osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Not Surprsing Out of Iowa -- the Rs

Am I the only one not surprised by Huckabee's strong showing? It seemed obvious to me for the last few weeks that Romney had basically stalled, and that Huckabee's mix of southern Christian orthodoxy and economic populism was just the tonic to put heart into Evangelicals who had no one they liked.

OTOH, I side with the pundits predicting that Huckabee's win is a shot in the arm for McCain in NH -- especially when he made a decent (if not phenomenal) showing in the Iowa primary. Thompson has clearly fizzled, and Guliani is now pinning his hopes on FL (which does have delegates for the Rs).

If McCain wins in NH with Huckabee second, Romney is in real trouble and Republican corporate interests will face a hard choice. Pro-business groups within the Rs such as the "Club for Growth" have tried to organize around Romney as the most favorable candidate for their agenda. But if Romney loses in NH to McCain, the business interests will need to decide whether to accept McCain as the lesser of two evils or whether to hope that Romney can pull it out. Right now, McCAin and Romney are polling decently with Huckabee far behind. The real question is whether Iowa causes Republicans and independents to revisit Huckabee and possibly see him as more than the candidate of the religious right.

McCain's chances certainly look a heck of a lot better now than they did in the fall. If McCain carries NH, he is much more likely to carry MI. The real issue is whether Republican voters share the same taste for change that Democrats are showing, and if so whether they want it in the Libertarian flavor or the Social Conservative flavor.

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