Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Iowa again

Here are the latest Iowa results, together with the Republican and Democratic polling data (again, but from a different source).

Below, our friend Clint suggests that another way of reading the polling data is that Huckabee is the conservative choice. After all, he won among "very" and "somewhat conservative" voters as well. My response is that if you do the math, over 80% of the Huckabee vote was evangelical (27.6% of the 34%), while almost 90% (30.4%) was "very" or "somewhat conservative." I’d stake quite a bit on the claim that most of the evangelicals who showed up at the caucuses regard themselves as falling into one of those two categories. In other words, Huckabee’s conservative support is in large part a product of his religious support. And while I have some issues with some of my evangelical brethren (I’m a member of a theologically conservative "Reformed and evangelical" denomination), I don’t regard them as "nuts," nor, as a homeschooler, do I regard all my fellow homeschoolers as "nuts." (Some surely are, but so are some parents who send their kids to public schools.)

Discussions - 4 Comments

Yes. The overlap there is just about complete.

Given that religious support, Huck will win North Carolina, too. The point about Christian conservatives is not just their percentage of the population, but their political habits - they are energized voters. They feel duty-bound to show up at the polls to influence the election. I know a lot of evangelicals, too, and they will vote for Huckabee because he is the most Christian of candidates. When I speak of concerns about his record on economic issues and his support for programs as gov. that they would otherwise consider socialist in nature and principle, the questions I get are: "Well, who else?" or "Didn't Romney support some lousy issues as governor?" "Isn't Guiliani pro-abortion? If he'd support that, who knows what else we might get with him."

Besides, people who pay less attention to the news are ready to adopt the most obviously Christian candidate, which is the benefit to Huckabee of being hammered on that issue and not on others.

Two more things: The Iowa electorate was 40% non-evangelical and Huckabee received about 20% of his total vote, so he got 15-16% among non-evangelical voters, a quite respectable showing in a 5 man race. So I think you are writing him off far to quickly, but so be the spin.

Secondly, Paul's showing is something to watch. Iowa, other than isolationist, isn't very fertile ground for his message, and he really surprised me with 10%. This means he could easily double that in New Hampshire, and maybe be in the hunt for second. I foresee a possible situation in which McCain wins, Paul gets second, and Romney is really hung out. Paul even has an outside shot at winning NH. Romney is dropping like an anchor. Huckabee will surge a little there too, so it will be small wins for whoever...McCain 32; Paul 21; Romney 20; Huckabee 18; Giuliani 8?? obviously just making stuff up, but oh well.

"nor, as a homeschooler, do I regard all my fellow homeschoolers as "nuts." (Some surely are, but so are some parents who send their kids to publci schools.)"

Anyone who sends their kids to public schools is by definition nuts. :-)

Yes, I was looking at the numbers from the exit and entrance polls concerning Dr. Paul in the newspaper thismorning. Most of his support came from 17-29 year olds (40% voted for Huck, 22% for Romney, and 21% for Paul) and Independents (29% voted for Paul, 23 for McCain, 19 for Romney, and 17 for Huck) in Iowa. Ron Paul won the independent vote among Republicans in Iowa by 6 percentage points over McCain. I think, given New Hampshire's more libertarian tendencies and the fact that McCain (and Thompson) only beat Paul in the overall poll by 3% may spell very good news for Paul. Many more moderate independents who may have voted for McCain may suddenly find themselves looking at Obama, and more libertarian-minded independents may start funneling into Paul's camp.

Of course, the media wants nothing to do with it. When Wolf Blitzer was going over the CNN coverage as the numbers came in, he outright ignored Ron Paul. At one point Paul was 150 votes away from 8,000, and going down the list Blitzer is "Ron Paul comes in at 7000" and then went to Giuliani, who had about 3,700 (I know I'm not good at math, but that is 300 away from 4000) and says "And Mayor Giuliani coming in at close to 4000 votes." The coverage was just full of slights against Paul like that all night. Oh well...

Anyways, I think we can agree that New Hampshire is going to be a very interesting race.

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