By all accounts, the 2016 Republican primary schedule will look quite favorable to former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. It starts off with Iowa, a contest he won in 2008, then goes quickly on to South Carolina, a state which he narrowly lost, then it may head to what’s being called a “Super Southern” primary day with multiple southern states holding contests, all of which Huckabee won in 2008. The exception being New Hampshire, which comes between Iowa and South Carolina, though Huckabee may plan to skip the Granite State this time around.

A lot to digest, but read the excerpts of this story from Real Clear Politics:

It all starts in Iowa where the 2008 winner of the first-in-the-nation caucuses currently stands as the early favorite to repeat that triumph.

Huckabee leads the hypothetical GOP field by 6.2 percent in the latest RealClearPolitics average of Iowa polls and has held or shared the lead when included as an option in every public survey conducted in the state this year.

Among Iowa’s influential evangelical electorate, support for Huckabee runs deep. And if he can notch another victory there in a crowded field, he likely will knock out a competitor or two who otherwise would have posed a challenge farther down the road.

The challenge for Huckabee will be to rise to the high expectations that he will face in Iowa during his second presidential go-around.

After Iowa comes New Hampshire—a state where the more moderate and secular Republican primary electorate is ill-suited for Huckabee.

In 2008, Huckabee decided to compete anyway in the Granite State, and his somewhat respectable yet distant third-place showing there slowed the momentum he had generated in Iowa.

This time around, Huckabee’s advisers appear to have learned their lesson from having been tempted by the New Hampshire’s glaring yet unrealistic allure.

There is little doubt that the state poses the highest hurdle for Huckabee on the early nominating calendar, but one that he is poised to sidestep rather than scale.

“I would have him go straight from Iowa to South Carolina,” said one Huckabee confidant who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss the prospective candidate’s strategic thinking.

But Huckabee’s most valuable trump card in the entire 2016 calendar comes on March 1 when officials from five states in the heart of the former Confederacy—Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee—are taking steps toward hosting what would effectively become a Super Southern Primary.

In 2008, Huckabee was the victor in each of those southern states except for Mississippi, which held its primary a week after he dropped out of the race. [Emphasis added]

Assuming the proposal comes together, March 1 of 2016 will provide Huckabee with a major opportunity to harness momentum and lock up a significant number of delegates at a pivotal stage in the game.

Set for publication in two weeks, the title of Huckabee’s latest book—“God, Guns, Grits and Gravy”—suggests the extent to which the likely candidate will continue to play up his Deep South roots, even if the two Texans who are considering 2016 White House bids are also in the mix.

There is a compelling case for how friendly the primary calendar could be to a southern candidate like Huckabee. He’s got the evangelical vote in the bag, maybe fighting off Ben Carson or even Ted Cruz, but he’s got a wider appeal than either of those candidates and better organization. Would conservatives feel more comfortable with Mike Huckabee versus Jeb Bush when it comes down to casting a primary ballot? That’s the ultimate question.

10 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t think you can make to many comparisons to 2008 in regard to the Huckabee campaign. In 2008 Gov. Huckabee had a completely different cast to run against. He didn’t have to run against a member of the Bush family that could pull up huge amounts of money simply by a snap of his finger. He also didn’t have such a strong, wide number of southerners to run against as he will with Sen. Cruz, Paul and Gov. Bush in the southern primaries. In addition 2008 was six years ago and circumstances and issues change along with peoples views. He will probably have an effect but my guess is the big money donors would go for the more electable candidate.

    • Big money donors going elsewhere, yes, I agree with you. But they don’t make up the majority of voters in these early primary states.

      • Point taken but my point is the big money donors can sustain a candidates viability past a weak, early primary. You don’t have to worry about your campaign being killed in the cradle.

        • “Social issues” are now irrelevant in national politics. Gay marriage is already legal in 36 states and abortion has been turned into a purely state-by-state issue. Besides, the Tea Party is the energy in the party, and their concerns are purely economical.

          • Dude:
            Who said anything about social issues ? My point was about primary candidates who don’t do well in the early races getting big money backers so they don’t have to fold their tent after one primary. I’m not quite sure where you are looking when you say the Tea Party being the energy in the party. The GOP/RNC seems to be advocating the policy of making sure Tea Party candidates can’t challenge incumbents in primaries and “My way or the highway” Boehner” has it in his head to punish Tea Party members who didn’t vote for him for Speaker.

  2. Huckabee will garner the “Praise the Lord” vote, afterward will be downhill once more where he again becomes HuckaBye…Bye Bye Proselytizing Birdie….

    Hopefully during his short stint he’ll knock off The Distracting Wannabees that are underfunded — Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, etc. — thus, clearing an easier path to Victory for the ONLY WORTHY Republican: Rand Paul !!!

  3. I will debate Huckabee and all others at the Iowa straw poll. I will reveal startling and creative ideas and policies that will astound the world. Example: Holding my dog Skipper I will announce that if I am elected President I will allocate 10 Billion Dollars to stop the mass execution of all animals in shelters and solve the issue with neutering paid for by the American Tax Payers and Animal Lovers and Protectors! http://goldmoneyparty.com

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