Paging Sam Brownback
Granted, endorsements are not usually major factors in the outcome of an election, but what does it say about the limited influence of Sam Brownback among local conservative activists and also about McCain’s credibility gap that Huckabee is leading the Arizonan by 40 points in the Kansas caucuses? A very old (May 2007) poll from Kansas showed 18% for Brownback and 13% for McCain, while the latter right now is drawing a little over 20%, which means that most would-be Brownback supporters turned to the candidate who knocked Brownback out in the wake of Ames rather than vote for the man Brownback endorsed. This is a completely unsurprising outcome, but the extent of McCain’s defeat will be seen as a repudiation of the likely nominee by one of the first states that can cast votes for the reduced field. The hill Huckabee must climb is still simply too high, but it appears that I (and many others) misjudged Huckabee in assuming that he was acting as McCain’s running dog. Whatever the positive effect of Huckabee’s campaign on McCain’s chances, Huckabee’s intent appears to have been something else all together from the beginning.