Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Huckabee may have helped Romney

I totally agree with this assessment:

With the former Baptist minister prominently running on his Christian faith and with Romney's long held lead in Iowa gone, the Romney camp shrewdly hyped a speech on religious freedom four weeks before the first contest. The speech received prominent national media coverage for a full week, with the quiet insinuation from the campaign that Romney's electoral problems stemmed from anti-Mormon bigotry. This allowed Romney to be viewed sympathetically as a victim of religious intolerance, both by the Republican party and the nation as a whole. The rise of Huckabee (and more importantly the fear of Huckabee as the GOP nominee) coupled with the "Mormon" speech have been the catalysts that have allowed Romney to get a second look from many Republican voters. With Huckabee now solidly on Romney's right flank as the "religious" candidate and the socially liberal Giuliani with a closet full of personal baggage on his left flank, Romney ironically might be in a stronger position coming out of a New Hampshire win to get the nomination than the non-Huckabee scenario of three months ago where he won both Iowa and New Hampshire.

As the article also states, the wild card here is McCain. New Hampshire is full of those pesky independent voters who could make all the difference in the world for McCain and could deflate Romney. I am also interested to see how the anti-Mormon votes go. People won't say that's why they are not voting for Romney, but when it comes to voting, will they let their bias against Mormons keep them from supporting Romney? And don't underestimate Rudy or Fred either.

I find it wonderful and amazing that the field is still wide open. Even on the Democrats side, there is this slight ray of hope that maybe Obama can beat the political machine that is Hillary. Edwards is no quitter either and he may surprise us all.

Let's don't forget Ron Paul, whose supporters obviously have more money than sense.