In a post on who gets the vote of “religious conservatives,” Steve Waldman writes:
That leaves Huckabee. As a former Baptist minister himself, he has
standing to criticize Palin without being cast as anti-Christian.
Mainstream media mistakenly assume that Huckabee failed last time
because his base was too limited to religious conservatives. Actually,
he fared no better among Christians than McCain and Romney early on. He
was distrusted by many in the party for being too liberal, not for
being too conservative.
This is entirely misconceived. As any examination of the exit polls from last year’s GOP primaries will show you, Huckabee did fail because he had trouble drawing beyond his base of white evangelicals. They loved him. The distrust came from so-called leaders of the religious right, whose suspicion arose, at least in substantial part, because they didn’t think he could win. His “liberal” moment was over after Iowa. As for faring no better among Christians than McCain and Romney, that’s only if you include all Christians–Catholics and and Mainline Protestants and Mormons as well as Evangelicals. Huckabee couldn’t win the former, for sure. But Catholics and Mainline Protestants do not constitute the conservative religious base of the GOP. C’mon, Steve!
The big question for GOP big shots at the moment has to be whether Mitt Romney can manage to garner enough rank-and-file evangelical support to marginalize Huckabee. So look for Romney to play a big role in fighting the Proposition 8 repeal referendum. Where has Romney just bought a new home? La Jolla, California.
Update: I don’t appear to be the only one with this thought.