Keeping the Race Alive

Ever since Romney ended his bid for the Republican nomination I have seen much commentary on how Huckabee would need to end his bid soon to preserve his chances at being selected as the VP on the McCain ticket. I have seen one article suggesting the reverse. The logic is interesting and plausible:

How can a longer primary campaign good for Mr. McCain? So long as it’s civil, it keeps him in the news as a winner in Republican primaries, and provides a forum for Mr. McCain to continue traveling the country and spreading his message in a relaxed, unthreatening political environment. Think of it as the heavyweight boxing champion drawing TV coverage for workouts with his sparring partner. . .

And why would Mike Huckabee want to run such a friendly campaign? Because he knows all this, and would like to spend the next few weeks building the case for his selection as John McCain’s vice presidential nominee.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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6 Responses to Keeping the Race Alive

  1. Melissa says:

    Your post also neglects the influence of the Bible belt. Although Huckabee is unlikely to win the Republican nomination, McCain is much too liberal for the South. The southern Republicans would never vote for a Mormon (Romney) if he had stayed in the election. Huckabee will carry the South based on those 2 reasons alone. He will probably withdraw after the primaries end there (or at least most of them).

  2. David says:

    My post was really a summary of the various opinions I had read more than any kind of analysis of the race. Once the nomination is given it hardly matters who did or didn’t win the nominating contests. The fact that Huckabee won’t win the nomination means that regardless of the primary outcomes of the southern states the question those southern Republicans really face is whether to support McCain, support a democrat, or stay home in November.

  3. Reach Upward says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that McCain will not pick Huckabee as his running mate. While Huckabee might work well for Evangelicals, he clearly does not work well for many outside of that select club.

    Among Republicans that label themselves conservative or very conservative, Huckabee is just another tax and spend liberal; albeit, a witty and bright one. That’s the last thing McCain needs right now.

    Historically, VP nominees do not help bring in regional votes (even from their home state). Nor do they increase appeal to voters outside of the nominee’s party. The role VP nominees play in a campaign is to shore up the base — to offer the base some strengths that the presidential nominee is known to lack.

    Reagan chose Bush I because he needed to reassure moderate Republicans. Bush I picked Dan Quayle to reassure conservatives. (Quayle was little known, so the ploy didn’t work well.) The moderate Clinton picked Gore because he was a solid liberal. Compassionate conservative Bush II picked Cheney because he was known as a solid conservative with strong national security credentials.

    McCain will not pick Huckabee because Huckabee will do nothing to shore up McCain’s relationship with the GOP conservative base. Two-thirds of Huckabee supporters listed McCain as their #2 choice, so McCain does not need Huckabee to get their support. In other words, picking Huckabee for his VP nominee would do nothing for McCain.

    Rep. Pat Toomey (R-PA) discusses some possible McCain running mates in this article: .

  4. David says:

    I think a lot of people think that many people believe that Huckabee does help McCain shore up the base by appealing to the social conservatives. that being said, I think you are right that the narrow appeal of Huckabee is not as helpful as some might think. Those who believe so probably think that social conservatives are the only group uncomfortable with McCain.

    I enjoyed the WSJ article you linked. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out. Personally I don’t cast my vote (at all) on who the VP is. If i can’t support the Top of the ticket it does not matter who’s at the bottom.

  5. Reach Upward says:

    That’s a good point. But who is on the bottom might give me second thoughts about supporting the person on the top of the ticket. After all, this person could easily become the President following the main candidate.

  6. David says:

    That’s true too.

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