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Political Insiders Poll: Who Benefits Most from Huckabee Bowing Out? Political Insiders Poll: Who Benefits Most from Huckabee Bowing Out?

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Political Insiders Poll

Political Insiders Poll: Who Benefits Most from Huckabee Bowing Out?

Huckabee, Trump bow out.

Which GOP presidential candidate will benefit the most from Mike Huckabee’s decision not to run in 2012?

Democrats (103 votes)

Tim Pawlenty: 26%
Mitt Romney: 18%
Michele Bachmann: 13%
Mitch Daniels: 12%
Rick Santorum: 7%


Also receiving votes: Newt Gingrich, 6%; “to be determined,” 4%; Jon Huntsman, 3%; Sarah Palin, 3%; “no one,” 3%; Ron Paul, 2%; Terry Branstad, 1%; “everyone,” 1%; Bachmann and Palin, 1%; Bachmann and Santorum, 1%.


“The field of social conservatives with a realistic chance to get nominated is getting pretty small.”


“Huckabee’s withdrawal opens up Iowa for next-door neighbor Pawlenty. The only route to the nomination for Pawlenty is through Iowa.”

“I’ve long thought that Pawlenty is the blank slate—like Obama was in 2008, albeit without the charisma—upon which Republican primary voters can sketch the image of their nominee. Pawlenty is already moving to give Huckabee Christian right voters that opportunity.”

“He’s beginning to look like the legendary tortoise.”



“GOP may put ad on Craigslist for presidential candidates.”

“When Mitt Romney’s blinding $10 million day is leading headlines—$40 million this quarter? Not sure how anything else matters right now.”

“There aren’t that many options left for a GOP primary voter looking for a candidate who isn’t a complete nut job.”


“The Christian conservative coalition in Iowa would rally around her, the same way they did for Huckabee in 2008.”

“She’s the only other one who believes Fred Flintstone actually did have a pet dinosaur.”


“It’s beginning to look like a draft movement, and that is always a good way to enter a race.”

“Romney’s Mormonism probably prevents him from winning much, if any, of the evangelical support.”


“God told Mike Huckabee not to run. God will tell a lot of his supporters to vote for Rick.”


Which GOP presidential candidate will benefit the most from Mike Huckabee’s decision not to run in 2012?

Republicans (104 votes)

Tim Pawlenty: 37%
Mitt Romney: 15%
Michele Bachmann: 13%
Mitch Daniels: 8%
Rick Santorum: 8%

Also receiving votes: Newt Gingrich, 5%; “to be determined,” 3%; Herman Cain, 2%; Ron Paul, 2%; “no one,” 2%; Huckabee, 1%; Jon Huntsman, 1%; Roy Moore, 1%; “all of them,” 1%; Daniels and Huntsman, 1%; Romney and Daniels, 1%; Romney, Pawlenty, and Bachmann, 1%.


“He becomes the alternative to Romney.”

“Will benefit the most since he fills the faith niche most readily; Bachmann could also benefit, but Pawlenty will move quickly.”

“Takes away the biggest challenge in Iowa, [where] he must do well.”

“He really doesn’t have any political skills to speak of, but he’s the closest thing to a plausible candidate with social-conservative credentials.”

“The boring quotient of the current field just went up; Huck battling Mitt would’ve been highly entertaining.”


“The evangelical vote that was ‘stuck on Huck’ will now split among Bachmann, Pawlenty, and Santorum: Advantage Romney.”

“Getting rid of a high-profile rival only helps the front-runner.”

“He now has a chance to win Iowa, and Pawlenty’s hopes end if he loses there.”


“She is the real Sarah Palin and, with Huck out, the odds-on favorite to win Iowa. The GOP establishment will go into N.H. in full retreat.”

“Bachmann has the best chance to the space Mike Huckabee carved out: Populist economic rhetoric with a heavy dose of ‘I’m just like you.’ ”


“Daniels seems only interested if his odds of winning the nomination are over 50 percent, and Huckebee being out probably puts him over that threshold.”


“He will receive some votes, but his inability to raise money will not allow him to capitalize on it fully.”


How do you feel about Donald Trump’s decision not to seek the presidency in 2012?

Democrats (101 votes)

Surprised: 0%
Relieved: 4%
Disappointed: 21%
Never thought he would run to begin with: 73%

This article appears in the May 21, 2011 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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