Skip to comments.Huckabee: We lost in 2012 because evangelicals didnít support a more moderate nominee
Posted on 04/02/2013 6:51:34 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Ed Morrisseyflagged this Politico piece earlier but I want to pay special attention to Huck's comments. Gabe Malor called BS on them on Twitter this morning. I think he's right. Huckabee's latest shot across the party establishment's bow:
The last two presidential elections, we had more moderate candidates, so if anything a lot of conservatives went to the polls reluctantly or just didnt go at all, said Huckabee in a separate interview. If all of the evangelicals had showed up, it may have made a difference.…
Huckabee, like Santorum, was a bit incredulous at the attempt to fault social conservatives when the party nominated two individuals who largely shunned talk of culture in the general election and were uncomfortable when they had to discuss issues like abortion.
Nobody would say that these were guys that just light em up at the National Right to Life Convention, cracked Huckabee.
In other words, lower social-con turnout for Romney last year proved that the party’s already on thin ice. Move any further to the center on, say, gay marriage and who knows what might happen? Just one problem: Unless I missed something, social-con turnout for Romney wasn’t lower. On the contrary, after months of liberal concern-trolling that conservative Christians might not show up on election day for a Mormon, evangelicals gave Romney the best turnout among their demographic that any modern GOP candidate has seen. Remember this exit-poll comparison published by Pew a few days after the election?
Not only did Romney match Bush’s share of white evangelicals from 2004, when Dubya and Rove famously used the gay-marriage issue to mobilize social cons, he actually did ever so slightly better among evangelicals than he did with Mormons. But wait: To say that Mitt matched Bush’s share isn’t to say that the same number of evangelicals turned out for both. It could be that 20 million voted in 2004 versus only 10 million in 2012, with the GOP nominee winning 79 percent of each. Is that what happened? According to the exit polls, no. In 2004, white evangelicals made up 23 percent of an electorate composed of more than 122 million voters; last year, they made up 26 percent of an electorate consisting of more than 127 million voters. As a share of the electorate and of total voters, Romney actually improved on Bush’s performance. The only way Huck is right is if the rate of growth among the white evangelical population between 2004 and 2012 should have pointed to even greater turnout last year than what we saw. I haven’t seen any data to that effect but I’m willing to be corrected.
If Huck is right that Romney’s too moderate for social conservatives’ liking, why’d they turn out for him in such high numbers? Simple: They’re not single-issue voters. Skim through the graphs compiled by the NYT’s Thomas Edsall a few days ago. On subjects like harmful government regulations and strong defense, white evangelicals top white mainline Protestants and white Catholics. They’re conservative more or less across the board, which is what the party establishment’s counting on if the nominee has to finesse the issue of SSM with a federalism dodge three years from now. The X factor is whether Huckabee, Santorum, or some other prominent social conservative pol will turn gay marriage into a litmus test. That’s what was missing from 2012 — maybe evangelical turnout for Romney would have been lower if Huck had agitated against him by reminding voters of his pro-choice past. But he didn’t. Social conservatives were roundly unified behind Mitt in the interest of defeating O, even when they denounced him as being the lesser of two evils. The one silver lining for the GOP in potentially having to face Hillary in 2016 is that she’s sufficiently polarizing to maybe keep social conservatives in the Republican tent even if they’re unhappy with the nominee’s position on SSM. With a lesser known Democratic nominee, the impetus to unite and defeat the great liberal threat might not be as strong.
We also had on our ticket the DEMOCRATIC PARTY'S pick . . . all of our potential nominees were viciously attacked until only Romney was left standing . . . again, the Stupid-Ass Party folded and didn't do a thing about it.
So, we let the democrats pick our candidates, and then we let the election be stolen across the country. That's why counties like Cook in northeastern Ohio had 148% turnout and Cuyahoga County had 108% turnout . . . and again, the Stupid-Ass Party folded and didn't do a thing about it.
And until the Stupid-Ass Party DOES SOMETHING ABOUT IT, we're doomed as a party.
The Romney campaign never even attempted to tap into the 2010 momentum of the Tea Party or Sarah Palin. Big mistake.
It won’t matter in 2016. If the Republican candidate is not a base conservative, yet another attempt to out-left the left will be doomed to its usual failure.
The social conservatives I know detested Romney. And judging by the talk I’m reading here, the number of socons who will accept another liberal Republican nominee is getting smaller by the day.
I have never thought much of the huckster, but he is spot-on about this. Those who sat it out, whatever their reasons, are as guilty as the no-brains, low-information democrat voters. Thanks for ensuring that the worst choice would be reelected you nitwits.
"Give us moderation or give us DemocRAT fascism!" - Low information voter battle cry. That makes sense.
The Huckster thinks Todd Akin is a moderate?
Yes, it was stolen and the those who sat out the election aided in that theft just as much as the stupid-ass party leadership. You did it, you helped, embrace your stupidity.
Maybe there are not evangelicals in Missouri to make a difference...
The media chose Romney as the candidate...at the behest of the Republican elite, all of whom are liberals.
I dare say it has less to do with a candidate’s stance on the issues, than his perception as a leader....and Romney simply didn’t have the looks of a good leader in peoples’ eyes.
Do you think everyone who voted for Reagan twice agreed with him on everything? I suspect a relatively small number agreed with Supply-Side economics. But what they saw in Reagan was a leader.
Hey Huck, a moderate will not solve our problems.
Man, when you look at those 2000 numbers, it makes you wonder how Bush even won?
Poor opposition, which again was the case in 2004.
We lost that seat because of Huckabee. He was the one that supported Akin from beginning to end. When the Democrats were spending a couple million dollars to help nominate Akin, it should have been obvious to the Huckster and everyone else that Akin was a terribly flawed candidate for a statewide office. When Akin, predictably, blew up his campaign with stupid comments about rape, Huckabee kept supporting him and encouraged him not to drop out. The result, McCaskill crushed Todd Akin by 15 points. It wasn't even close, yet the Huckster was telling social conservatives Akin could win - and many believed him.
Not only did the Romney campaign not attempt to tap into that 2010 momentum of Palin/tea-party, they did everything they could to pour cold water on it!
I still can’t get over how the 2012 convention basically “outlawed” the use of the very words “tea party” from being uttered. And made Palin persona non grata. It was like being spit in the face. Always watched and looked forward to the GOP convention, but not this last time. Totally disconnected from the whole election.
Oh, I don't think that even if we showed up by the millions, that we could've won . . . the democratic party has the fraud machine very well tuned along with eliminating by force and threat Republican precinct watchers, hundred of thousands of pre-made ballots in trunks of cars ready to be driven to any precinct in need of votes, multi-voters, fraudulent voters, etc., that go untouched and unprocecuted, and on and on.
And until the Republican Party makes a very serious effort to counter these bold assaults on our conservative votes, we'll never win a major election again.
Yep! Gore was an idiot, Kerry a moron. Seems that the Republican establishment mistook the Bush victories as an endorsement of "liberal-lite" instead of an endorsement of "the lesser of two evils".
Not saying that Dubya was evil, mind you, but I don't think he rose to the level of conservatism that people really wanted.
Well, here’s my personal point of view. I’m strictly conservative, but I voted for Romney because of the Benghazi mess. I knew we needed to get rid of Obama.
But the GOP’s solution seems to be, hey, we ran a quisling moderate/liberal who couldn’t win, so let’s fix it by going all the way left and embracing queer marriage!
I’m done. I will NEVER give my support to a party that goes for amnesty and sodomite perversion.
And Obama won twice for precisely the same reason, poor opposition.
Ditto. If the Huckster truly believes Mitt lost because social conservatives stayed home in 2012, wait til he sees 2016.
RE: a hard-core conservative, particularly a conservative on social issues,
If you are pro-life and for traditional marriage, are you considered hard-core?
RE: We lost that seat because of Huckabee. He was the one that supported Akin from beginning to end. When the Democrats were spending a couple million dollars to help nominate Akin, it should have been obvious to the Huckster and everyone else that Akin was a terribly flawed candidate for a statewide office.
OK, how does that explain the following:
1) Col. Allen West’s defeat in Florida
2) Michelle Bachmann’s near-death experience win in Minnesota
3) Mia Love’s defeat in Utah
Not as you or I see it, but that isn’t what we’re talking about, is it?
The fact that the GOP's field of candidates was a bunch of has-beens and never-will-bes made that easy.
If anything it was because the GOP backed away from Akin, instead of fighting with the army they had.
These days? You're a radical.
Thats why they are Evangelicals, Huckster!
It was worse than just not tapping into, they deliberately pushed conservatives away. Acted as though they did not need conservatives to get Romney elected.
When Huckabee’s name comes up what I think of first are all those who lost their lives because he was clemency happy as Governor.
Yes. Heads will spin. But in the words of Zell Miller, “I didn’t leave the party.......”
RE: Thats why they are Evangelicals, Huckster!
How to explain the majority of Catholics going for gay marriage and partial birth abortion supporting Obama?
If you REALLY want to see some “stay at homes”, nominate Jeb Bush in 2016. In fact, If Bush is nominated, I wont just stay at home, I’ll vote for Hillary!
"What difference does it make?"
Hey dope,do you have a turd in your pocket? What’s this WE crap? The American people lost because the Republican party picked a candidate that endorsed the issue that millions of Americans wanted nothing to do with! That’s it moron,huckster.Romney passed Obama are stupid,why the hell would you vote for that
I wont even attempt to try to describe why Catholics do what they do.
It doesn't explain any of those things. I was simply pointing out that Huckabee was largely responsible for costing us a Senate seat in a state we should easily have won. Akin was a horrible statewide candidate - and Huckabee backed him from the beginning. There was a good reason the Democrats poured millions of dollars into the GOP primary to help nominate him.
Those races you list all had their own unique set of circumstances. West was in a newly drawn district, Bachman probably alienated some voters by focusing on her presidential run, etc. Saying that, you won't hear me claiming that just running as a solid conservative is automatically a winner. It's not. There is a reason politicians tend to "moderate" and move to the center for general elections. It works, and politicians on both sides know it.
Huckabee who gave Obama a pass for almost everything he did until the 2012 election? Huckabee who sat across from Michelle as she lied and said gvmt would spend no money on her fight against fat children? Huckabee liked that Michelle was fighting/forcing better eating habits.
Huckabee is a nice guy but he was suckered by both the Obama’s. His reluctance to call out Obama was no different than the cesspool media.
True, but I would not cross the road to vote for Huckabee, either.
Exactly. Thats why if it comes down to Jeb vs Hillary. I’ll vote Hillary. Maybe Rove will get the message. This country has already passed the point of no return.
PS. If the GOP votes for amnesty. I’ll vote twice for Hillary!
RE: Huckabee is a nice guy but he was suckered by both the Obamas. His reluctance to call out Obama was no different than the cesspool media.
Huckabee is not conservative in the sense that I don’t believe he is a Federal government must be “hands-off” sort of Politician.
He has his pet causes and will use the power of government to fund these causes.
Akin said something stupid. Even those who got where he was coming from were offended by how he said it. If he hadn’t tripped over his tongue, he had a good chance of beating McCaskill.
didnt support a more moderate nominee
Lord have mercy. Moderate? As if the GOP is not Democrat lite already...
Akin stabbed himself in the back, not Karl Rove. He lost the moment that sentence left his mouth. It was a SIXTEEN POINT MARGIN. Anyone who thinks that could have been turned around is on a wide variety of narcotic substances.
Most people in the country haven't even heard of Karl Rove, much less relying on him to tell them who to vote for.