Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

"New Hampshire history strong for Huckabee"

Wow, a nice pro-Huckabee editorial, and in the Evergreen of all places.

Chris Johnson, e-mail me!

From today's Daily Evergreen:
Decades of Iowa caucuses paint a pretty portrait for past and present presidential candidates

Look out, GOP members: Mike Huckabee just might be our man in 2008. The hype over the Iowa caucuses was absolutely overwhelming, and for good reason – as we move to New Hampshire, you can expect it to escalate tenfold. It’s a good idea to focus on the importance of the caucuses as we move toward choosing presidential nominees.

This year, Huckabee finished strong at the Iowa caucus, receiving 34 percent of the votes, likely because of his Southern Baptist background. This will help him in the rest of the Heartland states, but for now, New Hampshire is what matters. It's doubtful his popularity will be as high in such a liberal state. Taking a look at history, however, all Huckabee must do to become the Republican presidential nominee is stay strong in New Hampshire.

According to the Iowa caucuses website, the caucus started to gain Republican attention back in 1976, and since 1980, only two people who did not win the Iowa caucuses have become the Republican nominee: Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Iowa winners have received the presidential nominee every other election year.

The little state of New Hampshire has proven to be a quintessential prediction of who garners the nomination. Eleven winners from the Republican Party have done so since 1952, according to the New Hampshire primary website.

For the past 32 years, the Iowa caucuses have proven to be an adequate harbinger of the Republican nominee. Fortunately for Huckabee, history is on his side; New Hampshire does not have nearly the same percentage of conservative Christians as Iowa. His decade of experience as a governor could give him much headway in proven leadership skills. I propose McCain wins in New Hampshire as he did back in 2000, but because he did poorly in Iowa (as he did in 2000), he will not be the nominee. As all eyes turn to New Hampshire, Huckabee will need to keep up the momentum. One of the more historical aspects of this election is that it is the first wide-open election in several decades, which could toss up things for the Republican Party. I think his biggest struggles, however, will be swaying non-Christians to vote for him and finding a conservative base that will stick with him. If he gets into the top three, then he should clinch the nomination.

All of the hysteria about Iowa and New Hampshire does not mean the average person on campus or in Pullman has no say. Every vote matters when election time comes around. In Washington, our primary is in February. If you’re a Republican and don’t like Huckabee, then vote for him in November.

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