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Why Is Huntsman Staying In?

Last night Michael talked with Huntsman’s campaign manager, John Weaver, who told him this:

“If he [Romney] loses in South Carolina, the chessboard is reset,” Weaver said, “Our goal is to participate in a way that causes the chessboard to be reset. This is about making the race longer, so we can go man-to-man with Mitt Romney. If Ron Paul was not in this race, we would be even with him.”

As official campaign lines go, I suppose I’ve heard worse, but the Huntsman campaign can’t really believe this, can they? Huntsman has negligible support in South Carolina, not much of an organization there, not a lot of funding, and ten days to go before the next primary. There wouldn’t seem to be much that Huntsman can do to force the “reset” Weaver mentions. It also doesn’t seem very likely that Romney will lose. According to the most recent poll, Romney leads Gingrich by seven points, but after Gingrich’s desperate attacks in recent days Romney’s lead might grow. If Ron Paul weren’t in the race, it’s doubtful that most of his supporters would be going to Huntsman.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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