I try to avoid blogging about ‘horse race’ politics, in no small part because about nineteen percent of voters don’t make up their minds until several days before an election. For a long time, I’ve been privately telling people that Huckabee is a serious candidate that could pose real problems for Democrats: he’s very personable and non-threatening, and he’s batshit loony (just the way Republicans like ’em!). So I wasn’t surprised by his strong showing in the Ames straw poll in Iowa. What did surprise me was the issue that generated his support.
I thought it would be his wingnut theopolitical ideas. It turns out it was his flat tax position:
So where did Huckabee’s invisible army come from. Soren Dayton suggests the single issue group FairTax.org may have supplied the ground troops that fueled Huckabee’s victory. Huckabee is the only candidate in the field to endorse the group’s consumption tax plan (which also reimburses all households for “basic necessities”) and the group produced 20-30 busses of supporters to the straw poll. Dayton even suggests the Huckabee campaign was directing supporters in need of transportation to contact the FairTax campaign.
Huckabee supporters are crazier than I thought.
Update: Here’s a good post about Huckabee’s pseudo-populist rhetoric.
Another update: To his credit, Huckabee is the only prominent candidate who makes any sense about the ‘War’ on Drugs.