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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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Magazine / Political Insiders Poll

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

Huckabee, Trump bow out.

May 19, 2011

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%

Also receiving votes: “disappointed but never thought he’d run,” 1%; “who cares,” 1%.


“With the side show over, we can get down to discussing Republican budget attacks on seniors, children, and the infirm.”


“Was hankering for a Post headline: ‘Iowa to Trump: You’re Fired!’ ”

“Trump’s decision reduces the wacky-candidate factor by one, but the wacky-candidate decibel level by a hundred.”

“We have lost the reality-show version of presidential elections.”

Never thought he would run

“Always thought it was for May sweepstakes—it worked.”

“He wanted PR, not the responsibility of governing. To paraphrase what Marion Barry once said of a political rival, ‘The Donald don’t want to run nothin’ but his mouth.’ ”

“The guy’s a fraud, and any political reporter who actually ever believed he was going to run should request a reassignment to entertainment news.”

“Sooner or later, reality had to ‘trump’ reality TV.”

“Trump’s ‘run’ for the White House was a P.T. Barnum ‘There’s-a-sucker-born-every-minute’ moment for the national press corps.”

“Trump got a dose of hardball at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner and showed he is uniquely unqualified to be a public official.”

“Says something about the state of the Republican field and of media coverage that he was taken so seriously to begin with.”

“He would never put up with the scrutiny.”


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

Republicans (103 votes)

Surprised: 3%
Relieved: 14%
Disappointed: 3%
Never thought he would run to begin with: 81%


“Though it’s always about him, it looked like all the signs were there.”


“He detracted from the serious debate.”

“One less clown should make it seem less of a circus.”


“Now we only have Gingrich for entertainment value.”

Never thought he would run

“Every journalist and editor who produced stories treating him as a serious candidate for president should be ashamed.”

“This was always a publicity stunt by a master at self-promotion. That it dominated the media for a fortnight said more about the press’s celebrity obsession than anything else. It was also perhaps a commentary on how weak the Republican field seems to be right now.”

“This has never been anything but a ratings game for Trump.”

“He does this every four years. This year he caught lightning in a bottle because of the birther issue.”

“The only things missing from Trump’s whole act were the big red nose and the floppy shoes.”

“It was real, as he reached out to top operatives. But the financial disclosure would have exposed his shaky finances.”

“The guy is a businessman, and he can do math: Bottom line, he was completely unelectable.”


Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Deb Callahan, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Wendy Sherman, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Katrina Swett, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Steve Duprey, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Mindy Fletcher, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, George S. LeMieux, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Connie Partoyan, Dana Perino, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Tom Wilson, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.


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