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American Conservative Union President David Keene: A Vote In Iowa For Mike Huckabee Is In Fact A Vote For Rudy Giuliani For President

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From my interview today with the president of the American Conservative Union, David Keene:

HH: [D]o you think Mike Huckabee’s a conservative? 

DK: No, he’s a populist.

HH: Right. And so… 

DK: He governed as a populist, he’s got, his rise is the result of really three things. One is the demographic makeup of Iowa, where the social conservatives are more important. You remember, Pat Robertson ran very well in Iowa. 

HH: Yup. 

DK: Secondly, he is benefiting from the implosion of the Fred Thompson campaign, because Fred’s support was basically none of the above support. And with him gone, and the top three candidates, Giuliani, Romney and McCain not making the sale, or not closing the deal, those voters are parking somewhere else, and that’s with Huckabee. In addition to which, one has to say that Mike Huckabee is a heck of a campaigner. I mean, he shines in those debates, and he also is in a sense doing it the old-fashioned way in one state. He’s doing what Jimmy Carter and George Bush’s father did, which is essentially move into Iowa, and get to know everybody that you meet. And that works. Now the question in Iowa is whether or not the fact that all of these things have combined means he can translate the popularity that he’s developed into actual votes in the Caucuses. And that’s a tough thing to do. So I wouldn’t believe the poll numbers very much, but the fact is that as I put it to somebody yesterday, right now, a vote in Iowa for Mike Huckabee is in fact a vote for Rudy Giuliani for president, because Rudy has to stop the string of victories that Romney might build up before he gets to Florida, and to the big state primaries.

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