When I first highlighted Daily Kos’s repeated claims that they feared Mike Huckabee more than any of the other candidates, some people (in private conversations) dismissed the claims that Kos was attempting to game the elections by supporting the only candidate that they knew they could defeat.
I thought then–and still do think–that explanation is too tricky by half. To sustain it, one would have to think that there were a grand leftist cabal in place that Kos is the leading edge of and that Democratic strategists are only now catching up to.
That’s a good story, but as is often the case with conspiracy theories, the truth is probably much more obvious and mundane: Democrats are telling the truth. They really do think Mike Huckabee has a better chance to win than any of the other candidates:
“Mike Huckabee is the Republican that probably worries me the most,” said Wooten Johnson, a Democratic strategist based in Louisiana. “Unlike the other Republicans, he isn’t flawed in the eyes of the Republican base. But more importantly, he has a record of being a true compassionate conservative. He will be able to attract those suburban voters that don’t want to vote for [a] Democrat.”
Wooten is wrong about Huckabee being flawed in the eyes of the Republican base. He has his problems, as do the rest of our candidates. But if Democrats are any indication, Huckabee is the Republican’s best chance to win the White House. And while Republicans wrestle with their long-term strategy and vision, shouldn’t that be rather important in our consideration for 2008?