Another Huckabee Surge?

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The Huckabee-McCain choice is basically a choice between third-degree burns and skin cancer, but there's some pleasure to be derived from watching the two go at it. Thus, the Survey USA polls of Virginia—the last Southern state to hold a primary until Mississippi goes next month. On February 8, before the Huckabee wins in Kansas and Louisiana, McCain led Huckabee 57-25, Ron Paul bringing up the rear with 9 percent. Today it looks like the McCain bounce from Romney's exit is already gone: McCain leads 48-37. In 72 hours the gap has shrunk by 21 points.

I'm still expecting McCain to win and for any win to be covered as a Caesarian triumph, but this is the state he blew in 2000 by attacking (correctly, of course) Jerry Falwell as an "agent of intolerance" when he should have been racking up votes in the Tidewater region. McCain famously knuckled under to Falwell in 2006, giving the commencement speech at Liberty University, but why should religious right voters be convinced by that when they can vote for Huckabee? Why should protest voters in the Beltway go for McCain at all?

The Capital Region (VA-MD-DC) Ron Paul organizers have been working this turf for a while, but if they're going to become part of this story it'll be because they help drive McCain's total vote under 50 percent.

NEXT: Tom Lantos, RIP

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  1. If Huckabee pulls a win in Virginia or even comes within 10 points he will have become the Republican Jerry Brown of 2008.

  2. SUSA has been very good on the Democratic side this year.

  3. Well, third-degree burns are an immediate problem, while skin cancer takes a long time to develop. If the intensity is the same, I’ll take skin cancer.

  4. Yesterday I posted that I would not vote for Clinton under any circumstane. Let me backpedal. If that ignorant, hillbilly, whack-job preacher gets the GOP nod, I will campaign for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. I don’t think it’ll happen, but if it does …

  5. McCain famously knuckled under to Falwell in 2006, giving the commencement speech at Liberty University

    If I remember correctly, his speech wasn’t all that well received, as he didn’t pander to that audience they way he was expected to.

  6. To be fair to McCain, Ron Paul just spoke at Liberty University.

    So although it may be my preference for a candidate to return an invitation from Liberty with the RSVP, “No thanks, I’m too well to attend,” I guess that’s not realistic.

    I guess in the modern era it’s no big deal to speak to an organization whose mission statement makes plain its intent to subvert the Constitution.

  7. J sub D,

    Ditto that.

  8. I’m still expecting McCain to win and for any win to be covered as a Caesarian triumph

    Except there will be no one whispering in McCain’s ear that he isn’t a god.

    If McCain is the Republican nominee he will be insufferable. He thought he deserved this in 2000 and has had 8 years to think how much more he deserves it.

  9. Ugh, if Huckabee wins I am seriously considering moving out of the country. Actually, I’m considering it anyway, but I am having a hard time figuring out which country is acceptable. When all suck equally I will probably stay here for my NFL Sunday Ticket. Yeah, I’m a sucker for wacthing my shitty team underperform every year, but at least I recognize that I’m a sucker, if that counts for anything.

  10. If that ignorant, hillbilly, whack-job preacher gets the GOP nod, I will campaign for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

    I wouldn’t go quite that far. I’d probably write in Eric Dondero or something. We need a president with military and canvassing experience.

  11. I’d vote for Caesar. After all, he turned down the crown. He’s like a latter-day Cincinnatus!

  12. If I weren’t an American I’d be laughing at Americans for fielding such a dismal set of candidates. Is it worse now than ever, or does the interminable election “season” make it seem so?

  13. I’d vote for Cesar, sure.

    Wait, who?

  14. Yeah, I’m a sucker for wacthing my shitty team underperform every year, …

    Another Lions fan?

  15. SUSA has been very good on the Democratic side this year.

    Sousa is never good.

  16. Now that Huckabee seems to be gaining, I don’t know whether to vote for Obama tomorrow to stop Billary or vote for McCain to stop Huckster.

  17. You know, Gaius Julius Caesar. He was consul a while back. And a very successful general, winning us large chunks of France. You’d like him–he’s a populist with lots of progressive ideas.

  18. Sousa is never good.

    The March KIng? You are slandering the writer of Stars and Stripes Forever?

    Fuckin’ commie.

  19. “All of the Middle East is divided into three parts…” — excerpt from McCain’s Persian Wars

  20. I don’t know Pro L, he utterly failed to build a wall across Cisalpine Gaul. I think he’s soft on illegal Celtic immigration.

  21. You know, Gaius Julius Caesar. He was consul a while back. And a very successful general, winning us large chunks of France. You’d like him–he’s a populist with lots of progressive ideas.

    As I hear reports of this dumbass tax rebate/stimulus package, I am reminded of the time Caesar paid the rents of all the plebeians, right after he claimed himself consul for life and a living god…

  22. I don’t think Huckabee can catch up at this point.

  23. Well, I did hear that he plans to leave the capital to go fight the Parthians, which means that he, like McCain, wants to continue our Middle Eastern entanglements.

  24. Taktix, clearly the interstate commerce clause allows the federal government to claim for itself all necessary powers for the distribution of bread and circuses.

    … and health care, and retirement entitlements, and mortgage loan subsidies, and …

  25. If that ignorant, hillbilly, whack-job preacher gets the GOP nod—at least he has a sense of humor and managed SOMETHING!!! (State government for ten years).

  26. Now that Huckabee seems to be gaining, I don’t know whether to vote for Obama tomorrow to stop Billary or vote for McCain to stop Huckster.

    I have the same problem, I had planned on voting for Obama tomorrow, but Huckabee is almost as scary as Hillary. OTOH, the corrupt wife of a former Big Man would makes us look like a third world nation. Obama it is.

  27. McCain looks like an undead chipmunk corpse, and he preaches fear and violence….extremely expensive violence….pretty much non stop.

    The notion of such a statist zombie carrying the banner for (what’s left of) the GOP can even make an awww-shucks I’m-just-waitin’-for-the-apocalypse Jesus freak look appealing.

  28. “The Huckabee-McCain choice is basically a choice between third-degree burns and skin cancer”

    And you chide FOX for claiming to be fair and balanced? You are the shittiest political writer who doesn’t write for The Nation.

  29. You are the shittiest political writer who doesn’t write for The Nation

    Better than that stupid “purple like a Ravens-Vikings game” analogy earlier today…

  30. Not Lions. Bills.

  31. You are the shittiest political writer who doesn’t write for The Nation

    Dave should put this on the main H&R page, and on his bio too.

  32. at least he has a sense of humor and managed SOMETHING!!! (State government for ten years).

    Well he’d need a sense of humor, wouldn’t he? From the Statistical Abstract of the United States,

    PERSONS 25 YEARS OLD AND OVER WITH A BACHELOR’S DEGREE OR MORE, 2004
    Arkansas 49th
    PERSONAL INCOME PER CAPITA IN CURRENT DOLLARS, 2005
    Arkansas 47th
    MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME, 2005
    Arkansas 48th
    HOMEOWNERSHIP RATE, 2005
    Arkansas 37th
    MOBILE HOMES, PERCENT OF TOTAL HOUSING UNITS, 2005
    Arkansas 8th
    PERSONS BELOW POVERTY LEVEL, 2005
    Arkansas 6th

    Plus I don’t want someone who thinks “the end times” are near to have his finger on the nuclear button.

  33. MOBILE HOMES, PERCENT OF TOTAL HOUSING UNITS, 2005
    Arkansas 8th

    So it’s not just a nasty stereotype promulgated by elitist assholes in New England? As a non-elitist asshole from New England, I’m shocked.

  34. “MOBILE HOMES, PERCENT OF TOTAL HOUSING UNITS, 2005 — Arkansas 8th”

    That’s misleading. The further south one goes the better the climate for mobile homes. Where does Florida rank?

    I have been to Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia. And in just about every measure, Arkansas is the more progressive/enlightened state in the south.

  35. I’m, apparently, and elitist asshole from New England, and I’ve had it up to here with people slagging on mobile home owners.

    They’re a good choice for a lot of people. They represent a serious shot at upward mobility for many poorer people, who can at least get into some equity instead of renting, and use it to get into a house someday.

    But you say “trailer” and everybody just devolves into lowbrow snobbery.

    I once took a writer at the Nation to task for writing the sentence “They don’t allow this behavior at trailer parks!” to highlight how sleazy some particular politician is. To their credit, they ran it as a letter to the editor.

  36. The problem with that “ignorant hillbilly whackjob” is that his weeknesses are very similar to McCain’s. They both support an unpopular war. They both know zip diddly about economics, they both are barely smarter than your average pro-wrestling fan.

    The GOP (and the whole country) needs an effective alternative, but the best one got kneecapped by bad journalism of which Reason played a large part.

  37. I’d kind of like to live in a trailer. For one thing, they have a relatively small ecological footprint, don’t they?

    Unlike with a house, you can’t be driven from your home by rising property taxes just because of who moved into your neighborhood. Yeah, you might have to move your home somewhere else, but the part of it that’s fundamentally your property is still yours.

    And having lived in small quarters for a formative part of my life, I’m quite comfortable with them.

    So there you have it: apparently I want to be a trailer bum. Do I have to turn in my cosmotarian card now?

  38. Joe, they’re rednecks and vote Republican. Now, you may ridicule them just like we do. You’re welcome.

  39. “I once took a writer at the Nation to task for writing the sentence “They don’t allow this behavior at trailer parks!” to highlight how sleazy some particular politician is. To their credit, they ran it as a letter to the editor.”

    Then if you’ve been reading Weigel’s work here, even for just a week or two, you must be writing scads of letters to the Reason editors.

  40. The GOP (and the whole country) needs an effective alternative, but the best one got kneecapped by bad journalism of which Reason played a large part.

    That’s historical revisionism at best. What kneecapped Ron Paul was quite simply the refusal of the Republican Party or its ideological apparatus to take him seriously. Not being permitted to early debates, not being given airtime, his numbers never mentioned even when they were higher than other candidates. From the very beginning, Ron Paul was given the treatment reserved for spoiler candidates.

    Don’t expect an alternative from the GOP. Their own errors this decade have doomed them, and it’s time to wander in the woods again until they get a better idea.

  41. I’m sure your efforts at conscience raising were very rewarding. Gold star!

  42. You see, New England has as much white trash as anywhere else, but ours don’t have southern accents and don’t tend to live in mobile homes.

  43. Paying lot rent can be more expensive than you think. While trailer ownership is not renting, the depreciation is there, plus the lot rent. While it is homeownership, it’s more akin to vehicle ownership. The equity is not the same as with a stickbuilt house, because resale is not nearly as good. So, it’s somewhere in between. Renting is sometimes better if you rent cheap and save up for a traditional house. Not always, but sometimes.

  44. They may be rednecks, Nick, but they don’t seem to vote Republican nearly as much as the guy who rents them to the land.

  45. Was Huckabee the governor who lived in a trailer for a while? During a governor’s mansion renovation or something like that?

  46. True, Nick, but the construction/manufacture has advanced so much in the past decade or so that they are keeping their value much better than they used to.

  47. Add to it, that sometimes the kind of customers in the market for trailers, screw themselves with bad mortgages. Again, not always but sometimes.

  48. Now, joe, you’re about to say that capitalists all walk around wearing top hats. Plenty of slumlords are Democrats. And trailer-park owners, if there’s a difference.

  49. Mobile homes combine the worst aspects of renting with the worst aspects of owning.

  50. We have lots of trailers in Massachusetts.

    They rent them out as classroom space to rich suburban towns who turn down property tax increases.

  51. We have trailer parks on Long Island. We just don’t have tornados, so you never hear about them.

  52. If they are in the Bible Belt, I’d bet they are voting Republican.

  53. joe, I know what kind of trailers you’re talking about. They’re not really the same as the single-wides you see rusting down south. Took an alternate route from Raleigh to Charlotte once and was depressed by the time I got there.

  54. I’d kind of like to live in a trailer. For one thing, they have a relatively small ecological footprint, don’t they?

    True, but they are tornado magnets.

  55. “Ron Paul organizers have been working this turf for a while, but if they’re going to become part of this story it’ll be because they help drive McCain’s total vote under 50 percent.”

    Don?t discount the Nazi vote. Herr Doktor Paul vill vin!

  56. Ron Paul Gets Ready to Quit

    Paul rules out a third party run:

    I don’t like absolutes in politics, but it’s about as close to being absolute as possible that I’m not going to be the [third-party] competitor. I may well have an influence and I will make statements and maybe there will be somebody I can support, but you know I don’t have the plan to offer myself up because of the politics of it, you know doing third-party or independent run, the need for the money and getting on [the ballot] with all the laws and getting in the debates – it’s just not practical for me.

    Plus, if he quits now, he gets to keep about $5 million cash on hand for use for his own future political purposes. No need for any more of those inflammatory fundraising letters! Yet I wonder: isn’t there something odd about Paul’s desire to hold onto those imminently worthless federal shinplasters? Maybe there’s something about finally laying hands on a great big pile of Federal Reserve notes that makes one think they might hold some value after all?

  57. We have lots of trailers in Massachusetts.

    They rent them out as classroom space to rich suburban towns who turn down property tax increases.

    And, the loaded comment of the day award goes to…

  58. The real problem isn’t trailers, or tar paper shacks, or crumbling intercity apartments. The problem is that we do not have a non-racial, general, yet thematically precise insult term for the stubborn strain of people in any given society who are ignorant and inordinately proud of that fact. I’m not talking about the genuinely stupid, I’m not talking about the poor. I’m talking about the people who know there is a whole wide world of opportunity and consciously reject to engage it. And they are determined to pass this ignorance on to their children. Any ideas?

  59. And, the loaded comment of the day award goes to…

    I thought we stopped giving those out because the shelf in his rec room finally collapsed from their combined weight.

  60. I thought we stopped giving those out because the shelf in his rec room finally collapsed from their combined weight.

    Oh, I ran out of trophies a while ago. The prize now is just a thump in the johnson…

  61. The real problem isn’t trailers, or tar paper shacks, or crumbling intercity apartments. The problem is that we do not have a non-racial, general, yet thematically precise insult term for the stubborn strain of people in any given society who are ignorant and inordinately proud of that fact. I’m not talking about the genuinely stupid, I’m not talking about the poor. I’m talking about the people who know there is a whole wide world of opportunity and consciously reject to engage it. And they are determined to pass this ignorance on to their children. Any ideas?

    Donderoes?

  62. Reason is a libertarian magazine, Taxtix?, and libertarianism belongs to Eric Dondero by law, since he spent so very much time holding a sign in cold weather. Keep in mind that the non-aggression axiom includes property, and kindly respect that Eric Dondero owns everything associated with libertarianism.

  63. So there you have it: apparently I want to be a trailer bum. Do I have to turn in my cosmotarian card now?

    Converted shipping containers are the way to go, my man. You’re recycling, so the basic structure has an ecological footprint of almost nothing.

  64. Converted shipping containers are the way to go, my man.

    That or a van down by the river.

  65. Well until the Republicans are handed their worst defeat in decades they won’t listen to reason. So enjoy turning chicken shit into chicken shit salad in that whole McCain vs Huckabee ordeal..

  66. Isn’t recycling actual goods overrated from an ecological standpoint? I was under the impression that recycling was kind of a sacred cow and that the real ecological footprint was land usage. I could be wrong. of course.

  67. Let’s see, first off about the trailers: I live in a manufactured home on eight acres in the mountains of Northern California. Manufactured homes are an excellent choice if you have large scale plans (as I do) and want someplace to live on the property meanwhile.

    Second off, the fact that Huckabee is a heretic in scientific matters doesnt matter to me too much or at all. If I don’t want him to be President (and I don’t) it is because of his wacky tax ideas more than anything else.

    Third off, I think that Johnny would be a fun President.

    Fourth off, if Obama would pick Richardson for his VP, he would increase the chances that I will vote Democratic this year. Admittedly, these chances are currently infinintesimal, and would have to go up quite a bit to be even measurable, but there it is.

    .

  68. Ron Paul isn’t quitting. He scaled back just like McCain did just prior to Iowa. People here at H&R predicted MCain’s demise also, but alas it turned out to be a bit premature.

    Paul got over 20% and may well win Washington State in delegates. The story being buried in the press is that both outsider candidates benefitted from Romney’s departure, but McCain (the “maverick”) didn’t.

  69. Castle Grande (of Clinton/McDougal Whitewater fame)was to include a trailer park and a microbrewery. I could handle living in a trailer park next to a microbrewery.

  70. I’ll also be turning in my Cosmotarian decoder ring, but because I dont have the sufficiant hatred and fear of McCain as a Reasonite should have apparently.

    And, and before anyone else says it…..DRINK!!!

  71. Cesar, above, called Mr. Huckabee the “Jerry Brown of 2008.” The only problem with that scenerio is that Jerry Brown lost all momentum and stopped winning states. As a matter of fact, Tsongas, who had dropped out of the race continued to get more votes in promaries than Brown did. The person who said this must have watched the uninformed pundits on MSNBC yesterday. Cesar, parrots can talk, but their critical thinking skills are pretty weak.

  72. “The problem is that we do not have a non-racial, general, yet thematically precise insult term for the stubborn strain of people in any given society who are ignorant and inordinately proud of that fact.”

    May I suggest “Weigels”?

  73. Episiarch, rest assured that your heroic efforts at Star Trek TOS references on this thread have not gone unremarked, nor unappreciated. 🙂

  74. Episiarch,

    Just saw an old Mission: Impossible episode with William Smithers (Merik in “Bread and Circuses”) as the bad guy. If you’re a TOS fan, M:I is extra fun, because guest stars overlap like mad. Mark Lenard was a bad guy in another episode I saw (bless DVDs).

  75. But you say “trailer” and everybody just devolves into lowbrow snobbery.

    Well said.

    Some of my best memories are of living in a trailer on Grassy Key a hundred and fifty feet from the water. I certainly couldn’t afford to buy a house there and rents were double what they were on the mainland.

    Even so I not below trailer park jokes.

    So, what do a tornado and a redneck couple getting a divorce have in common?

    Someone’s gonna lose a trailer.

  76. The GOP (and the whole country) needs an effective alternative, but the best one got kneecapped by bad journalism of which Reason played a large part.

    Aha, it’s nice to see that “The Backstab” is alive and well. I’m sure Paul’s failure had nothing whatsoever with his inability to turn money and grassroots support into actual votes.

  77. Manufactured homes: my area of special expertise. I’m a man home dealer (as well as a GC, and a Realtor. I know, how many sleazy professions can one man have?). These things have improved a good bit, but they are still just pure crap. I sell Fleetwood, Cavco, and Palm Harbor. Some are better than others but the quality is crap across the board. Almost any site built home is preferable. I also build homes and the difference between low end site built and man homes is unbelievable.

    My favorite sales line? “Do you think that site built home was designed to go down the freeway at 60 mph?”

  78. I’m still expecting McCain to win

    Huh?

    When did Weigel ever expect McCain to win?

  79. They may be rednecks, Nick, but they don’t seem to vote Republican nearly as much as the guy who rents them to the land.

    Most of us try to sell them the land…but asshole planners like joe try to prevent us from doing just that.

    My presidential voting record since I was legal to vote goes like this:

    Clinton
    Dole
    did not vote
    Badnarak

    From what I can see over 4 election cycles only one vote went to a Republican and gasp one went to a democrat.

    I like how joe just decried stereotyping poor trailer owners out of one side of his mouth then talked shit about another group from the other.

    What a fucking hypocrite.

  80. I would vote for joe over McCain or Huckabee.

    I would probably vote for just about any H & R poster other than that guy who hates Mexicans over McCain or Huckabee.

  81. Taktix?,

    Oh, I ran out of trophies a while ago. The prize now is just a thump in the johnson…

    I approve, I approve.

  82. Most of us try to sell them the land…but asshole planners like joe try to prevent us from doing just that.

    My father retired, moved to Florida (damn yankee – one who stays), bought some property and got a double wide mobile home. It suits a retired couple quite well. Raising kids in it and it likely would get trashed in short order. It’s a nice neighborhood, not atrailer park. Individuals own the land and it’s zoned so “manufactured housing” is allowed.

    I’ve also seen trailer parks that are a step down from inner city ghetto.

    How many points/demerits do I get for inadvertantly hijacking a thread?

  83. Don?t discount the Nazi vote. Herr Doktor Paul vill vin!

    “Nazi vote” is code for “jew”

  84. “Cesar, above, called Mr. Huckabee the “Jerry Brown of 2008.” The only problem with that scenerio is that Jerry Brown lost all momentum and stopped winning states.”

    I volunteered for Jerry in that campaign. Remember why he started losing? Right before the New York primary Clinton spread tales of him doing coke in the CA Gov’s mansion and such. Later, after the damage was done, the tales were found unsubstantiated. Jerry was great on the mic, just like Huckabee, and was doing very well for the little money he had (in comparison to others).

    I often end up defending the Clinton’s around here (it gets unreasonable sometimes), but I actually detest them and have seen their slimy tricks first hand.

  85. Brown did, IIRC, win several late primary states unexpectedly even after Clinton was the presumptive nominee.

  86. BTW I don’t even get MSNBC so I didn’t “parrot” anything.

  87. The Capital Region (VA-MD-DC) Ron Paul organizers have been working this turf for a while,

    I spent from age 6 to age 18 inside the beltway (and then only went to blacksburg, which is Farifax + Hampton Roads + Appalachia, in about equal amounts).

    I do not see MD,DC, or VA as having a big protest vote against McCain, despite any Paul (or Huckabee) groundwork

    Both McCain (& Obama) draw from the ‘cosmotarian’ wings of both parties, and the Potomac River flows through the heartland of ‘cosmotarianism’

  88. The latest polls on realclear politcs seem about right to me.

    In each contest McCain will get 54 +/- 3, Huck will get 29 +/- 3 and Paul will get 9 +/- 3.

  89. We agree with huckabee!

    You cant tell me that you like the idea of pushing people out of the way ‘just because’ is good for politics in any form. Whats next, you get to vote for the one person on the ballot like a dictatorship?

    Its time for a real change.

    Anyone else notice Huckabees the only candidate talking about actually changing how things are done besides droning off the same old promises we hear from every politician year after year?

    Im actually curious that if Huckabee does pull off a miracle via voters if they’d even go with him, majority of delegates or not, and prove the corruption in the whole process!

    I think the status quo is afraid he may win and their games will end. Finally.

    Go Mike Go!

  90. Steve,

    You’re new to Hit & Run, aren’t you?

  91. Steve is probably just one of DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO’s voices. Steve is also kindly, and with all due respect (along with anyone else who’d vote for Huckabee), invited to die in a fire.

  92. I read, I see, I wonder. I wonder if any know the Constitution? I wonder if any have actually read it. I mean that. Read the thing people. Your turning into media sheep for no reason. Who cares about Parties when freedom itself in in jeopardy. WAKE UP!!!
    National ID cards with radio chips are law in MAY 2009. YOU VOTED FOR IT!!!!!!!

    “..it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority to set brush fires in people’s minds.”
    – Samuel Adams
    “With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed. Consequently he who molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions.” – Abraham Lincoln
    “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell
    “The state can’t give you free speech, and the state can’t take it away. You’re born with it, like your eyes, like your ears. Freedom is something you assume, then you wait for someone to try to take it away. The degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are free?”
    – Utah Phillips

  93. Yo, corning, you want some cheese with that whine?

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