If campaigns were a measure of a candidate’s economic policy, there would be no questions about Mike Huckabee’s fiscal conservatism. He has gotten more mileage for every dollar he’s spent than any of the other top Republican candidates. Roger Simon at Politico did the math:
Mitt Romney has spent $53.6 million this primary season and has 36.2 percent of the vote in Iowa, according to the poll. Which means Romney has spent $1.48 million for every percentage point of support.
Rudy Giuliani has spent $30.6 million and has 13.1 percent of the vote. Which means he has spent $2.34 million for every percentage point of support.
Mike Huckabee has spent $1.7 million and has 12.8 percent of the vote. Which means he has spent $133,000 for every percentage point of support.
So who is the biggest fiscal conservative?
By my calculations, if Huckabee had Romney’s money, Huckabee would have 40.3 percent of the vote in Iowa and would be in first place.
The fact that Romney has spent $53.6 million on his campaign and hasn’t managed to decisively pull away from the field in Iowa (where he has spent a good chunk of that money, per his strategy) is instructive as to his limitations.
But it’s also instructive of Huckabee’s potential–with almost no money, he has managed not only to hang around, but to make a dent in the campaign. That’s fiscal conservatism at work.