Thursday, November 29, 2007

Politico Mistakes Huckabee's Good Luck in S.C. For Campaign Strategy

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 1:40 PM

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Politico's David Mark (who must be paid by the word) rambles through a story on Mike Huckabee's unusual campaign strategy in South Carolina. It's unorthodox in that the candidate really hasn't campaigned in South Carolina. He received prize endorsements by Ric Flair and Congressman Bob Inglis, but other than that, we've been wondering why Huckabee hasn't been wrapping himself in the state flag.

It turns out he's pressing on in Iowa, in hopes that a strong tail-end push in South Carolina after that win will continue the momentum.

The meat of the story, as is often the case, comes from the constituents.

Congregants at Fountain Inn’s First Baptist are just the sort of South Carolinians Huckabee would need to win. Several said they would keep an open mind about him.

“I wanted to see how his faith relates to his politics,” said Ashley Riddle, 47, a regular First Baptist attendee and self-described political junkie. “He’s on my short list.”

Mark Stewart, a government teacher at Greenville Technical Charter High School, said he did not know much about Huckabee before hearing him preach at his church Sunday. Now he’s giving Huckabee serious consideration, including a perusal of his campaign website after church on Sunday.

Higher profile and better funded candidates like Romney, Giuliani, Thompson and McCain “are in the limelight a lot, but they don’t do much for me,” Stewart said. As for Huckabee, “I don’t have much doubt in my mind that he’s a Christian and would enact policies that reflect that.”

And so, the answer to Huckabee's campaign strategy in South Carolina is that he doesn't need one. Give voters the resume showing his religious strength and let Huckabee show off what will soon be known as his "well-known" charm, and watch the poll numbers climb. The question is whether they can climb fast enough.

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