Huckabee Credits God For Rise in Polls

God clearly didn’t get involved in college football this year, as seen in Notre Dame’s losing season, but some believe God is still involved in picking political leaders. George Bush believes God chose him to be President and advised him to go to war in Iraq. Now, if a single report at can be believed, Mike Huckabee believes God is responsible for his rise in the polls

Mr. Huckabee also said that Divine providence was responsible for his recent surge in the polls in Iowa, as he noted that he is the candidate with much less capital firepower than his rivals. Despite his fundraising shortfall, his message seems to be resonating with voters.

While I doubt God has directly influenced the polls, Huckabee is partially right as his movement in the polls is a sign of how much the religious right now dominates the Republican Party. For years the Republicans would pander to the religious right for votes and then throw them a few bones once in office. This changed when George Bush pursued their agenda, and in the process drove out many moderates.

Huckabee has suddenly surged to first place in Iowa. The question now is whether the religious right is powerful enough to give one of their own the nomination despite being behind in fund raising and organization. If so, this could be the final straw in turning the Republican Party into a party limited to the south and scattered pockets of social conservatism.

Update: Video and transcript of Huckabee making this claim

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  1. 1
    Eric Dondero says:

    Not really. The Fiscal Con/libertarian vote is just divided at the moment between three or four GOP candidates: Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

    I think you’ll start seeing a bit of a fear factor starting to set in amongst Fiscal Cons. You’re likely to see them starting to unite behind one single libertarian-leaning candidate. And that candidate is very likely to be Rudy Giuliani. (Though, I admit, it could also be Fred?)

    I’m already starting to see signs of this. When you see the guru media icon of the Fiscal Con wing attacking Huckabee – the Wall Street Journal – that will be a clear sign that this is occuring. I give it a week or two. Could even be sooner.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    That’s one question–will the Republicans see this as a battle between fiscal conservatives and Huckabee and unite behind one candidate to stop him, or can Huckabee win in a divided field?

    The Club for Growth started ads against Huckabee a while back. At the time I thought they were wasting their money advertising against a candidate so far down in the polls. Maybe they realized how strong a candidate from the religious right could be this year, or perhaps they just realized how weak the other Republican candidates are.

  3. 3
    absent observer says:

    I thank God for you everyday.

    Only it’s the God that like to skewer people on sticks and disembowel their insides.


  4. 4
    Sub Lumen says:

    There’s a possibility that God will be staying out of college basketball this season as well, since the heathen Arkansas Razorbacks defeated the Christian Warriors (or whatever they’re called) of Oral Roberts University last week.

    Regarding Huckabee, I don’t think evangelicals make up more than 30% of the base to which the GOP really wants to appeal. Rudy is quite content to watch Mike have this run, counting on him to take votes away from Mitt and Fred. Even if Huckabee wins Iowa, his surge is likely to fizzle when he hits New Hampshire due to the increased attention that will be drawn to his record on taxes.

    Mike Huckabee is a tremendously likable guy. He has gained points as elements of the religious right have begun to coalesce to his candidacy, but he has also made points by being Mr. Nice Guy. While others in the field are attacking each other, he seems to stay above the fray. He scores well on good-humor and perceptions that he is honest and trustworthy.

    I just hope he maintains his sense of humor after Super Tuesday. From there on in, I’m afraid the best he can do is try angling for the V.P. spot.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    “I don’t think evangelicals make up more than 30% of the base to which the GOP really wants to appeal.”

    Obviously Huckabee has to appeal to Republicans beyond the evangelicals. How many social conservatives (beyond evangelicals) are there who would prefer Huckabee’s positions over Giuliani’s? Huckabee also has the advantage of a divided race to begin with, and if he manages to pull into first place in such a field this could give him momentum to pull in more voters.

    Don’t be so sure Giuliani will win on taxes. Giulinai’s tax record isn’t as good as he claims and Huckabee’s record isn’t as bad as the right wing claims. The reality is that Governors, and mayors, can’t be as ideological as Senators and those out of government as they have an actual government to run.

    Giuliani will certainly attack Huckabee on issues like taxes and very well may get away with it. There is also the possibility that it will backfire and turn into a question over character and honesty, in which case Giuliani doesn’t stand a chance.

    Huckabee remains an underdog, but while I didn’t think he had much of a chance before there is now a possibility of victory for him.

  6. 6
    Eric Dondero says:

    Republican candidates weak?

    How’s that again? Let’s look at the Dems:

    A former first lady, carpetbagger with a thick Illinois accent who represents the State of New York in the US Senate.

    A US Senator from Illinois, who has been in the Senate for a grand total of 3 years.

    Biden and Dodd have gravitas. But the both of them are languishing in lower single digits.

    Meanwhile the carpetbagger and the guy whose wet behind his big ears are getting all the attention.

    Compare that to a two-term Mayor for the Nation’s largest city who survived 9/11, and a 4-term US Senator from a large Western State, and a 2-term Senator from the South, and the guy who ran the Olympics, I think our Republican team stacks up just fine against anything (except Dodd and Biden), that the Democrats have to offer.

  7. 7
    Eric Dondero says:

    Call me a Prophet. Yup I’m gonna gloat this morning. And Ron, Others, I think you all owe me a bit of an acknowledgement on this.

    Yesterday I wrote the words above, saying that we should watch for any sign that the Fiscal Conservative wing of the GOP would rally to Rudy. I urged that we should pay attention to the Wall Street Journal.

    Well, I got that one off a bit, but my prediction was otherwise, right on the mark.

    Late last night the Giuliani campaign released a letter from Fiscal Conservative guru Grover Norquist, calling Giuliani the “best on taxes,” and practically endorsing him.

    Coincidence? I don’t think so. It’s a sure sign that Fiscal Cons will now rally to Rudy to stave off Huckabee.

    Call me prophetic if you please. Damn I’m good!!

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:


    Don’t let it get go to your head. That was hardly a difficult prediction to make considering that the Club for Growth started ads attacking Huckabee during the summer.

    I’m not thrilled with the candidates from either party, but the Republicans are far weaker. I agree that it is strange that the Democrats with the most gravitas are doing so poorly.

  9. 9
    Sub Lumen says:

    Yes, Huckabee does need to draw social conservatives other than just the evangelicals and by all rights he should do well at that. And, no, his record on taxes is not as bad as some would like everyone to believe.

    I was living in Arkansas during his entire tenure. The simple fact is that he was an effective governor who basically operated as a pragmatic centrist. He presided over a difficult period when the state’s entire education financing system had been declared unconstitutional. He made sure the state’s tobacco settlement dollars were invested only in health and health education. He realized that there were things that the government needed to do (e.g., build and improve highways) and was able to get them paid for — no small accomplishment in Arkansas. And he left a billion dollar surplus.

    He does have vulnerabilities in his record here, but he surely deserves a lot of credit, too.

    If he wins Iowa, which is looking pretty good at the moment, then wins or shows a very strong second in New Hampshire, and can continue to rise in the national polls enough to break himself out of the current four-way tie for second, then we could have a real horserace on Super Tuesday.

    I’m still of the opinion that it might take a bit of actual divine intervention for him to pull all that off, but It’s certainly going to be fun to watch.

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