Wednesday, December 12, 2007

IOWA IS CHANGING EVERYTHING




Republican voters, dissatisfied with the front-running candidates, are taking a closer look at former Arkansas governor, former Baptist minister, Mike Huckabee. The latest polls have put Huckabee ahead of Mitt Romney in Iowa, even though Romney has spent a pile of money in the state in preparation for the January 3 caucus. Over the past few months, Huckabee has come from way behind. A win in Iowa could put him at the front of the pack. He could easily become the Republican nominee for the presidency.

At the same time Democratic front runner,Hillary Clinton, is showing weakness in Iowa. Although she still leads nationally, in Iowa it is a three-way race between Clinton, Obama, and Edwards. Whoever wins in Iowa and in New Hampshire the next week could leave the others in the dust.

Mike Huckabee rose from the bottom of the pack. Now he has a clear shot at the top position. Democratic candidate Carl Perrin is still at the very bottom, even below Dennis Kucinich, but a lot could change in the next month. Perrin has high hopes of a good showing in New Hampshire, the state where he grew up, went to school, and started his teaching career.

Don’t be too quick to write off Perrin’s candidacy as a Quixotic quest. The top three Democrats could knock each other out of the race, and the party will need a unifier like Dr. Carl Perrin. The general election could be a race between former Baptist minister Mike Huckabee and former English professor, Dr. Carl Perrin.

1 comment:

Bob McCarty Writes said...

Much of the political world’s attention in recent days has been focused upon Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama and how he might benefit from the so-called “Oprah Effect.” Conversely, little attention has been paid to the impact of the “Okra Effect” on Mike Huckabee -- that is, until now.

During the last weekend of September, Republican presidential candidates traveled to Irmo, S.C., to participate in the Okra Strut, an event described in a Boston.com article as “a parade and festival celebrating the slimy green vegetable so beloved in the South.”

While some might scoff at the notion of the Okra Effect, I do not. Why not? Because I’ve analyzed events that have transpired during the two and a half months since the Okra Strut took place.

For instance, the above-referenced article, among other things, included a statement that Rudy Giuliani was looking at South Carolina as a springboard to win Florida on Jan. 29. Apparently, the former New York City mayor’s board has lost some of its spring since then as Real Clear Politics shows Rudy leading the Palmetto State GOP race in only one of five polls.

The article included a mention of Fred Thompson as a native Southerner, popular actor, and former senator from Tennessee, is aiming to jump-start his campaign by sweeping the South, with South Carolina a virtual must-win. And he's still waiting. A Real Clear Politics poll average today shows Thompson in a virtual third-place tie with Giuliani.

Mitt Romney was said to have spent more time and money in the state than Giuliani. After spending that much money (and missing the Okra Strut due to a brief illness), the former Massachusetts governor finds himself mired in second place.

And, finally, the article gave mention to Mike Huckabee as a Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor who has drawn some excitement from evangelicals and conservative activists, but remains far back in the polls and fund-raising. Since then, however, Huckabee has surged into first place in South Carolina.

An Associated Press article four days ago might help explain his rise in popularity.

Huckabee is quoted as saying, "Carrots. I just don't like carrots. I banned them from the governor's mansion when I was governor of Arkansas because I could." Nowhere in the article, however, does one find Huckabee expressing any disdain for the slimy green vegetable to which he might owe his success.

That's why, I think it's safe to conclude, that this one-time long-shot candidate does indeed owe his success to something -- most likely, the Okra Effect.

I won't be surprised if his campaign rallies begin to feature segments during which throngs of Huckabee supporters chant a new slogan, "ALL HAIL OKRA!™"