huckabeeclinton.jpgGod-o-Meter has noticed a serious question about Huckabee gaining steam, not so much from his Republican rivals but from the news media and–gleefully–from the Democratic Party: in the general election, would Huck stand a chance in must-win purple states like Ohio and Florida? Howard Fineman raises those question in this week’s Newsweek:

…[I]n Washington and the savvier precincts of elsewhere (Nashville, for example), Republicans and their secular conservatives allies are distraught at the thought of Huckabee as the GOP’s 2008 presidential nominee. They couch their fears in terms of secular issues: his spending record as governor, his advocacy of a national sales tax, his confusion about the location of Pakistan. Privately, however, what worries the insiders is that Blue and Purple America will run shrieking from a fellow—no matter how media-savvy and just-plain-folks he seems to be—who does not believe in the science of evolution but who does believe that the Bible is pretty close to literally true.

Does that explain why the Democratic National Committee has not issued a single anti-Huckabee press release in the last three months, while assailing Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Rudy Giuliani? What strikes God-o-Meter as ironic about this is that Huckabee is the one Republican campaigning as a nice guy uniter, vowing to abandon the “horizontal politics” of left and right for the vertical politics that “lift all of us up.”
So would Huckabee’s preacher years and hard right beliefs on social/theological issues scare off purple state voters in November? Or would his folksy populism and uniter talk give him broader appeal, particularly in a matchup against a divisive Democrat like Hillary Clinton?


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