching Huckabee: of those above the age of 65 (a full 27% of caucus goers), the two candidates almost tied (30% for Huck, 28% for Mitt).

One other group that delivered big time for Huckabee involved voters with limited income. Those who reported household incomes below $50,000 backed the former Arkansas governor by 36% to 20%. Those who eanred more than $50 K split almost evenly: 32% to 28%. In other words, Huckabee won a statewide landslide because he held a 16 point advantage from voters who earned below the national average.

Finally, there’s the gender issue: a huge factor in Iowa. I’ve been talking for weeks about Huckabee’s special appeal to women – as a neighborly, unassuming, soft-spoken and reliable sort of guy. According to the entrance polls, Iowa gals agree that they Like Mike – and how! Male voters split almost down the middle 29% for Huck, 26% for Mitt. The ladies, in the other hand, very decisively preferred the rumpled, balding, former fatty from Hope, Arkansas, to the blow-dried, athletic, dazzlingly handsome multi-millionaire from Boston. The Huckabee margin among female voters: a breathtaking 40% to 24%. Watch out, Janet Huckabee: it looks like your husband of 33 years somehow discovered Love Potion Number Nine (I’m sure he could play that song on his bass guitar).

Now, take a moment to add up the impact of these numbers.

Huckabee earned his victory by piling up big margins among women, the poor, and the young.

And where, demographically, have Republicans faced horrible problems in the recent past (particulary 2006)? We’ve lost by giving our opponents huge margins among…. women, the poor, and the young.

The obvious conclusion is that party leaders need to give special respect and attention to a Republican with special appeal to three key groups that normally reject the GOP — taking a second look at Huckabee for his ability to win women, the poor and the young.

Very very interesting.


Huckabee Wins Iowa!

January 3, 2008

Mike Huckabee was able to overcome the millions spent by Romney attempting to smear him and emerge from Iowa with a decisive win. Huckabee is now a force that no one can dismiss. The attacks and scrutiny against him will continue, but he was able to overcome them in Iowa, so he should be able to so again.

The next step for Huckabee is to use this momentum to increase his funds and to start campaigning aggressively in the upcoming states. He has a shot at second in New Hampshire (although third seems more like right now) and he could pull an upset in Michigan and finish first. He needs to make solid showings in those two states in order keep momentum rolling into South Carolina and Florida.

These next few weeks will be interesting.

Crunch Time

January 3, 2008

It’s the big day. I was driving around town, running a few errands this morning, and I was listening to talk radio. It was interesting to hear some of the hosts say that Iowa is not really that important and is not representative of the rest of the country.

I honestly don’t know if the talking heads are right or wrong, but it seems that part of the reason they are dismissing Iowa is because of Mike Huckabee’s position in the polls. Huckabee has very few allies in the conservative media and they would like nothing better than to see Huckabee lose or to diminish the importance of a victory.

All of the polls suggest that Iowa is too close to call. Huckabee fell some in the polls these last two weeks because of a broadside of attack ads that Romney sent his direction. However, the latest polls this week show that Huckabee has been able to bob and weave around Romney’s punches and has regained a slight lead.

Granted, I’m not putting much stock in the polls. It is all about who can turn out the vote. Romney has superior organization, but Huckabee has supporters who appear to be a lot more motivated. One thing is for sure, it will probably be close and it will be interesting to see how Huckabee and Romney handle their final position after the votes are tallied.

These next few weeks will make or break most of the candidates. Huckabee needs to make strong showings, increase his support base, and increase his fundraising so that he can take the campaign national. Iowa will play a large role in giving him the momentum necessary to do those things.

Huckabee on the Tonight Show

January 2, 2008

Mike Huckabee had a fantastic interview tonight on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I imagine the video will make it to YouTube, sometime in the next few hours, but until then, if you missed it, here’s the transcript at the Huckabee campaign blog, along with supporter comments. It was a FANTASTIC interview, including Mike jamming with the Tonight Show band! I’ll post a link to the video of the interview, whenever it gets posted.

Huck-Chuck Rally in Des Moines

January 2, 2008

I’m up in Iowa, helping out at campaign HQ this week, and attended the huge Huck-Chuck Rally in Des Moines last night at the Val-Air Ballroom. I haven’t had time to compress the video from the event — I’ve got several clips of Gov. Huckabee playing with the local band, as well as Joe Scarborough of MSNBC — Morning with Joe host.

TheHill has a story on the rally.

Here’s a few pics from last night:

Mike’<p>s Stump Speech

Mike’s Stump Speech (sorry it’s a li’l blurry; I’m still learning a new camera)


Chuck and Gina Norris at the rally


Mike Huckabee, getting ready to play the bass guitar


Mike Huckabee jamming on the bass, with a guy from the local band, and Joe Scarborough of MSNBC! (at right)


Mike Huckabee and Joe Scarborough


Mike, Chuck and Gina Norris, and Joe Scarborough at the end of Twist ‘n’ Shout (blurry, but it’s the best I got!)

Hopefully, I’ll find time over the next couple of days to get the video done. I’ll put it up here, when it’s ready.

Huckabee Moves Ahead in RCP Polling

December 7, 2007

Real Clear Politics, a group that averages together the polling data of a number of different sources, now has Huckabee pulling ahead of Romney by more than five percentage points in Iowa. (link)

New Newsweek poll in Iowa (Dec 5-6) that shows among likely GOP voters, Mike Huckabee has taken a commanding two-to-one lead over Mitt Romney:

Huckabee 39 (+33 vs. last poll Sept 26-27)
Romney 17 (-8)
Thompson 10 (-6)
Giuliani 9 (-6)
Paul 8 (+6)
McCain 6 (-1)
Undecided 8 (-13)

With the addition of this poll, Huckabee’s lead pops to 5.2% in the RCP Average in Iowa.

I have been very cautious about jumping up and down with joy at poll number, but now I am comfortable with it because I know it is not just an isolated polling phenomena. Huckabee obviously has a lot of strength in Iowa, the question now is if he and his supporters can translate that into nationwide primary victories.


21% and Rising!!

November 13, 2007

Several different places (captured here) are reporting the new CBS News/NY Times poll released tonight, on Iowa and NH: Mike is at 21%, Romney at 27% (Full poll can be downloaded as a PDF). And this news, coming on a day that found that Romney is spending over $85,000 per day on Iowa campaign ads. How much is Mike spending on ads? NOTHING!Who’s more electable? The man with money (with contributions from his own personal wealth) or the man with the message, one that’s drastically different than any other politician in recent memory?

Who’s the real fiscal conservative? Who would you want in charge of our nation’s budget? A man who uses his own money to get what he wants, or a man who uses his resources as wisely as possible (those are last quarter’s numbers; the numbers are going to drastically change come the Dec. 31 deadline for 4th quarter), and lives like you and me on the campaign trail?

I know who my choice would be: Mike Huckabee!

Visit the campaign website to learn more about Mike.

Join the grassroots effort.

And tell others about Mike. - I Like Mike!

Update: 10:35pm

Mike Huckabee responds to the CBSNews/NYTimes poll:

“There’s definitely momentum as people are paying attention to my message. We are seeing first hand why it’s crucial for the Iowa caucuses to be first — Iowa Republicans are looking beyond my campaign budget and are relating to my values and where I stand on important issues.” -Mike Huckabee