Mike Huckabee’s Florida Primary Speech

Transcript

The following is a transcript of Mike Huckabee’s speech to supporters after the Florida primary, as provided by CQ Transcriptions via The Associated Press.

MIKE HUCKABEE: Well, folks, I wanted to tell you what we’re doing. We are rehearsing for the victory speech we’ll be able to give about Missouri next week.

(APPLAUSE) I was kind of hoping for a warm welcome in Missouri and there’s about 50-mile-an-hour winds and snow out here. I wish that I had brought the Florida weather with me today. I think we would have all enjoyed that very much.

Well, I think we’re all aware that the situation in Florida is that we’re going to be in a position looking at either third or fourth. Now, for those of you that think I should be discouraged, let me just remind you that going into tonight, we were second in delegate count and, more importantly, we’re playing all nine innings of this ballgame.

(APPLAUSE)

Even the Cardinals occasionally have a rough inning, but they know how to win championships.

What I want to express to you is next week, when we are going to be in Missouri and Oklahoma and Arkansas and Tennessee and Alabama and Georgia and all of these states where we’re leading in the polls, and we’re still going to be leading next week, we’re going to have a great opportunity to start taking it all the way home to the nomination and to the White House, and it’s going to happen a lot because of Missouri next week.

(APPLAUSE)

And we appreciate the great support we’re getting. I want to say thanks to the people of Florida. There’s going to be probably, before it’s over, maybe up to 300,000 people down there who worked their hearts out for us and those people, I can’t tell you how proud I am of them, because they had no resources.

Others have spent millions and millions of dollars. We knew that we wouldn’t have those kind of resources to play there. So we went out there and just worked with people who would come out, put their own signs out, buy their own t-shirts and hats.

A lady in Pensacola, she and her daughter put out 700 signs, just the two of them, in one day. Unbelievable. And that’s the kind of thing that’s happening across this country with our campaign that a lot of people still haven’t figured out.

And when you look at what we have done with what we have, it’s a remarkable story that is not even close to being over. In fact, we like to believe we’re just really getting started.

(APPLAUSE)

There are some great folks down there. Our chairman, Senator Daniel Webster, and our co-chairman, House Speaker Marco Rubio, and a host of great Floridians who have been extremely dedicated to our task.

I don’t want them to feel discouraged. I want them instead to feel very proud of their effort and be as half as proud of their effort as I am of them and the wonderful work that they’ve done for us.

I know it’s a little tight in this room. We really anticipated that we might have 100 people. We thought that about half of this would be enough, and we did not expect the weather to be this bad.

And I don’t know if you’re coming here because you’re escaping then cold and the heat is out in your house, but because of the weather, we’ve got to get to California tonight. So our exit will be a little quicker than we had wanted it to be, and I apologize in advance for that, but I’m sure you understand that we’ve got to be at the Reagan Library tomorrow night.

So we’re flying out as soon as we leave here, headed to California, because I’m going to be on that stage tomorrow night. I’m not sure everybody’s going to be there, but I will be.

(APPLAUSE)

And I need you here in Missouri to join with us in being a part of a wonderful volunteer army across this country who believes that it would be a better America if we did not have the IRS making it…

(APPLAUSE)

… and that believe that it would be a better America if we did stand up for human life and traditional marriage.

(APPLAUSE)

And that it would be a better America if we actually sealed our borders and became energy independent within 10 years.

And that it would be a better America if we had a country that once again believed in its future and believed that it’s not so much just about Democrats versus Republicans and the left versus the right and liberals versus conservatives, it’s about Americans building a better future for their kids and their grandkids and taking this country up and not down.

And that’s why people are with us and across this country, we’re finding homemakers and truck drivers and people who wait tables, as well as folks who work in the lines at the factories, and people who run their own business, and I want to be the president who reminds America that that small business owner out there, every day, working hard and taking a risk is the person that ought to believe that his government is going to be out there to under-gird him, not undermine his every move, and we’re going to make sure that happens in this country.

(APPLAUSE)

And you’re going to help be a part of that.

I wish we had cooked food for all of you. I bet right now you’re wishing it, too.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Fried chicken.

HUCKABEE: Fried chicken. I gave it up a few years ago. But I do know how to eat it if I ever get it, that’s right.

I want to, again, express my thanks to Ray Wagner (ph) and all of the folks here in Missouri who have been working with us, Jeff Rowe (ph) and so many others who have just helped us have great confidence that between now and seven days from now, there’s going to be something that we’ll all be shouting about.

And it won’t just be a Missouri victory, but also, that same night, there’ll be one in Georgia and Alabama and Tennessee, and there’ll be one in Arkansas and Oklahoma, and maybe a few other places that people aren’t even expecting it to happen.

Thank you folks for being here. God bless every one of you. Pray hard, work hard, get the votes out. Remember this — if they’re going to vote for me, make sure they come. If they’re not, don’t let them out of their driveway.

Thank you, folks. God bless you. Thank you.

Georgia: Huckabee 34% McCain 19% Romney 16% Alabama: Huckabee and McCain tied for first

The key is deligates, which we’re ahead on McCain. Florida is winner take all and we know we’re not in the top two so it’s smart campaigning in other states while the rest of the gang duke it out in Fla.Now for some Rasmussen poll numbers:
While John McCain and Mitt Romney are fighting for the lead in Florida’s Presidential Primary on January 29, Mike Huckabee has the lead in Georgia.The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Georgia finds Huckabee with 34% of the vote followed by McCain at 19%, Romney with 16%, Ron Paul with 12% and Rudy Giuliani in fifth with 11%.Huckabee is viewed favorably by 70% of Likely Republican Primary Voters, McCain by 63%, Giuliani by 63%, Romney by 62%, and Paul by 25%

McCain is seen as the most electable Republican—70% believe he would be at least somewhat likely to win the White House if nominated. Fifty-nine percent (59%) believe Huckabee would have a chance to win while 55% say the same about both Giuliani and Romney. Just 12% believe Paul would have a chance to win the election if nominated.

Nationally, McCain, Romney, and Huckabee lead in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

ALABAMA

John McCain and Mike Huckabee are tied for the lead in Alabama’s Republican Presidential Primary. McCain and Huckabee each attract 27% support while Mitt Romney is a distant third at 15%. Rudy Giuliani is the choice for 8% while Ron Paul is supported by 3% and 20% are not sure.Huckabee currently attracts support from 37% of Evangelical Christians likely to participate in the Primary while McCain leads among other Protestant voters with 32%.Just 40% of the state’s Likely Primary Voters are certain they won’t change their mind before the February 5 Primary.McCain is viewed favorably by 75%, Huckabee by 71%, Giuliani by 64%, Romney by 60% and Paul by 23%.

John McCain is seen as the most electable candidate. Seventy-six percent (76%) believe that McCain would be at least somewhat likely to win the White House if nominated. Just 59% of the state’s Primary Voters are that confident about Huckabee, 56% say the same about Giuliani, and 56% hold that view of Romney. Just 12% think Paul would have a chance of winning in November if nominated.

Nationally, McCain, Romney, and Huckabee lead Obama in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll,

Ron Paul Activists – I mean supporters, take over the Forge Inn at the Woodbridge NJ Conservative Straw Poll

NJLocal – Visit NJCOMMUNITY

Ron Paul activists pretty much took over the room at the Forge Inn in Woodbridge NJ Sat. for the NJ Conservative Presidential Straw Poll.

Over 200 attended with 126 votes garnered for Paul. Thompson was a distant second, Mitt Romney tallyed 22 and Gov. Huckabee pulled in 15 votes – had the amount of supporters that showed up at the Meetup group last Wed., Huckabee would’ve pulled in a much healthier second place finish. There were not many “undecided” voters as everyone in attendance that I noticed had a stickier or button for their choice candidate.

Peter Kane was the surrogate speaker for Gov. Huckabee and as usual did a fabulous job representing the former Governor.

Huckabee supporters were optimistic however – their candidate pulled in ahead of New Jersey favorite – Rudy Giuliani.

See more on the Straw Poll HERE

HERE

NY Times: Even at Home, Backers Worry About Giuliani

… but we already knew that ;o) sshhhh… New Jersey is in for a surprise.

For months, the Republican establishment in New York and New Jersey marched nearly in lock step behind Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former hometown mayor they were confident would become their party’s nominee for president.

But as Mr. Giuliani has plummeted from first to fourth — or worse — in some national polls, as he finished near the bottom of the pack in the nation’s earliest primaries, and as his lead evaporated even in Florida, the state on which he has gambled the most time and money, those Republican leaders are verging toward a grim new consensus:

If Mr. Giuliani loses in the Florida primary on Jan. 29, they say, he may even have trouble defeating the rivals who are encroaching on his own backyard.

“It’s pretty certain that he has to win Florida,” said Guy V. Molinari, the former Staten Island borough president, who is co-chairman of Mr. Giuliani’s campaign in New York.

Those supporters say they are confident that if Mr. Giuliani carries Florida or runs a very close second, he will remain the odds-on favorite to claim virtually all of the delegates from the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut primaries on Feb. 5, when Republicans in 22 states vote.

But if Mr. Giuliani is relegated to a distant second or worse in Florida, even some of his supporters acknowledge that New York’s primary one week later would most likely be up for grabs, with Senator John McCain of Arizona and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts being Mr. Giuliani’s strongest rivals. Like Mr. Giuliani, both are fielding full delegate slates in all 29 of the state’s Congressional districts.

“If he carries Florida, he carries New York,” said Fred Siegel, a Cooper Union historian who has served as an adviser to the former mayor and written a largely admiring biography of him. But winning Florida would require “a miraculous comeback,” he said, adding: “I wouldn’t bet on it.”

With 101 delegates from New York, 52 from New Jersey and 30 from Connecticut, the region accounts for about 15 percent of the magic number needed for the Republican nomination. All three are winner-take-all contests.

Mr. Giuliani’s precipitous decline in national and state polls in recent weeks has prompted many of his leading supporters in the metropolitan area to raise questions about his strategy of largely ignoring early races in Iowa, New Hampshire and Michigan to focus on Florida. He received little news coverage during those primaries, then finished poorly in each.

“I think that a lot of what’s happening in general is the early campaigning in Iowa, New Hampshire and Michigan playing an active role, and the fact that Rudy chose not to compete,” said Guy F. Talarico, a Giuliani supporter who is the former chairman of the Republican Party in Bergen County, N.J. “People are focusing on that and saying, ‘When are we going to get in the game?’ ”

Still, once the campaign circles back to the metropolitan area, “I think he’s going to win New Jersey,” Mr. Talarico said.

A senior Republican strategist, who is allied with Mr. Giuliani and is working with Republican legislative candidates in New York, said Mr. Giuliani’s decision to circumvent the early primaries was a “big gamble” that for the moment looked in danger of failing.

“Who knows if it will work,” said the strategist, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he had not been authorized by the campaign to speak publicly. “But the danger is what you are seeing now. We’re obviously concerned.”

In Florida, a Quinnipiac University poll of likely Republican voters found last month that Mr. Giuliani was leading the pack with 28 percent, followed by former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas with 21 percent and Mr. Romney with 20 percent. But a follow-up survey last week found the race statistically tied among four candidates: Mr. Giuliani, Mr. McCain, Mr. Huckabee and Mr. Romney.

Mr. Giuliani’s poll numbers have declined in Florida even though he has invested heavily there. The former mayor spent almost $600,000 on television advertising in Florida between Dec. 8 and Jan. 6, second only to Mr. Romney, who spent $676,851, according to Campaign Media Analysis Group, a political advertising research firm.

Almost all of Mr. Giuliani’s spending came in the final 10 days of that period, when Mr. Romney stopped buying ads.

The race has also narrowed in New Jersey, according to a poll released this week by Monmouth University/Gannett. The poll showed Mr. McCain leading by 29 percent to Mr. Giuliani’s 25 percent, a difference that is within the poll’s margin of sampling error. In September, the same poll found Mr. Giuliani 32 percentage points ahead of his nearest rival, Mr. McCain.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE

Today’s Rasmussen Daily Tracking poll has Mike Huckabee on top

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows Mike Huckabee on top–at least for the moment–in the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination. It’s Huckabee 23%, John McCain 22%, Mitt Romney 15%, Rudy Giuliani 12%, and Fred Thompson 11%. Ron Paul attracts 2% support (see recent daily numbers).

Daily tracking results are collected via nightly telephone surveys and reported on a four-day rolling average basis. The overwhelming majority of interviews for today’s update were conducted before results of the Michigan Primary were known. The next update is scheduled for Thursday at 11:00 a.m.

Romney’s victory in Michigan last night further muddles the Republican race. It is once again easy to show how each of the leading candidates can lose the nomination while difficult to see a clear path to victory for anyone. A Rasmussen Reports analysis notes that the exit polling highlights the challenges facing John McCain, particularly on the issues of taxes and immigration.

Romney won in Michigan partly because of his local ties. But, also by focusing on the economy at a time when consumer and investor confidence has fallen to the lowest levels in five years—73% of Americans now believe the economy is getting worse.

Polling conducted before Michigan shows McCain leading in South Carolina and Fred Thompson gaining ground. Rasmussen Reports is polling in South Carolina again tonight. In Florida, four Republican candidates essentially tied for the lead. A commentary by Michelle Malkin says she is looking for a Suck-it-Up candidate to support in the GOP race.

In the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, it’s now Clinton 37%, Obama 29% and John Edwards 16% (see recent daily numbers). In Michigan, Clinton lost badly to African-American voters who preferred “Uncommitted.” Rasmussen Reports polling has found that Clinton has a solid lead among white voters nationally while Obama leads 4-to-1 among African-Americans.

A commentary by Susan Estrich looks at the issue of “Race in the Race.” A new survey released today shows that just 54% of Americans say their peers are willing to vote for a woman for President. Fifty-six percent (56%) say their family, friends, and co-workers are willing to vote for an African-American. There is a strong generation gap on these questions.

Looking down the road a bit, Clinton is gaining ground in South Carolina and holds a solid lead in Florida.

Rasmussen Markets data gives Clinton a 59.1contract_id = 68178;node_id = 7607 + “_” + 8092;new Ajax(“/extension/ajax/intrade_lastprice.php”, {data: ‘contractID=’ + contract_id,method: ‘get’,update: $(‘intrade_’ + node_id)}).request();% chance of winning the Democratic nomination and Obama a 39.2contract_id = 68180;node_id = 7608 + “_” + 9638;new Ajax(“/extension/ajax/intrade_lastprice.php”, {data: ‘contractID=’ + contract_id,method: ‘get’,update: $(‘intrade_’ + node_id)}).request();% chance. On the Republican side, McCain is now given a 35.2contract_id = 68214;node_id = 7615 + “_” + 9474;new Ajax(“/extension/ajax/intrade_lastprice.php”, {data: ‘contractID=’ + contract_id,method: ‘get’,update: $(‘intrade_’ + node_id)}).request();% chance of winning the nomination. Mitt Romney is at 19.0contract_id = 68215;node_id = 7613 + “_” + 6060;new Ajax(“/extension/ajax/intrade_lastprice.php”, {data: ‘contractID=’ + contract_id,method: ‘get’,update: $(‘intrade_’ + node_id)}).request();% followed by Giuliani at 22.2contract_id = 68217;node_id = 7612 + “_” + 1117;new Ajax(“/extension/ajax/intrade_lastprice.php”, {data: ‘contractID=’ + contract_id,method: ‘get’,update: $(‘intrade_’ + node_id)}).request();%, Mike Huckabee at 13.8contract_id = 68216;node_id = 7614 + “_” + 7247;new Ajax(“/extension/ajax/intrade_lastprice.php”, {data: ‘contractID=’ + contract_id,method: ‘get’,update: $(‘intrade_’ + node_id)}).request();%, and Fred Thompson at 3.1contract_id = 84651;node_id = 7670 + “_” + 2445;new Ajax(“/extension/ajax/intrade_lastprice.php”, {data: ‘contractID=’ + contract_id,method: ‘get’,update: $(‘intrade_’ + node_id)}).request();%. Numbers in this paragraph are from a prediction market, not a poll. We invite you to participate in the Rasmussen Markets. It costs nothing to join and add your voice to the collective wisdom of the market. Prospects for South Carolina, Nevada, and Florida are featured on the Rasmussen Markets Summary page.

Daily tracking results are collected via nightly telephone surveys and reported on a four-day rolling average basis. Each update includes approximately 750 Likely Democratic Primary Voters and 600 Likely Republican Primary Voters. Margin of sampling error for each is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Each Monday, full week results are released based upon a seven-day rolling average. While the daily tracking result are useful for measuring quick reaction to events in the news, the full week results provide an effective means for evaluating longer-term trends. Rasmussen Reports also provides a weekly analysis of both the Republican and Democratic race each Monday.

Huckabee sows seeds to steal Michigan from Romney

(CNN) — Until this week, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee had not run a single ad in Michigan, and had no paid staffers in the state.

He did not have a campaign office. He had not sent out a single piece of direct mail.

Meanwhile, his rival Mitt Romney — who announced after his second-place New Hampshire showing that Michigan was his top priority — has run nearly $3 million dollars worth of television ads in Michigan.

And John McCain, fresh off his New Hampshire win — and with the backing of two of the state’s largest papers, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free-Press — has been keeping pace in recent polls with the well-funded Romney effort.

But just as in Iowa, a grassroots network of conservative Christian activists and fair tax proponents are, improbably, keeping Huckabee in contention for the top spot in the GOP primary here.

“We laid the groundwork,” says Gary Glenn, one of the leaders of the movement. “The fact that he’s even in a position to threaten Mitt Romney in his native state is a real statement to the depth of support he has here.”

Huckabee’s been riding a months-long wave of good news in Michigan. Just before Labor Day, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers made him their pick in his party’s presidential primary — a rare nod to a GOP candidate that might not mean much in other Republican contests, but carries some weight in this heavily unionized state.

The Fair Tax movement — which has given Huckabee its enthusiastic backing — announced a major political push in Michigan in 2008, looking to get an anti-tax measure on the ballot this fall.

LaMar Lemmons, the Detroit state representative who helped organize the successful Democratic crossover effort that helped McCain beat Bush here in 2000, recently launched Democrats for Huckabee — the sort of group that can make a real difference in a state where the lack of party registration allows for large-scale crossover voting.

The move may have an exaggerated impact this cycle, since the national party penalized the state party for moving up its primary and most of the major Democratic contenders pulled their names from the ballot.

And this week, Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist is making a swing through the state to tell Republican primary voters upset over illegal immigration to support Huckabee, making appearances in working-class cities from Flint and Saginaw to Kalamazoo.

But as in Iowa, the biggest secret to Huckabee’s Michigan success seems to be his depth of support among evangelical Christians. Typically, somewhere between one-fifth and one-third of Michigan’s Republican primary voters are self-identified evangelicals. A few weeks ago, a Detroit News survey found that number may be as high as 40 percent this year.

So pro-Huckabee organizers say they are focusing their entire effort on turning out evangelical church goers. They plan to call every evangelical pastor in the state over the next few days. Those ministers can’t endorse any candidate from the pulpit — but they can tell their parishioners that “it’s their Christian duty,” to turn out on primary day, said Glenn. “And we know who they’ll be voting for.”

To help drive that message home, thousands of volunteers will be dropping leaflets and waving signs in church parking lots across Michigan this Sunday. Glenn says there will also be several news conferences across the state through the January 15 vote featuring groups of pastors announcing their personal support for Huckabee, an organized wave of callers into Michigan’s Christian radio stations, and phone trees targeting the state’s largest churches from within.

Glenn is a prime example of the sort of well-connected activist that has been essential to Huckabee’s success. The president of Michigan’s chapter of Don Wildmon’s American Family Association, he co-wrote the state’s successful anti-gay marriage amendment, which drew close to 60 percent of the vote in 2004. That effort also updated his already-packed addressbook with a new group of politically-savvy conservative Christian contacts eager to assist a presidential candidate who backed his own state’s version of that measure.

Glenn also represents another key demographic in the Huckabee grassroots army — home schoolers, mostly Christian conservatives, who have overwhelmingly supported the former governor. In Michigan, the group is politically active, and large, with thousands attending the community’s annual state convention.

“We don’t have to persuade them to vote, we just have to get them to turn up,” Glenn said Thursday, pointing to their Iowa counterparts’ role in Huckabee’s victory there. “Why mess with a winning formula?”

Guess who’s tied for the lead or leading now in virtually every national poll?

POLLS

Huckabee, Obama Gain at National Level

These results are from the latest USA Today/Gallup poll of national adults, conducted Jan. 4-6, 2008. All interviews were conducted following Huckabee’s and Obama’s wins in Iowa last Thursday night. Results from Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary may produce still further changes in the national standing of the candidates.

Among Republicans, Huckabee has jumped from 16% of the vote in December 2007 to 25% as of this polling. Coupled with the loss of support for former front-runner Rudy Giuliani, Huckabee is now the leader among Republicans nationally, with a 5-point lead over Giuliani and 6-point lead over John McCain (who has gained 5 points since December). Mitt Romney, after failing to win in Iowa, is now in fifth place nationally with just 9% of the vote, which is his lowest percentage since early October.

                                                              Source: USA Today/Gallup

_________________________

Rasmussen

In the roller-coaster race for the Republican Presidential Nomination, it’s Mike Huckabee 21%, Mitt Romney 19%,McCain 18%, Rudy Giuliani 13%, and Fred Thompson at 11%. Ron Paul attracts 4% support (see recent daily numbers). A Rasmussen Reports analysis suggests that if McCain wins in New Hampshire, the race will finally have a clear frontrunner.

Real Clear Politics Has Huckabee leading the pack nationally. Through Jan 6, here’s the RCP Average based on the national polls:

Huckabee – 20.7

McCain – 20.0

Giuliani – 19.0

Romney – 12.0

Thompson – 10.7

Paul – 3.7

Spread: Huckabee +0.7

In a related RCP article, John Ellis says Huckabee came away with more than just a 3rd place showing in New Hampshire.

Huckabee Has Momentum

By John Ellis
Iowa was grand for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, but New Hampshire was a bonanza. He cast his bread upon the waters there and though he finished a distant third, it was returned manifold. The one thing that Huckabee cannot afford, at this stage of the race, is head-to-head defeat. He needs at least two “strong” candidates in the field while he puts together the pieces of his Republican proletariat coalition.

What New Hampshire delivered last night was a revitalized Sen. John McCain, which makes Michigan a three-way race, which makes Gov. Huckabee’s campaign there viable. If ever there was an electorate that is ripe for Gov. Huckabee’s mix of economic populism and compassionate Christianity, it’s down-trodden Michigan Republican primary voters. McCain won there in 2000 with strong support from Independents and he will direct all of his efforts at getting those independents to double down, one last time. Romney will throw everything he has at Michigan, to avoid elimination. Given a McCain surge and a Romney splurge, it’s not hard to imagine a three-way split, with Huckabee doing surprisingly well in the collar counties around Detroit and drawing from the well of his base in the western and northwestern counties. Who knows, he might even win Michigan, which would set up South Carolina for a kill.

Read its entirety here