Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mike Huckabee's Window of Opportunity

The level of GOP dissatisfaction with the current crop of presidential candidates has created a window of opportunity for Mike Huckabee to enter the race for the Republican nomination.

If he chooses to do so:

Will opponents and their surrogates balk at Huckabee's change of heart?  ("All the factors say go, but my heart says no.")  Probably, but Mike Huckabee can turn it around by stating that their constant fighting on the debate stage and their lack of focus on reforms has given him heartburn.

Will pundits frame the entrance as too late citing Rick Perry's recent example of imploding on the debate stage? They will try but Mike Huckabee is best known for being an articulate, quick witted debater. While he has not been on the current debate stage, he has been on the hot seat-the HotSeat segment of his show-where he has debated liberals on economic, social, and foreign policy related issues. In addition, Huckabee has hosted conservative guests highlighting topics such as the debt ceiling, healthcare reform, job creation, Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and the FairTax.

Will his opponents place a target on his back like they did with Rick Perry in the last three debates? Hard to say. But given that Mike Huckabee had most of them on his show where they could highlight their platforms and set their records straight, it is highly unlikely that they would attack him right away.

Is there enough time for Huckabee to frame the debate? Yes, Mike Huckabee wrote in his book A Simple Government 12 chapters showcasing underlying principles and solutions to make America strong. All Huckabee has to do is provide additional detail on his reforms. That will allow voters to see that Huckabee's 10 1/2 years of managing a microcosm of the federal government has left him best prepared to take on the challenge.

Is there room for another GOP candidate-a late entry? Yes, the straw poll conducted in Florida is one such poll that shows dissatisfaction with Mitt Romney and Rick Perry--71% of the ballots cast were against the two front runners. Herman Cain won the straw poll earning more than Mitt Romney and Rick Perry combined.

Recent polling continues to show that undecided and not sure is still a preferred option amongst the voters.

Undecided 14%
Mitt Romney 13%
Not Romney or Perry 33%

Not Sure 11%
Not Romney or Perry 36%

Someone else 7%
Undecided (vol.) 12%
No one 2%
Don't know 10%
Not Romney or Perry 25%

None of these 6%
Not sure 10%
Not Romney or Perry 36%

Someone else/Not sure 8%
Not Romney or Perry 42%

Other 6%
No preference 8%
Not Romney or Perry 44%

Unsure 11%
Not Romney or Perry 35%

Too soon to say 9%
Don’t know 4%
Not Romney or Perry 36%

As Huckabee supporters continue to pray that their candidate enters the race, the question remains:

Will Mike Huckabee throw his hat into the ring?

H/T The Argo Journal for Survey Data and Compilation