Huckabee Ends Presidential Campaign, Conceding to John McCain

March 4 (Bloomberg) — Mike Huckabee, the Republican presidential candidate who struggled to find a second act after his surprise win in Iowa, ended his campaign tonight, conceding the nomination to John McCain.

Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, exited the race after he failed to win any of the four states voting today, and television networks announced that McCain had amassed enough delegates to capture the Republican nomination.

“One of the things we’ll be able to say is we fought the good fight and we finished the race,” Huckabee told supporters in Irving, Texas.

Huckabee said he had called McCain and said he and his campaign staff would help the Arizona senator. His departure ends the Republican presidential race, allowing the party to coalesce behind a single candidate while the Democratic nomination remains in doubt.

“We’ll be working on doing everything we can to help Senator McCain and to help our party,” Huckabee said. “There are many battles that we need not just to fight, we need to win for our country’s sake and our future’s sake.”

Huckabee, 52, had won eight states, including the first-in- the-nation Iowa caucuses, largely through the strength of his appeal to evangelical Christians.

His announcement caps a campaign in which he went from afterthought to front-runner and back again. Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher with a penchant for using humor, was largely ignored until shortly before Iowa’s Jan. 3 caucuses. There, religious and socially conservative voters helped him defeat former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Huckabee’s Struggle

Huckabee, unable to raise the tens of millions of dollars needed to run a national campaign, struggled to replicate that success elsewhere. He finished third in New Hampshire, behind McCain and Romney, and then bypassed the subsequent contests to focus on South Carolina. He lost to McCain there by three points, and said he might have won had former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson not also been in the race.

After placing fourth in Florida, Huckabee looked to rejuvenate his campaign by doing well in the southern, midwestern and rural states voting on Super Tuesday, Feb. 5. He won five of those states. Romney, who tried to nudge Huckabee out of the race, ended up dropping out himself. Huckabee, meanwhile, declared it a two-man race.

McCain continued racking up victories that gave him an all- but-insurmountable lead among delegates. Huckabee rejected calls from within his own party to concede, saying he wanted to ensure that conservatives continued to have a voice in the contest.

`Foot Soldiers’

“The foot soldiers of the Republican Party, the conservatives in the Republican Party, need to make sure their voices aren’t shut out,” Huckabee said in a Feb. 20 interview with Bloomberg Television.

Money was always an obstacle for his campaign. He raised $13 million through Jan. 31. Democrat Barack Obama raised more than that in a single month.

Still, Huckabee defied predictions that such as cash- strapped campaign could not become a factor in the race, Republican pollster Whit Ayres said.

“He did more with less than any other presidential candidate in recent memory,” Ayres said. “He demonstrates, along with Barack Obama, the extraordinary importance of being a superb speaker to being a successful politician.”

Huckabee attracts old and new supporters at Collin College

“If we trust the process, he still has a chance…

“It’s important for students to see that their votes do count,”

“I’m rooting for him more and more now,”

“After this, I’m hoping he can at least stay until the convention,”

These are just some of the comments from the quite enthusiastic crowd. The article is in the Plano Courier Star which also displays an abundance of positive reader comments.

GO MIKE!!!!

Dallas Morning News: Huckabee good investment in GOP’s future

The Dallas Morning News published an editorial Sunday supporting former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, despite saying he has no chance of winning the Republican presidential nomination.

Though Sen. John McCain of Arizona is the presumptive nominee and “it is mathematically impossible” for Huckabee to pull ahead in delegates, Huckabee “remains our choice for the GOP nomination,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote, just two days before the state’s primary.

This is not the first time the paper has endorsed Huckabee. Last month, it called him a “a progressive conservative with a pastor’s heart.”

And in December, it called him “decent, principled and empathetic to the views and concerns of others — an antidote to the power-mad partisanship that has led U.S. politics to a dispiriting standstill.”

The Dallas Morning News also endorsed Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In the piece published Sunday, the newspaper’s editorial board wrote, “True, a Huckabee vote today won’t do much to determine the 2008 GOP presidential candidate.”

It added, “But it’s a good investment in the Republican Party’s future.”

McCain has 1,033 delegates to Huckabee’s 247, according to CNN calculations. A candidate needs 1,191 to seal the Republican nomination.

McCain appears to hold a comfortable lead in Texas. Recent polls indicate he is the choice of 58 percent of the state’s likely Republican voters, while Huckabee trails with 30 percent.

The Republican Texas “poll of polls” consists of three surveys: American Research Group (February 29-March 1), Reuters/C-SPAN/Houston Chronicle/Zogby (February 28-March 1), and Belo/Public Strategies (February 26-28).

McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, has “long experience and personal courage” and “a solid record of fiscal responsibility,” the newspaper said.

It added that he “has been on the right side of campaign finance reform and environmental issues” and credited him as “correct and principled to lead the fight for comprehensive immigration reform last summer.”

But the board added that McCain’s age, 71, “and his choleric temperament gave us pause, particularly when contrasted to Mr. Huckabee’s sunny-side-up brand of conservatism.”

The paper lauded Huckabee’s views on the environment and described him as “a compassionate conservative” on economic matters.

“Though his social and religious conservatism puts him on the wrong side of abortion, gay rights and other key issues, that same deep-faith commitment inspires his dedication to helping the poor and to racial healing,” the board said.

Huckabee’s youth, pragmatism and “good-natured approach to politics” mean he could play a role in GOP politics for many years, the paper said.

“That’s why we encourage Texas Republicans to mark their ballots for Mr. Huckabee in the GOP primary: to demonstrate to the party’s elite that Mr. Huckabee and his vision have a solid constituency.”

Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont all hold contests March 4.

Huckabee Meets With Christian Leader James Dobson

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee met with conservative Christian leader James Dobson Friday as he vied to pick up the Colorado delegates pledged to Mitt Romney, who dropped out of the race.

Huckabee’s visit comes two weeks after Dobson endorsed him for president.

“Personally it was a great encouragement,” Huckabee said of the endorsement. “I think it also was an extraordinary boost for our campaign because Dr. Dobson is seen as such a true national leader when it comes to issues of life, marriage and family.”

Huckabee is an ordained Baptist minister and a former governor of Arkansas. His campaign has been kept alive in part by support from conservative Christians who don’t want to back Arizona Senator John McCain.

Appearing without Dobson at a podium on a lawn outside the campus of Focus on the Family, Huckabee declined to describe what he and his friend of 14 years discussed.

Huckabee, who was in Colorado Springs to speak Friday night to the conservative group, Leadership Program of the Rockies, said the meeting was “personal” in nature and “not a meeting that I was having with him in his capacity as the leader of Focus on the Family.”

Although Huckabee said Dobson’s backing has helped him, he doubts the Focus on the Family founder will be campaigning for him.

“I think it would be very difficult for him to go on the campaign trail,” Huckabee said. “I did not ask for that, and I would not expect that.”

Through a spokesman, Dobson also declined to describe the conversation and cautioned against reading into why he didn’t appear with Huckabee.

“This was a long-planned private conversation between two friends and Dr. Dobson wanted to keep it that way,” said Gary Schneeberger, a Dobson spokesman. “It’s certainly not meant to temper his support of the governor.”

He said Dobson would not comment on a private meeting. Schneeberger also said Dobson was sensitive to IRS rules that restrict tax-exempt groups like Focus on the Family from getting involved in politics. When Dobson endorses political candidates, he emphasizes he is speaking as an individual and not for the group.

Many political observers believe Huckabee, with 254 delegates, doesn’t have a chance of catching McCain, who has 958 delegates of the 1,191 needed to win the nomination. Romney, who dropped out of the race earlier this month after picking up 280 delegates, has endorsed McCain.

That hasn’t discouraged Huckabee.

“There’s 46 delegates at stake in Colorado that could be mine,” Huckabee told dozens of cheering supporters.

Dick Wadhams, Colorado chair of the Republican Party, said that that the Feb. 5 caucus — where Huckabee came in third after Romney and McCain — was a “preference poll” and that delegates are still up for grabs.

Huckabee also commented about a New York Times article Thursday alleging that McCain’s staffers were concerned about a relationship with a female lobbyist during his first presidential run eight years ago. McCain and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, have denied they had a romantic relationship.

“My only experience with (McCain) as a fellow candidate the past 14 months is a positive one,” Huckabee said. “I see him as a man of integrity. He’s denied the allegations in the New York Times article. I have no reason to doubt him.”

Mimi Hailes, 50, of Colorado Springs has been working on Huckabee’s campaign in Colorado and it was thrill to meet him and see him person.

“I told him that I’ve been praying for him and that I pray for him every day,” Hailes said. “I’m very hopeful that he’s still going to be our candidate.”

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,

Rasmussen: Huckabee Has Thrown Republican Race in Disarray

Interesting read. It shows that Huckabee is unstoppable at this point…

It was a busy week in the race for the GOP nomination. John McCain picked up key endorsements, Mike Huckabee picked up a campaign manager, Mitt Romney decided to go negative on Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani moved to rebuild his support in Florida, and Fred Thompson moved to Iowa for the duration.

Despite all the activity, one key fact now dominates every campaign–the rise of Mike Huckabee has thrown the race for the Republican nomination is disarray.

It is not possible to know who will emerge as the nominee or when the nominee will be determined. In fact, there is a growing possibility that the nomination will not be determined on Super Tuesday, February 5. Ironically, in a year when politicians in many states scrambled to move their primaries forward so that they could have more influence, the later voting states may finally determine the nominee.

About all we know for certain at this point is that the chattering class and campaign strategists are still struggling to understand Republican Primary voters. So far, they have missed the mark as badly as the political class misread the public mood on immigration earlier this year.

For the seven days ending December 16, Huckabee enjoyed a slight lead in national polling over the other Republican hopefuls. He currently leads in Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida. He is tied for the lead in Michigan. Romney leads in New Hampshire. Rasmussen Reports will release new polling from South Carolina, Iowa, and New Hampshire this week.

Nationally, Huckabee, attracted roughly the same percentage of support from Republicans and from Independent voters likely to take part in a GOP primary. Giuliani places second among Republican voters, McCain is second among Independents. However, Independent voters are still much more interested in the Democratic Nomination contest.

Nationwide, Huckabee attracts 30% of conservative voters. Giuliani earns 16%, Romney 14%, and Thompson 13%.

Among moderates and the very small number of liberal voters likely to vote in a GOP primary, Giuliani leads with 23% followed by McCain at 17% and Romney at 16%.

Among men, it’s Huckabee 23%, Giuliani 20%, and Thompson 14%. Among women, it’s Huckabee 24%, Romney 17%, and Giuliani 15%.

Giuliani is stronger among younger votes, Romney among those who used to be young. Huckabee leads them both among all age groups at the moment.

What’s the bottom line? A week ago, Rasmussen Reports noted that there were five candidates who still had a shot at winning the nomination—Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Fred Thompson. For each, it was easier to see how they would lose than win—and some obviously had a better chance than others–but there was at least a credible path to victory for each of the five. That’s essentially where things stand today.

Rasmussen Reports conducts national telephone surveys on the Presidential race every night and releases updated data from our Presidential Tracking Poll by noon each day. Those results are based upon a four-day rolling average and provide a quick update on the race.

In addition to the daily tracking poll, Rasmussen Reports provides weekly results to provide a longer-term overview of the race. These updates are based upon nightly telephone surveys. Results are reported based upon interviews conducted on the seven days up to and including the night before posting.

For the seven days ending December 16, 2007 show that Mike Huckabee earns 23% of the vote while Rudy Giuliani attracts 18%. Mitt Romney is at 15% while Fred Thompson is at 12% and John McCain is the preferred candidate for 11%. Ron Paul’s support for the week is at 6%, Tom Tancredo is at 2%, Duncan Hunter earns 1% and 12% are undecided (review history of weekly results).

The seven day results typically include interviews with more than 1,000 Likely Republican Primary Voters. This includes both Republicans and those independents likely to vote in a Republicans Primary. In some state primaries, independent voters are allowed to participate in party primaries while in others they are excluded. The margin of sampling error for the weekly update is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Updates prior to July 16 were based upon four days of polling conducted the Monday through Thursday preceding release.

Rasmussen Reports continuously updates general election match-ups and other key stats for all Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates.

Calling New Jersey: NJ Primary Information

CLICK HERE for my new NJCOMMUNITY BLOG

IF YOU ARE AN INDEPENDENT, YOU CAN PARTICIPATE IF YOU JOIN A PARTY

IF YOU ARE NOT AFFILIATED: you can participate only if they shed their unaffiliated status and join a party on primary day.

Q: HOW DO I Register?

A: You need to go to your City Hall/Town Clerk or the county board of Elections

I strongly urge you: if you have considered voting for someone in the general Presidential election that is outside your Party affiliate, in order to do all you can to make that candidate the party nominee, please consider visiting your local TOWN HALL and fill out the necessary paperwork TODAY.

SO – for example: if you’re a registered Democrat or independent, but like Governor Huckabee, well, you can vote for Governor Huckabee in the general election on Nov. 2008 only if he’s the Republican nominee… in order for him to be the nominee, all the individual state registered voters need to vote him in as candidate, to represent the Republican party. So the only way you can really exercise your right and be heard, is to do all you can to make Governor Huckabee the nominee – so come on New Jersey – go to your local TOWN HALL and make the change before its too late!!!

Please do all you can to support our next Commander in Chief – whoever you vote for, like Huckabee ;o), make sure your registered for that party by today!