You've probably heard by now that Mitt Romney is getting out of the race. More on that here.
Where do I begin? Obviously, McCain's camp is very happy about this development. But if you're working for Mike Huckabee, you've got to have big smile on your face, too.
Think about it. They beat Romney in Iowa. They've now outlasted him in the GOP race. And I can tell you that, privately, Huckabee's staff had a real distaste about Romney from the very beginning. They didn't like his flip-flops on the issue, the negative campaigning, and even his arrogance. And now, it's their man Huckabee who is standing, and Romney is not.
The storyline is obviously going center on McCain's easy ride to the nomination. But hold on a minute....Mike Huckabee is a force in the South. And the last time I checked, the South is the major base of support for the GOP.
So, remember those exit polls? Remember how the number one issue to voters was that they shared their values with the candidate? Well, if that continues to hold true, Huckabee is going to tap in to a wide swath of Romney's supporters.
Now of course, there will be Romney supporters who break for McCain, too. But it is by no means a done deal that these Romney supporters go to McCain.
The answer lies with the social conservatives who backed Romney. Will they automatically go to Huckabee? And if so, how many?
I'll deal with this more in an upcoming blog, but here are a few quick thoughts about the Romney campaign:
Did the mormonism issue hurt him? To a certain degree, yes. But what really put the nail in the coffin was the reputation, perceived or real, that he was inauthentic.
Because at the end of the day, he desperately wanted to be the true conservative in the race, but his record had so many holes from the past that it was heavy-lifting throughout his campaign.