In signing off his Fox News Channel show on Saturday, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee invited fans to "stay tuned, there's more to come."
Huckabee's decision to openly weigh another presidential run means that social conservatives might have a rich choice of candidates to choose from including: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon; Indiana Gov. Mike Pence; and Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, The Wall Street Journal
Mainstream party establishment figures who might run include Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The GOP's libertarian wing could turn to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
There are several other possible contenders in the race as well.
Huckabee told his Fox News audience that he would make a decision about running in 2016 by late spring.
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Veteran GOP strategist Ed Rollins, Huckabee's 2008 campaign manager, said that in the current political environment "there will be no quick knockout this time, and money and organization are going to be very important."
Rollins surmises that a candidate will need to raise $75 million to compete in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, and another $75 million to successfully complete the GOP's delegate race, the Journal reported.
Huckabee pulled in about $16 million in his 2008 campaign. The Baptist preacher-turned-governor raised $2.2 million during the 2014 election cycle through his political committee, Huck PAC.
The 59-year-old Huckabee is an experienced politician and is seen as an "affable, compelling figure" on the campaign trail. His positives are higher than many of his Republican rivals. He's been popular in Iowa public opinion surveys for much of 2014.
Some conservatives will be angered that Huckabee raised taxes when he was governor, took environmentally friendly positions on cap-and-trade, and backed the Common Core academic standards curriculum, the Journal reported.
"We need someone who doesn't take themselves too seriously, who isn't angry all the time and pointing fingers at the opposition and using over-the-top rhetoric," said Huckabee ally and Republican strategist Hogan Gidley.
"I think the American people are growing weary of people who just stand in front of a podium and pound their fists but have never accomplished anything," the Journal reported.
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