AS MISSOURI GOES: The border state produced near dead-heats on both the Republican and Democratic ballots Super Tuesday. Mike Huckabee lost the state by fewer than 1,000 votes. Might this indicator-state forecast an exciting November?
YELLOW BRICK ROAD: Kansas is next in The Huckster’s sights, its radical right tilt a natural for his message. The Washington Post also notes:
On the stump over the past week, Huckabee, who has a much less pronounced Southern accent than even some members of his family, accentuated his drawl and described how “there’s a lot of fight left in this dog,” as he angrily rebutted the argument by Romney and some conservative activists that he should drop out of the race so the anti-McCain vote could be consolidated.
Also, with McCain increasingly looking like the party’s nominee, it’s not certain Huckabee would pick up votes if Romney were to drop out. And conservative activists, such as radio host Sean Hannity, are unlikely to rally behind Huckabee, who has made some gaffes on foreign policy and has a plan for a national consumption tax that has been criticized by a variety of experts as not generating enough money to fund the government. Huckabee has also taken to bashing the Republican establishment.
“His support is concentrated among evangelicals and kind of tops off,” King said. “He is going to run out of areas where he can be a factor.”
SON OF THE SOUTH: And now it’s on to Texas for Dixie’s darling. Yep, The Huckster’s a fit down there. They gave us Bush, remember?
Yet even if he were to do well in Texas, the experts ask, so what? He cannot overtake Mr. McCain in delegates, and he does not necessarily add to his desirability as a vice-presidential candidate, since Texas is likely to vote Republican in the general election, with or without Mr. Huckabee on the ticket. Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia, also still in play, fall under similar analysis, to varying degrees.
That cold logic was not part of the equation in the Huckabee camp in Tuesday’s aftermath. Southern voters put the preacher-politician on a regional pedestal, and the strategy followed from there.
SOUTHERN-FRIED: It was only in the South and two border states that religious voters preferred Mike Huckabee, Baptist Press notes.
— Of the 14 primary states where exit polling was conducted, Huckabee won the evangelical vote in six, McCain in four and Romney in four. In addition to the four states already mentioned (Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia), Huckabee won the evangelical vote in Oklahoma and Missouri, two states which McCain carried. McCain won among evangelicals in Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey and New York — four states that he carried — while Romney won among born-agains in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Utah. McCain carried California and Connecticut.
MORE SERIOUS: Brummett’s review of Super Tuesday concludes Huckabee at least made himself more of a serious contender for vice president. He also guesses Hillary wouldn’t have done quite so well in Arkansas if more blacks had voted. Imagine if Bill Clinton said such a thing.