Mike Huckabee’s Southern Strategy?

David Shedlock notes that Mike Huckabee’s book tour to promote his forthcoming book A Simple Government focuses on Iowa and South Carolina (both states where Mitt Romney appears weak), but includes several southern states:

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

The question I have with Mike Huckabee (as well as Sarah Palin): is he doing this in preparation for a Presidential bid, or is he doing this to seem like he’s preparing for a Presidential bid, in order to get more press so he can sell more books? Perhaps both.

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Washington straw poll results

The second straw poll of the year for Republicans was held in Washington state. This straw poll, like New Hampshire’s about a week ago, is mainly an indication of sentiment among Republican operatives (= elites) within the state, and not necessarily the sentiment of rank-and-file members. It is probably more applicable to a caucus than a primary.

So, the winner is …

  1. Gov. Mitch Daniels 31%
  2. Gov. Mitt Romney 14%
  3. Gov. Tim Pawlenty 13%
  4. Gov. Chris Christie 9%
  5. Sen. John Thune 8%
  6. Gov. Bobby Jindal 5%
  7. Rep. Paul Ryan 3%
  8. Rep. Newt Gingrich 3%
  9. Sen. Jim DeMint 3%
  10. Gov. Sarah Palin 3%
  11. Gov. Haley Barbour 2%
  12. Gov. Mike Huckabee 2%
  13. Rep. Mike Pence 1%
  14. Amb. Jon Huntsman, Jr.  1%
  15. Rep. Michele Bachmann 1%
  16. Rep. Ron Paul 1%

Note: sample was approx. 300 Republican activists and politicians.

Compare and contrast to the New Hampshire staw poll:

The winner in the New Hampshire straw poll was Mitt Romney, so we have one for Mitch Daniels, one for Mitt Romney, and by similar margins. Tim Pawlenty was in the top 3 in both straw polls, and was neck-and-neck with Romney for 2nd in this straw poll. Ron Paul did much worse in the Washington poll (11% -> 1%). John Thune had a strong result at 5th and 8% (4th place if you don’t count Chris Christie, who has repeatedly insisted he is not interested in running). Mike Huckabee’s showing in both straw polls has been weak (3% -> 2%).

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Pawlenty as President

I haven’t paid much attention to the former Governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty. He was talked about as a possible Veep nominee on the McCain ticket in 2008, but outside of that I didn’t know much about him.

When I watched this interview, though, I could see him as an effective candidate for President:

Not only was Pawlenty the House Majority Leader and then two-term Governor of a mid-sized, left-leaning state (unlike Romney, who did not seek re-election in Massachusetts), but he is also an evangelical Christian, which should give him a base of support in the primaries that neither Romney or possible newcomer Huntsman – both Mormons – will have.

Because of the above, I’ve moved him into 2nd place in the Republican standings, a little above the Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels.

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Palin’s course

This article by Politico’s Andy Barr on Sarah Palin’s PAC’s latest financial report with the FEC contains this interesting line:

“The filing shows no indication that Palin has started to ramp up for a potential presidential run, as no new staff shows up on SarahPAC’s expenses — which remain very low compared to a campaign of even moderate size.”

This supports the theory that Palin does not have presidential ambitions this election cycle. Because of this, I have adjusted the percentage in her ranking (right-side of page) a few percentage points downwards.

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President Forever 2012 Candidate Attributes

Note: these numbers are not the latest. The latest numbers are now in the latest internal version of President Forever 2012. Thanks everyone for your feedback!

Candidates list to start:

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann Le=4, In=3, Ex=2, IF=2, Ch=4, St=4, D=3, Total=22
  • Gov. Haley Barbour Le=4, In=2, Ex=4, IF=4, Ch=3, St=3, D=3, Total=23
  • Gov. Chris Christie Le=5, In=3, Ex=3, IF=4, Ch=4, St=4, D=4, Total=27
  • Sec. Hillary Clinton Le=3, In=3, Ex=3, IF=4, Ch=2, St=3, D=3, Total=21
  • Gov. Mitch Daniels Le=5, In=4, Ex=4, IF=4, Ch=3, St=3, D=4, Total=27
  • Sen. Russ Feingold Le=3, In=4, Ex=3, IF=4, Ch=2, St=3, D=3, Total=22
  • Rep. Newt Gingrich Le=4, In=3, Ex=3, IF=5, Ch=2, St=3, D=4, Total=24
  • Gov. Mike Huckabee Le=4, In=3, Ex=3, IF=3, Ch=4, St=3, D=4 Total=24
  • Gov. Jon Huntsman Le=4, In=3, Ex=4, IF=4, Ch=4, St=4, D=3 Total=26
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal Le=4, In=4, Ex=3, IF=4, Ch=3, St=3, D=4, Total=25
  • Gov. Gary Johnson Le=4, In=3, Ex=3, IF=4, Ch=2, St=3, D=3, Total=22
  • President Barack Obama Le=4, In=3, Ex=4, IF=4, Ch=5, St=3, D=4 Total=27
  • Gov. Sarah Palin L=4, In=3, Ex=2, IF=2, Ch=4, St=4, D=2 Total=21
  • Rep. Ron Paul Le=2, In=5, Ex=2, IF=4, Ch=2, St=2, D=3, Total=20
  • Gov. Tim Pawlenty L=4, In=4, Exp=4, IF=3, Ch=3, St=4, D=3 Total=25
  • Gen. David Petraeus Le=4, In=3, Ex=3, IF=2, Ch=3, St=4, D=3, Total=22
  • Gov. Mitt Romney Le=4, In=3, Ex=4, IF=4, Ch=4, St=5, D=4 Total=28
  • Sen. Rick Santorum Le=3, In=3, Ex=3, IF=3, Ch=3, St=3, D=3, Total=21
  • Sen. John Thune Le=3, In=3, Ex=3, IF=3, Ch=4, St=3, D=3, Total=22
  • Mr. Donald Trump Le=4, In=3, Ex=3, IF=2, Ch=4, St=3, D=3, Total=22

(Note: in President Forever 2012, candidates have campaign attributes as well. This thread is just for personal attributes.)

This thread is an opportunity for people to give feedback on 2012 candidate personal attributes, as they see it.

The attributes currently are:

Leadership – leadership abilities and skills, often reflected by executive experience.

Integrity – personal and campaign integrity.

Experience – political (or relevant) experience.

Issue Familiarity – versatility and depth in understanding relevant issues.

Charisma

Stamina

Debating

The scale is 1-5. An average national-level candidate would have 3’s. A 4 would mean ‘exceptional’. A 5 would mean ‘very exceptional’.

You can see here for the most recent list of candidates who might be included in the 2012 game. I’ll start the candidate list off small, and occasionally expand it to more candidates.

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Republican Standings

We’re starting a new feature – the Republican Standings.

You can see them on the right-hand side of the main blog page, under Republican Standings, here.

This is a ranking of (possible) Republican candidates. The percentages indicate the chance that we think that candidate has of becoming the Republican nominee.

The ordinals and percentages are determined by a secret, 270soft formula.

If you think there is important information we’re not considering, which will change the rankings or percentages, feedback is welcome!

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And … we’re off!

New Hampshire GOP just had their first straw poll of the year, and the winner is …

1. Gov. Mitt Romney 35%

2. Rep. Ron Paul 11%

3. Gov. Tim Pawlenty 8%

4. Gov. Sarah Palin 7%

5. Rep. Michele Bachmann 5%

5. Sen. Jim DeMint 5%

7. Herman Cain 4%

8. Gov. Chris Christie 3%

8. Sen. Rick Santorum 3%

8. Gov. Mitch Daniels 3%

8. Rep. Newt Gingrich 3%

8. Gov. Mike Huckabee 3%

8. Rep. Mike Pence 3%

14. Mayor Rudy Giuliani 2%

14. Gov. Judd Gregg 2%

14. Gov. Gary Johnson 2%

17. Donald Trump 1%

18. Gov. Haley Barbour 1%

19. Amb. John Huntsman 0%

20. John Thune 0%

2% were ‘other’.

Note: sample is 273 registered members of the state Republican committee.

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