Donald Trump can add Arkansas to his list of Super Tuesday victories. According to the Associated Press, he's now projected to win there.
There was some speculation over the weekend that Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and former presidential candidate, was going to endorse Trump in the lead-up to Super Tuesday. Huckabee's daughter had taken a job with the Trump campaign, and Huckabee defended Trump after a bizarre interview in which the mogul refused to repudiate David Duke. The formal endorsement never came, but BuzzFeed's McKay Coppins reports that this doesn't reflect any lack of love:
Huckabee hasn't officially endorsed Trump, but that's mainly because doing so would complicate his efforts to get a new contract at Fox News, according to two sources familiar with the situation. The conservative network, where Huckabee hosted a weekly talk show for several years before leaving to run for president, strongly disapproves of on-air talent supporting political candidates, and Fox's relationship with Trump has been especially combative this campaign season.
Why would Huckabee find Trump appealing? Part of it is ideological—both men are out of step with Republican orthodoxy on trade and entitlements in similar ways. But another part, Coppins writes, is the possibility that Trump will bring Huck to Washington with him:
Even before Huckabee dropped out of the race, people in the Trump campaign began talking about tapping Huckabee as a running mate—and they made sure word got back to the candidate that he was on their list. It's unclear what kind of contact, if any, took place directly between the two campaigns prior to the Iowa caucuses, but three people close to Huckabee said he believes the vice presidency is in the cards for him if Trump wins the nomination.
Does Huckabee actually have a shot at the VP nomination? Coppins lists some reasons why Trump might prefer to pick someone else, but he then adds that "what matters for Trump's purposes is that Huckabee believes he's in the running. Friends say the former governor still resents that John McCain's campaign didn't even bother to vet him in 2008, and grumbles privately that senior strategist Steve Schmidt didn't give him a look because he thought he was a 'hick.' By contrast, this small show of respect from the Trump campaign has deepened Huckabee's loyalty to him."
And who knows? The ticket might even happen.