Home > General > Theories on Huckabee and Palin (And Romney)

Theories on Huckabee and Palin (And Romney)

My General theory is: One or the other will run, and it all depends on what Palin does.

One thing is clear: Palin and Huckabee share the same base. For instance, in the most recent PPP poll (yes, the one I berated in my previous post… hey the crosstabs are useful!) this is clearly shown. Palin Supporters like Huckabee more than any other candidate (71-17%) and Huckabee supporters like Palin more than any of the other candidates by far (60-11%). While Huckabee supporters are okay with Romney (55-14%), 33% of Palin supporters have an unfavorable view of him.

Romney Supporters don’t really like any of the other candidates, perhaps showing their establishment roots. While Palin and Huckabee are viewed OK by Romney voters, they are really dislike by those candidates most likely to take Primary votes from him. Daniels is barely break-even at 35-32% favorability, and Tim Pawlenty is just not liked at all by Romnians, falling to 21-41% favorables.

First, the Poll Numbers:

With Huckabee/Palin:  Huckabee 20%, Romney 17%, Palin 15%Gingrich 12%

Without Huckabee: Palin 23%, Romney 20%, Gingrich 16%

Without Palin: Huckabee 25%, Romney 20%, Gingrich 14%

The Basic Theory: Camp Romney and Camp Palin do not like each other. Mostly, this comes from Romney’s establishment allies who have constantly trashed Palin since she became McCain’s VP (and it became apparent McCain was not going to win). The Establishment and Anti-Establishment candidates’ camps do not get along, no shock there. Camp Romney and Huckabee don’t like each other much, either. I pretty much surmise this from the 2008 WV primary where Romney was ahead of McCain, and Huckabee convinced McCain to throw the state his was so as to not give any momentum to Romney, who badly needed the win there. McCain threw, Huckabee took, and Romney suffered the loss. Plus, Huckabee especially liked going after Romney in the 2008 Primaries, and referred to him in his book thusly: Romney was “anything but conservative until he changed the light bulbs in his chandelier in time to run for president.”

So, what to do in 2012. Huckabee leads or ties Palin and Romney in many polls, however he has indicated he will not announce until very late. Why? One would think that Huckabee, who had much trouble fund-raising in 2008, would want to establish himself quickly and start to raise cash if he were planning on running. Waiting until summer would be disastrous. It does not seem like he is planning on running, but the door has been left open. If Palin decides not to run, which seems less likely, Huckabee will jump in and gobble up her voter support and cash funds and, likely, walk away with the nomination (assuming of course no other dream conservative candidate appears).

However, a Palin run will likely make Huckabee opt against a run. First, fighting with Palin over cash and conservative-attention is not a win-win situation for Huckabee. A three-way race would be close, and Huckabee would have a lot to lose by entering and not winning. He would be done in Presidential politics. You can only run so many times and not win and be taken seriously (yes, I’m talking to you Ron Paul). Even more importantly, I don’t think Huckabee wants Romney to win the nomination, and would be willing to clear the path for Palin to make that a reality. Plus, if Palin wins the nomination and loses in 2012, Huckabee is only 61 in 2016. And if Palin wins, he is only 65 in 2020. And there is no ruling out a Palin/Huckabee ticket.

So, we know that Romney is running, but he seems to be afraid to announce first. I think Palin is running, which means I think Huckabee is not running. That’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it. And now for a flashback. Palin, Huckabee, and Romney have been the 3 candidates most favored by Republicans since the week after Obama won in 2008. A Gallup Survey a week after the election showed that GOP voters wanted to see Palin run the most (67% yes), followed by Romney at 62% and Huckabee at 61%. Not much as changed, as these are the three who start out on top over two years later.



Categories: General
  1. frontiersman
    February 15, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Can you give us the numbers on how it would break down in a one-on-one with Palin and Romney based on the second-choice numbers? The argument is that Palin could never win a one-on-one but based on the second-choice numbers, it seems that she would lead Romney (you’ll have to exclude of course the Romney supporters that list her for their second choice and her supporters that list Romney for their second choice).

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