Huckabee wins round one in 2012 Republican race

September 19, 2009

Former Arkanas Governor and Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee has won the first informal round in what will no doubt be a long race to head the party’s White House ticket in 2012.

The affable Baptist preacher, who won the hearts and minds of conservative evangelicals during his failed 2008 bid for the Republican presidential nomination, topped other possible Republican presidential contenders in a straw poll at a summit of Christian conservative voters in Washington.


Out of a field of nine, Huckabee garnered the most votes or 28.5 percent. Delegates to the convention were asked: “Thinking ahead to the 2012 presidential election and assuming the nomination of Barack Obama as Democtats’ choice for president, who would you vote for as the Republicans nominee for president?”

Surprisingly, former Alaska Governor and Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who lit up the party’s conservative Christian base last year, came in fourth with 12 percent. Her relatively poor performance could have been linked to her failure to attend the summit — Huckabee delivered a rousing speech on Friday.

Huckabee’s arch rival in the 2008 race, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, was the runner-up with 12.4 percent.  He also gave a well-received speech that stuck mostly to economic and foreign policy themes.

Like any straw poll, this one counts for nothing. But it does give an idea of what this key Republican base is looking for as the party tries to chart a path back to power in Congress and the White House.

The second question on the straw poll asked the almost 2,000 delegates — of whom about 600 responded — to indicate the most important issue in determining their choice of candidate out of a list of 13 choices.

Abortion won by a long shot at almost 41 percent, while “protection of religious liberty” was a distant second at 18 percent.

Some observers have suggested the conservative Christian movement, known as the “Religious Right,” needs to expand its agenda beyond “hot-button social issues” if it wants to grow and have political and electoral success. And much of its leadership has been talking more about issues such as poverty.

The movement has also turned its attention to climate change in response to Obama’s agenda, which includes proposed legislation aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Conservative Christian radio stations have spent the summer assailing the “cap and trade” provisions of this legislation as a massive tax hike and several of the delegates whom I spoke to expressed skepticism if not hostility to the widely accepted scientific idea that humans are causing climate change.

One of the break-out sessions on Saturday was called “Global Warming Hysteria: The New Face of the ‘Pro-Death’ Agenda.” For a synposis of this and other sessions click here.

But it is clear that abortion remains by far the biggest issue to this crowd — and even when they talk about climate change these “pro-lifers” talk about the “culture of death.” Time will tell if this is an electoral winner or loser for the Republican Party.


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The more the Christian Right (Wrong) keeps pushing the GOP, the better for the Democrats. The nuttier the GOP fringe, the more sane the democrats appear.

Posted by Cleve | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin’s choice not to attend the Values Voters Summit was not a “failure.” This weekend, her son returned home after being deployed in Iraq for a year with the U.S. Army 1/25 Stryker Brigade. Former Gov. Palin chose to put her family before politics.

– JP

Posted by Josh Painter | Report as abusive

Protection of religious liberties at 18%???

Who are these brain dead zealots who insist on infringing on the activities of others?

Here’s a quote they might think long and hard over,,,,

“Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” That doesn’t mean just money as was the context in the Bible,, because the next words were “Give unto the lord what is the lord’s”

So to all of you religious folk who think politics make a good place to spew religious doctrine,, go home and make your own lives better and leave the rest of us out of it!

Posted by RH Pyle | Report as abusive

People want common-sense government in a reaction action the extreme spending of the Obama administration.

Gov. Huckabee is looking strong as the person to challenge Obama.

Posted by Robert Nolin | Report as abusive

The GOP is back to basics, lowest common denominator, at least according to the Value Voters Summit. They selected their candidate, Mike Huckabee. I think for his running mate he should select Carrie Prejean. There are related posts at

Posted by carly | Report as abusive

Huckabee. LoL. Republicans should be begging Ron Paul to run again.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

Ed Stoddard says, “radio stations have spent the summer assailing the “cap and trade” provisions of this legislation as a massive tax hike and several of the delegates whom I spoke to expressed skepticism if not hostility to the widely accepted scientific idea that humans are causing climate change.” Your negative bias is deafening, Ed. It seems your understanding of the global warming issue is shaped exclusively by MSNBC and AL who invented the internet. The fact of the matter is that over the last 100 years, the average temp is 4 degrees warmer, but this is not even the main point of the global warming hysteria. The larger issue is whether it is caused by people who use incandescent or halogen lighting and prefer to drive trucks and SUVs, or part of the regular pattern of warming and cooling which occurs naturally. Much of the “research” is junk science funded by wealthy lobbyists and huge firms who will make billions from the cap and trade legislation.

Posted by Loren | Report as abusive

To Jason:

WE should be begging Ron Paul to run again. But,,, The status quo in Washington will do to him what they did to Carter and are now doing to Obama. Anyone with radical change on their agenda scares the hell out of the profit takers in this and any other country.

Posted by RH Pyle | Report as abusive

Of this field, Romney is the GOP’s best chance in 2012. Please don’t mention his religion. Only back water hicks would hold that against him. The nation as a whole convincingly elected a black president, they would certainly vote for Mitt Romney, just as they did to elect him Governor.

When the economy is a tailspin and the machine of government isn’t working the GOP will turn to Mitt Romney, an articulate candidate who has more proven success in the economy than Obama or any GOP candidate in the field.

Remember, it’s the economy, stupid.

Posted by Beyond Party | Report as abusive

UpcHuckabee is such a disgusting inbred bigoted jackass that it makes me wan to hurl. He’s nothing but the anti-Romney candidate, with half a college degree, half an IQ, and a sickening family of blobs that tortures dogs who are so obese they make Ted Kennedy look trim. All of the born agains who follow this imbecile around like sheep do so because they couldn’t possibly look to a Mormon in 2012 as their best candidate. They’re too prejudiced and prideful to see straight, and don’t have a clue what the hell is going on or care what is good for this country. Sadly, the liberals in Massachusetts proved that – contrary to what conservatives say — they walk their liberal talk when they elected a Mormon as Governor without discriminating against his religion. Too bad that the conservatives, who claim to value religious freedom, are secretly such hypocrites incapable of the same.

Posted by Steven Rinehart | Report as abusive

I can’t stand Huckabee, if he gets the GOP nomination I will vote Dem.
He is completely incompotent when it comes to the economic crisis we now face.
He might be good for a few laughs, but that is it!

Posted by Larry | Report as abusive

There’s lots of old wood drifting about the GOP, notably these religiou people, who should stick to their pulpits and leave government alone. Palin, Huckabee, Romney… What a sad bunch.

The GOP is burying itself, and if any of those candidates should have the misfortune of leading the country, they will drag us further into irrelevancy. Because that is ultimately what the Bush administration did. We have become not so much the laughing stock of the world, but rather the strange, obese cousin.

I’d like to see Obama go until 2016, followed by another solid liberal democrat willing to confront the nation’s and the world’ss problems honestly. And the REAL problem facing us is pollution, resources and the complete degrading of the environment. I was just down on the Mediterranean, everyone knows that the fish from that once beautiful sea are polluted. No one is saying it, it sounds almost tacky. The news organizations are obsessed with blood, guts and silliness (as a freelance , I am painfully aware of what they are NOT interested in). And as a nation, we continue to stare at our own, boring little bellybutton.

No wonder our sewers spew up guys like Beck and Limbaugh. We have no sense anymore.

Posted by Talleyrand | Report as abusive

please, please , please. do not consider huckabee for anything? please

Posted by jim | Report as abusive

god this man is some kind of a preacher, he is nothing at all, he is running for whatever becaue he is from hope, ar that same place clinton is from. PLAEASE PLEASE PLEASE, do not voter or elct this man

Posted by jim | Report as abusive

Jesus #1.

Posted by daniel | Report as abusive

I wonder if the “Religious Right” would like Huck so much if he hadn’t once been a Baptist Preacher? I wonder if they would have been okay with the fact that he is listed as one of the top ten most corrupt politicians at judicial watch? Would it be okay with them to berate another man because he is wealthy – isn’t that what America is about and isn’t that a typical liberal “hate the rich” tag line? Would they actually take a look at his record? Evangelicals should realize that this country has many religions and we are not electing a Pastor in Chief though Huckabee seems to hope you’ll forget that simple truth. I hope that Evangelicals will look into this guy and see him for the scam artist he is!

Posted by Jean | Report as abusive

I think the right should have the crazy Mormon Glenn Beck and Sean hannity run for president.

The more that the republicans look and act crazy the better it is for the dems and the Obama administration.

The issue with cap and trade should be changed to pollution not global warming.
They have changed it from global warming to climate change to better help republicans understand the concept of the dramatic changes in our climate do to the massive pollution that major corporations are pumping into our atmosphere.
Keep in mind that Big Tabacco has only admitted that cigarettes are actually bad for you for about 3 years now.
To all the Right wing nut jobs out there. Go ahead and go into your garage , start your car and stay in there and inhale all that “GOOD” clean carbon …..

Posted by CRAIG | Report as abusive

Obviously, a lot of Club for Growth members commenting on here, continuing to spread false accusations against Huckabee that were proven to be lies nearly 2 years ago. Good thing there’s only 40,000 members of C for G and millions of voters who appreciate Gov. Huckabee’s strong record and common sense.

Also, some Romney supporters who continue the false accusations of calling Huckabee and his supporters bigots. That’s soooooo old. Good thing that people with common sense know that millions of supporters of Gov. Huckabee cannot possibly all be a bunch of nutty racist.

Before assuming that Romney would help the failing economy, learn about his record. al_opinion/oped/articles/2007/07/29/romn eys_economic_record/

Huckabee was able to take his state’s flailing economy and convert it into a very robust one. In many other ways he was good for the state, such as taking the public school system from #49 to #8 in the nation. That’s proven success and he did it with the implementation of conservative principles (such as 96 tax cuts). He’s an authentic conservative with proven leadership and able to articulate to Americans why common sense conservatism will help our nation to be great.

Posted by Pat | Report as abusive

Oops. Above, “racist”, should read, “religious bigots”.

Posted by Pat | Report as abusive

Huckabee is a creationist. A vote for him is a vote against science.

Posted by kyle | Report as abusive