Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The difference between 2nd and 3rd?

Last week, Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback stopped in Rock Hill and put a positive spin on his 3rd-place showing in this month's Iowa straw poll.
"The winner of the (Iowa) caucuses in the last 20 years has come from out of the top three finishers in the straw poll," he told two-dozen Republicans at a Rock Hill restaurant. Then he headed off to Columbia.
On Monday, rival Mike Huckabee found a different reception in York County.

The former Arkansas governor, who finished second in the straw vote, spoke to an overflow crowd of more than 100 people in York, 60 at a Fort Mill sports bar and later hosted a fundraiser for another 150 at Knights Stadium, where he was to throw out the first pitch.

Huckabee and his supporters credit his Iowa showing with helping boost the turnout in York County. But he clearly had support there before Iowa. Earlier this year he packed a Fort Mill restaurant and finished second in a straw poll at the county convention.
He's had passionate supporters in York County. Now they're confident too.
"If we get our ground game going full steam and get people on board," we'll win South Carolina," said York County supporter Joe St. John.
S.C. Republicans plan to hold the "First in the South" presidential contest next year. It's currently scheduled for Jan. 19.


Anonymous said...

Both of these guys would have your child's schoolteacher telling the class that the book of Genesis is just as reliable a scientific source as the Hubble telescope.

Be careful who you vote for.

Anonymous said...


How come it is that when someone is running in a caucus or primary competition and he or she is the front-runner going in, then in finishing first, this candidate is sometimes considered "not to have met expectations" and is tagged as a "loser" of sorts while the people who finished second and third emerge as "winners," especially if they were not considered favorites to win going in?

"Brownbeck and Huckabee"--the pairing of these two names sounds as if this could be an old Western stage coach line or a short-line railroad. But these fine gentlemen may attract some favorable notice now they have played second fiddle to Mitt Romney's hoedown and still come out of Opening Night playing the melody.

Christian said...

Couldn't disagree more David. The fact is not even Romney knows where he stands on issues, he is as fake a person as Bill Clinton, and he is either ignorant of or flat out lying about the FairTax.
I've been a supporter of Mike Huckabee since the May 15 debate in Columbia (finally choosing him over Romney) and see him as the best candidate available from a throng of mediocre candidates.
The Iowa story with Huckabee is that while Romney spent over $400 a vote, Huckabee came in second while spending about $55. That is a story. Romney can buy the primary but he can't buy a general election and the more that people take the time to view the candidates, Mike Huckabee comes out the clear winner.

Anonymous said...

The question is simply: who wants to spend the most money to lose the '08 election?

Christian said...

Well, if you put the positive, empowering, life affirming, freedom loving, America loving message of a Mike Huckabee vs the shrill, controlling, mean spirited, anti-freedom, pro pure socialist message of Hillary Clinton, the choice should be obvious.
The GOP can win in 08, it just needs a candidate that can re-energize the party activists suffering from a bad case of the "I don't cares" because of the poor GOP leadership and a disappointing President who is moderate at best with liberal leanings.

Anonymous said...


It's great when someone writes in saying they disagree with something I wrote. It's a heckuva lot better than never hearing anything from my good friends and neighbors around Charlotte.

But perhaps we are in agreement of sorts. Haven't you made my point: the guys who came in second and third are going to get some second looks. And Huckabee has picked up some early support on The Old North State blog, so this is bound to create a stir from the Potomoc all the way to Hot Springs.

You know what they say in Boston:

Say, having noticed all those great political experiences you listed on your site, one could surmise that if you were a Democrat, you could step right into the U.S. Senate race in 2008 because the Dems are having trouble recruiting a candidate.

Maybe Elizabeth Dole will walk right in to a second term without even having to campaign if this keeps up.

So when will your man Mike make his move to catch up with Mitt and Rudy going into the next turn?

Anonymous said...


Apologies to Mssrs. Morrill and Betts!

Should have referred to the Campaign Tracker Blog rather than The Old North State Blog on that last post.

All these brilliant political reporters--you can't help getting them mixed up sometimes, just like in the days of Scotty Reston of The New York Times and David Broder of The Washington Post.

Say it again, policy sci students:

Jim Morrill's Campaign Tracker Blog!

Christian said...

Upon rereading your original post, I see the error I made in mine. You weren't just pushing Romney, you brought up a good point about the expectations game. Yes, the frontrunner always has the most to lose and the least to gain from such things as straw polls. I understand why Guiliani and McCain didn't participate.
The poll will help elevate those who did better than expected, and that in this case is Huckabee.

Ha! If I were old enough and had the money, maybe I would run against Dole in a primary! I never supported her from day one and she has done nothing to change my mind. She is part of the reason the GOP is so weak right now. No vision, no message.

I think Mike is already making his move, it just isn't some grand explosion. He's been playing a very steady game and has made monumental strides. I think he realizes that when people give him a serious look, he gets their support. That then inspires another, and another until it blossoms. Take the last debate. Frank Luntz did that dial polling concurent with the debate and Huckabee got big numbers. Something like 14 people in the room entered not knowing Huckabee but left as supporters.

I'm in NH this week on vacation and noticed the endorsements garnered by Mike earlier in the week up here. Some big local names. He also got speaker of the Virginia House William J. Howell, about the third most influencial republican in virginia.

I'm getting off my point.

I see people supporting other candidates because they think they are popular and people like a "winner". But when push comes to shove, no candidacy can survive on less than real enthusiasm and support. You need grassroots to win the big show, without it you're done. Huckabee is the only candidate right now I see gaining supporters as opposed to just trying to hang on to the top spot. And a lot of us are motivated to do something instead of stand by and say "Gee, I support the front runner. la te da". :-)

Anonymous said...


How's that for a Campaign Tracker Blog Exclusive--An "eyewitness" political news report by a Campaign Tracker Blogger "on the scene" in New Hampshire, ostensibly as a vacationing tourist but coincidentally as an incognito "On-the-Road" reporter analyzing early trends in the New Hampshire primary sweepstakes.

Don't let CNN find out that people in the South can get direct political reporting and analysis from other Southern sources! Wolf Blizter may have to sign up for a subscription to the Atlanta Journal & Constitution.

If you run into North Carolina's own former Sen. John Edwards this week while you're enjoying the hors d'oeuvres up there in the Granite State, you might ask him how he would like going one-on-one with Mike Huckabee. Who knows, maybe Jim Morrill will fly up for a followup.

Meanwhile, may we suggest a visit to scenic Durham, N.H., home of the University of New Hampshire. You know the difference between Durham, N.H., and Durham, N.C., don't you?

In Durham, N.H., you say: "I'm going to Carolina in my mind."

In Durham, N.C., you say: "I'm going to Carolina on the next Triangle Transit Authority regional bus to Chapel Hill.