Comments about ‘News analysis: Huckabee's 'likability' gave him the edge over Romney’

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Published: Saturday, Jan. 5 2008 12:28 a.m. MST

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way too early

Iowa is only one state so this is way too early to decide. Iowa hasn't elected any president for us in the past if I am not mistaken, so Romney still has a chance. However, he does need to articulate more strongly why he should be elected and what kind of president he would be. This is like a job interview, where you have to connect what you have done and your cababilities with how you would do it in your new role. He has yet to come with any great ideas about how he would reform government which I would expect would be his strong suit.

Romney will also be plagued by his abortion fiip flop in the conservative niche where he is playing. I think he would do far better going up against Giuliani in the moderate space and playing for independents as well. The evangelicals have apparently made their move for a minister (Huckabee) who will have a hard time appealing out of his base of 30%.

Objectivity ?

Honestly aren't you media types taking the Iowa results a little out of context?

In an extremely conservative state where two out of three votors are evangelicals a New England Mormon running against a Southern Baptist Preacher actually gets nearly a third of the vote.

Mr. Romney is doing incredably well.

It's the Laundry, Stupid

Likability? More like familiarity. Isn't Huckabee the guy who plays the Maytag Repairman from those commercials? Well, they do make a fine washer.

Hawkeye

I disagree that Huckabee has a likeability about him that won over voters in Iowa. What the recent Iowa Caucuses show is that whisper campaigns are very effective when used against certain candidatesin this case an LDS candidate who is seen as a serious contender. All Republican candidates--McCain, Huckabee, and Giuliani--have established whisper campaigns designed to scare voters off Romney. In front of the cameras these candidates say religion shouldnt matter and that one should not vote for Mitt because hes a flip-flopper on key issues like abortiona valid point in this campaign. However, that same candidate then leans into a pastors ear and whispers, Do you really want your congregation voting for a member of a cult?

Democrats are sure to get involved after seeing the success Republicans had in Iowa. I see them being used against Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton as follows: Do you really want to see a black man as president? and Seriously, a woman president?supported by what ever stereotypes the whispering attackers think will work. Whisper campaigns are what will drive shifts in the polls from one candidate to anothernot likeability or a candidates qualifications and stance on issues. Sad.

Dave

I think if there was one thing the Romney campaign should learn from the Iowa caucus, it was how much the American people hate negative campaigning. He completely lost his momentum and Gov. Huckabee overtook him in the polls when he started taking shots at everyone, especially Gov. Huckabee.

I was on the fence until I watched the debates and listened to the snide, often rude comments made by Gov. Romney. He would only talk about his positions and facts as a mean to attack the other candidates. Completely unprofessional and it hurt him in the end.

James

Nice guy? After some of his snide and obviously planned negative remarks, he seems just like all the rest--determined to say and do whatever it takes to get elected. This is a change?

Morgan - NYC

Is there really any doubt that if Romney was an Evangelical, or even a Protestant, he would have easily won Iowa? Or, is there any doubt that many of the Evangelical pastors admonished their followers (either directly or implicitly) to vote for the Baptist or the Mormon? There is no doubt that Huckabee played the religion card and he won big.

Matt

It was his likability among Evangelicals who get to preach politics from the pulpit without worrying about their tax-exempt status.
Matt-Des Moines, IA

Andy

It is not Hukabee's likeability factor that won him the IOWA caucas. It is his honesty, and integrity; something MITT ROMNEY lacks. JOHN McCAIN also has those quality. Not only MITT lost IOWA, he will lose NEW HAMPSHIRE as well to McCAIN; and the wheel will come of the axle of the MITT MOBILE.

JWK

Likability? This guy scares me. I live next to Arkansas and I have read the things he has done. While he is a good man he allows his religious beliefs to influence his decisions. While that may sound good I am concerned that he will be too trusting of our enemies and allow us to be blindsided again.

I am concerned that he will be the Republican version of Jimmy Carter, also a good man who allowed his vision of the world to hurt the USA.

Bobbi

People should stop making excuses such as can't win because I am a Mormon, I am a woman, I am Black, I have been divorced, I have a funny sounding name, my children are out of control blah, blah, blah. Bottom line is do people connect with you, do they believe in you, do they want the same things that you want? When you dummy it down to these excuses - you are insulting the people's intelligence and integrity. Perhaps that is why people lose - they don't like those politicians that would insult their intelligence to blame the reason that they don't like them is for something so unimportant and overlook the serious flaws.

Marky

Let's see.

Do I want a president who is an expert in fixing problems and making shrewd financial decisions that lead to saving money and growing business opportunities or do I want a charming, bass guitar playing Baptist minister?

Do I want a president who has a proven track record of successful negotiation and compromise of his positions with others who do not believe as he does or do I want a president who has doggedly stuck to his own beliefs, regardless of what others think or believe?

Tough question America. You make the call.

The Research..

Doesn't validate your claims in this article. The key stat from the caucus is this: The evangelical turnout at the caucuses was at 60% of the total voters. That is huge, and more than anyone ever predicted it would be. It was, in fact, double the turnout of evangelical voters in the 2004 general election.

Romney managed a 60% turnout rate with his organization, which is a great turnout for the unpredictable caucuses.

But Huck managed to pull together a loose organization comprised of mainly evangelical churches to dupe Christians into voting for him, and that made all the difference.

Huckabee is a lousy Republican and an even more lousy conservative who is running on nothing more than identity politics - being a Christian leader. And the fact that that is enough to win in todays Republican Party disgusts me. I dont think this bodes well for the GOP, or conservatism, if Hucks success becomes a trend. And I think it reflects badly on undiscerning Evangelicals who vote for a candidate for no other reason than he's part of their tribe.

Dix Dan

Likability had nothing to do with Huckabee's win. With 60% of the Evangelical vote going to him, none of the other candidates could have won. If Huckabee survives New Hampshire, the Evangelical Right Wing of the GOP will have another candidate for the White House. This should cause Utah voters some concern having a candidate who bashs the LDS faith. Will that stop the Utah GOP from endorsing him? I doubt it.

true blue

Maybe Mitt put is eggs in only one basket. He did have a very good finish in Iowa, and he'll get at least second in New Hampshire. McCain and Huckabee aren't necessarily strong candidates out of a handful of states.

Who is Huckabee?

Re: Iowa Caucus

Huckabee hasn't won anything by winning the Iowa Caucus. Iowa is a liberal state. Romney did well given the political demographics and Guliani and McCain paid little attention to it. The little covered fact was Huckabee garned the Baptist/evangelical vote....and the democrats fought it out...that all that happened. Huckabee will have to demonstrate he can go against the front runners....i.e. McCain, Guliani, Romney and Thompson in the many states to follow. The media is making too big of a thing out of Iowa and the upcoming New Hampshire vote in my opinion. The history of these two venues don not justify all the hoopla in the media. Let us give this process more time and see how this plays out.....please.

Iowan

Having listened to both Romney and Huckabee speak in person I would agree that Huckabee is likable. He is a sweet talker but looking at his track record he is as stubborn and hard headed as Bush. It is his way or the highway. Look at Arkansas, even his own state doesn't like him. When he opens his mouth on real issues, like foreign relations, he sticks his foot in it. Granted Romney shot himself in the foot when he ran all of the negative ad campains but the only reason why Huckabee won is because Romney is a Mormon. It wasn't about the appeal of Huckabee but the dislike of Mormons that evangelicals have. Look at exit poll comments by them, that speaks for itself.

Ricki

This article is spot on about Romney. He is stiff, his movements and expressions do not appear sincere. It is as if his hand gestures and responses to questions are practiced. I am NOT saying that he cannot be trusted, but what I am saying is that when someone is that polished I don't see that person as genuine and I do not trust them.

jgirl18

It is getting old to continue to hear about Romney's Mormonism as his excuse for failures in the election. McCain, Thompson, Guillani do not have that excuse, and they do not complain about the votes. They realized that it was their message that did or did not resonate with the people of Iowa. Romney is playing the victim card about how hard it is to get elected as a Mormon - when it isn't true. No body wants to keep hearing this message any more than if we heard the other candidates saying I can't get votes because I'm old, I'm a woman, I am Black, I've been divorced several times, blah, blah, blah. Stop looking for the external excuses and look within for why you turn voters off. To blame it on something else is looking for an easy way to excuse your failure.

its too late

Romney decided to play that he is the "true conservative" of the republicans and he wasn't believed. Now if he tries to adjust himself to be a moderate - he will offend those that he sold on his "true conservative" stance. He forgets that with media and the internet he can't say one thing for one crowd and the opposite for the other crowd without those conflicting messages being heard by the other side.

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