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.

Advertisements

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:

Republicans
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.

 


Huckabee Tied with Rudy for First in Rasmussen Poll

December 4, 2007

I have often said that Huckabee supporters should always take daily tracking polls with a grain of salt because they can change so quickly. While I still hold to that, this is worth mentioning because it is a milestone for the Huckabee campaign.

Excerpt:

With less than a month to go before the Iowa caucuses, the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that Rudy Giuliani has fallen back in the pack in the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination. Giuliani’s support has fallen to 18% and four other candidates are within six percentage points of the lead. Mike Huckabee is enjoying an amazing surge and now shares the top spot with Giuliani at 18%.

Read the full story here. (link)


Huckabee Wins Oklahoma Straw Poll

December 3, 2007

It appears that Huckmania is spreading. According to the Tulsa World (link), Mike Huckabee won a recent straw poll in Oklahoma with 26% of the vote. Romney came in a close second with 23% and Thompson rounded out the top three with 20%.

As an Oklahoma resident, I believe that Huckabee has the perfect message for the state. Huckabee’s pledge to close the border to curb illegal immigration will resonate with Oklahomans who have recently passed tough laws against illegals. His stance on increasing arts education in public schools will resonate with a school system that needs improvement. His pro-homeschooling ideas will motivate the large numbers of home schooling families in the state to vote for him. These families are usually heavily involved in the community and in churches and will bring a lot of friends and family to the polls with them. His history as a hunter and gun owner will appeal to the large rural population of Oklahoma.

As you can tell, from someone who has lived in Oklahoma, I believe Huckabee is the perfect candidate for the state to support. Hopefully he can find enough time in his schedule to spend a day or two making a whirlwind tour of the state. If he does that, he should be able to count on Oklahoma as a Super Tuesday victory.


Huckabee Rising in Blue New Hampshire

December 3, 2007

The latest Ramussen poll (link) puts Huckabee at his highest point yet in the heavily democratic state of New Hampshire. He is currently polling at 14% in a virtual tie for second with Rudy and McCain. Romney still maintains a comfortable lead there (34%), but the fact that Huckabee is rising shows that he can compete in states that may be more moderate.

One of the criticisms of Huckabee is that he only appeals to uber-conservative evangelical voters. The polls tell a different story. His rising numbers in red states as well as blue states prove that he can appeal to the more moderate voters in the Republican party, and also to independents who tend to be more moderate as well.

People had all but dismissed Huckabee in New Hampshire. It now appears that Huckabee could at least come in a strong second and that would be a resounding victory for him in a strongly democratic state.


Change what? — Cal Thomas

November 26, 2007

This is a couple of weeks old, but Cal Thomas hits one out of the ballpark with this column. I grow weary of polls being tossed around, saying that 75% of Americans believe the country is going in the wrong direction, yet never seem to address what the public wants to do to “change that wrong direction.” Thomas takes this poll on, blaming politicians for some of the problems, yet he also points the blame back at the 75% unhappy Americans.

The bolded paragraph below illustrates yet another reason why Mike Huckabee is surging in the polls. He is not following the Washington game, at all.

The country is frustrated. Democrats say Americans want change from Bush administration policies. That much of the country was also frustrated when Democrats were in charge apparently has escaped them.

A new Washington Post-ABC News Poll finds that nearly three-quarters of those surveyed believe the country is on the wrong track. They are deeply pessimistic about the future and dissatisfied with Washington’s corrosive political environment.

The public believes most politicians are out for themselves and not the people. They also think most politicians say and do the bidding of their respective polarizing groups and rarely say what they mean, or mean what they say.

Politicians are not the sole cause of cynicism. For too long, too many of us have asked (or allowed) government to act as a sugar daddy, dispensing ever-greater amounts of goodies, paid for with taxpayer money. When government reaches its limits — as it has now — we become angry, frustrated and, yes, cynical.

When the stock market increases by a smaller percentage than its increase last year we complain of “hard times” and worry about an approaching recession. Our grandparents never dreamed of the prosperity we enjoy today. Even the poorest among us is richer than much of the world’s poor, and the poor in America at least have the opportunity to climb out of poverty, when this opportunity is virtually nonexistent in much of the rest of the world.

Our problem is we have more of what we don’t need and less of what we do need. More things and poor relationships translate into more for self and less for others. It would appear that self-storage facilities are one of the fastest growing businesses in America. I see them everywhere multiplying like overpriced coffee shops. Why do we need so many storage units? It’s because we lack room in our larger houses for all the stuff we don’t need, bought on credit with money many of us didn’t have. It is because the marketers have sold us on the value of things, while culture has diminished the value of human relationships.

When money, pleasure and stuff don’t satisfy, we can’t blame these inanimate objects, so we blame politicians. But it isn’t entirely their fault. They were only trying to give us what we said we wanted.

Our ancestors understood sacrifice and adversity. In them it produced character and virtue. Today, the mere thought of such things breeds resentment in us. We see pleasure and things as rights. To suggest “hard times” or sacrifice is viewed as a violation of such rights. Our superficial natures quickly and inevitably give way to cynicism and pessimism.

If one is looking for a new direction, as the Post-ABC Poll suggests, one must first have a destination in mind and a strategy to get there. Where do these disaffected cynics and pessimists wish to go? Back to the ’90s, Democrats would say. Really? That was a time of false hope; a time when the defense budget was slashed and the “peace dividend” embraced. It was during the ’90s that the Taliban and their terrorist buddies used our negligence to map out 9/11 … and who knows what else?

Change can be a good thing. A changed life is good, if the old one was bad. Change back from a dollar is rare, but nice. But in order to change the direction of our country we need leaders who will boldly take us in a better direction, ones who will fight this war until we win it.

While the political GPS system is calculating the route, it would be nice for some of the presidential candidates to start talking about what kind of character we need to have when we arrive, lest we continue our present practice of filling even more storage units while our hearts and souls remain largely empty, except for the poisons known as cynicism and pessimism.


Why is Mike surging?

November 15, 2007

My good friend Caleb has written a great post about why Mike is succeeding.

Some have watched in awe, some with doubt, and others with fear as Mike Huckabee’s campaign has taken off over these last few months. His success has left many people asking why a little known candidate with no money has been able to move into second place in Iowa.

Read the rest at his blog.

I responded on his blog, but I will post my comment here, too.

Amen, my friend, Amen. Mike is rising simply because he is the antithesis to normal political behavior. He’s unscripted, passionate, honest, genuine, talks about solutions, not problems with other candidate positions. He doesn’t attack. He talks about America’s problems and suggests ways to solve them. He isn’t afraid to criticize his own party. He’s almost outside the Republican party, in some ways. Almost.

He definitely and obviously represents and is trying to address the average American’s concerns. Not Wall Street. Not the special interest groups. He tells us that politicians are saying the economy is good, but when you talk to the hairdresser, the cabdriver, the hotel cleaning crew, life IS NOT good. And that resonates with voters who have felt neglected, rejected, seduced and then cast off in the past many many eleections.

Once my classes are done in a couple of weeks, I plan on doing some research and writing a lot more. My posts may not be a lot at first, but keep checking back. This will hopefully start to take off early in December. Meanwhile, check out the official Mike Huckabee campaign site and the Grassroots Huckabee website for a lot more information on Mike!