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Huckabee: We lost in 2012 because evangelicals didnít support a more moderate nominee
Hotair ^ | 04/02/2013 | AllahPundit

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 didn’t 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?

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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.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Arkansas
KEYWORDS: 2012; 2012electionanalysis; 2016election; arkansas; christianvote; christianvoters; election2016; evangelicals; huckabee; mikehuckabee; rinos; romney; romney2012; valuesvoters
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1 posted on 04/02/2013 6:51:34 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
First of all, the election was stolen. The Stupid-Ass Party folded and didn't do a thing about it.

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.

2 posted on 04/02/2013 7:00:12 AM PDT by laweeks
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To: SeekAndFind

The Romney campaign never even attempted to tap into the 2010 momentum of the Tea Party or Sarah Palin. Big mistake.


3 posted on 04/02/2013 7:00:30 AM PDT by avacado
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


4 posted on 04/02/2013 7:00:59 AM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (Blather. Reince. Repeat.)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


5 posted on 04/02/2013 7:02:57 AM PDT by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: SeekAndFind
So let me get this straight. The low information voters voted for extremist DemocRATS who are to the left of Lenin and Stalin because the Republican candidate wasn't "moderate" enough? Somebody has been doing way too many recreational drugs.

"Give us moderation or give us DemocRAT fascism!" - Low information voter battle cry. That makes sense.

6 posted on 04/02/2013 7:03:22 AM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Dude! Where's my Bill of Rights?)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Huckster thinks Todd Akin is a moderate?


7 posted on 04/02/2013 7:04:00 AM PDT by BarnacleCenturion
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To: laweeks

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.


8 posted on 04/02/2013 7:04:53 AM PDT by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: BarnacleCenturion

Maybe there are not evangelicals in Missouri to make a difference...


9 posted on 04/02/2013 7:06:00 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

For what it's worth, I am a Christian Conservative. I showed up to vote on 2012 and voted for the most God-fearing patriotic small government conservative candidates I could find on the ballot. That did not include Mitt Romney. If it weren't for Palin, I wouldn't have voted for McCain either in 2008. I'm tired of squishy "compassionate" republicans. I have no problem with "gay marriage" being used as a litmus test. In the bigger picture, if a candidate has the cahones to stand up for God in the face of "big gay media", I can probably trust that candidate to do what's right to defend America and our Founders' vision of it. Sounds like a pretty good litmus test to me. It would clearly define the candidates with spine, courage, conviction, a respect for tradition, and a healthy fear of our Maker.


10 posted on 04/02/2013 7:06:53 AM PDT by so_real ( "The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.")
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To: laweeks

The media chose Romney as the candidate...at the behest of the Republican elite, all of whom are liberals.


11 posted on 04/02/2013 7:08:42 AM PDT by fatnotlazy
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


12 posted on 04/02/2013 7:10:12 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: SeekAndFind

Hey Huck, a moderate will not solve our problems.


13 posted on 04/02/2013 7:10:46 AM PDT by bmwcyle (People who do not study history are destine to believe really ignorant statements.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Man, when you look at those 2000 numbers, it makes you wonder how Bush even won?


14 posted on 04/02/2013 7:11:20 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: SeekAndFind
What if there actually are parts of the country where a moderate, and fiscally conservative Republican can get elected but a hard-core conservative, particularly a conservative on social issues, simply can't?
15 posted on 04/02/2013 7:11:33 AM PDT by varmintman
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To: stuartcr
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.

16 posted on 04/02/2013 7:12:20 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: BarnacleCenturion
The Huckster thinks Todd Akin is a moderate?

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.

17 posted on 04/02/2013 7:12:49 AM PDT by Longbow1969
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To: avacado

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.


18 posted on 04/02/2013 7:12:54 AM PDT by greene66
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To: varmintman

New England.


19 posted on 04/02/2013 7:13:57 AM PDT by Andy'smom
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To: RJS1950
Yes, it was stolen and the those who sat out the election aided in that theft

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.

20 posted on 04/02/2013 7:15:23 AM PDT by laweeks
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