This morning’s news from the Associated Press that Sam Brownback is expected to drop out of the presidential race is another in a string of recent boosts for Mike Huckabee. Add Brownback’s voters to Huckabee’s in the August Ames straw poll–many hail for the same pro-life constituency–and you have Huckabee coming out on top, ahead of Mitt Romney, with 33-percent support. In fact, Romney was banking on Brownback and Huckabee splitting single issue pro-lifers, leaving him to benefit from more practically-minded social conservatives. This after Huckabee was already rising in Iowa polls.
Will this freeing up of a big block of social conservative voters offer Huckabee a chance to convince the Christian Right he’s more viable and worth galvanizing behind? Or will Romney and Fred Thompson pick up chunks of ex-Brownbackites? In a GOP nomination fight where the Christian Right is already a big wild card, this adds another major wrinkle.


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