Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee isn't registering yet among the potential frontrunners for the 2016 Republican nomination, but his candidacy should be taken more seriously, a Washington Post analysis
Huckabee, who stepped down from his popular Fox News program on Saturday night and announced that he is exploring a 2016 campaign, has a dedicated following among evangelical Christians, says Post "The Fix" writer Aaron Blake, noting that the ordained Southern Baptist minister did very well during his last run in 2008.
Huckabee took not just his home state of Arkansas that year, but also Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and West Virginia, giving him eight wins in comparison to second-place candidate Mitt Romney's 11 wins.
Further, Huckabee took more than a fifth of all the votes that were cast that year, even though he dropped out of the race before more than a dozen states held their primary elections.
According to a Real Clear Politics overview
of current polls, Huckabee is in fifth place among the wide field of contenders, coming in behind former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
However, only a few percentage points separate all the top five candidates. Bush is ahead with 17 points, followed by Christie with 11.2, Ryan with 10, Paul with 8.6, and Huckabee with 8.
But Huckabee can't win the race with evangelical Christians alone, because there are not enough out there, Blake writes, as only one state outside the South and lower Midwest has more than a quarter of voters who are in that demographic.
Further, there are now other candidates vying for evangelicals, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Paul, both of whom are considered potential front-runners for the nomination. Others with strong potential among evangelicals include former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum may appeal thanks to his strong anti-abortion stance, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, said the Post piece.
In addition, there are many more candidates likely to try for the nomination in 2016. Currently, 16 names are being tossed around, and there are more Republicans who have not yet admitted their intentions to explore a campaign.
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