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And the winner is….Huckabee?

Posted by Stephen on February 5, 2008

While it is early in the evening the headlines will undoubtedly say that Arizona Senator McCain and New York Senator Hillary Clinton were winners on Super Tuesday.

No one, however, can discount the effort and accomplishments of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who may win as many as six states in the Tuesday scrum. There has been extensive conversation on whether Huckabee was taking away votes from conservative Governor Mitt Romney, yet, it could be argued that the Razorback in the race stole some sun from McCain as well.

Huckabee is standing tall in Alabama, Arkansas, West Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee with Missouri in serious play.

Thus far the night is shaping up as a serious blow to the hopes of Romney, who can be nothing short of disappointed. He won his home state of Massachusetts, the Mormon state of Utah, the quaint state of North Dakota and looks strong in Minnesota and is still pushing Georgia.

Clearly his hopes for success rest on Colorado, and the big prize of the night, California. Romney found himself in the midst of controversy after a report came out of West Virginia that Huckabee and McCain struck some sort of back room deal.

Fox News’ Jake Gibson reported that McCain delegates at the convention were “instructed by the campaign to throw their support to Mike Huckabee.”

Huckabee won in the second round of voting. Romney won the first round but did not secure the 50 percent needed to win on the first ballot. He got 41% and Huckabee received 33%. Gibson reported that the calls were made between the first and second rounds.

The Romney campaign responded sending out a statement from campaign manager, Beth Myers:

“Unfortunately, this is what Senator McCain’s inside Washington ways look like: he cut a backroom deal with the tax-and-spend candidate he thought could best stop Governor Romney’s campaign of conservative change.”

“Governor Romney had enough respect for the Republican voters of West Virginia to make an appeal to them about the future of the party based on issues.  This is why he led on today’s first ballot.  Sadly, Senator McCain cut a Washington backroom deal in a way that once again underscores his legacy of working against Republicans who are interested in championing conservative policies and rebuilding the party.”

Whether these claims will counter his losses or sound like sour grapes might impact races a week from tonight that include Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. West Virginia is not what any candidate wants to hang their Presidential hat on, however, controversy is controversy and it’s to early to tell if it will amount to little more than political hay in the midst of the silly season.

Regardless of what may happen in days to come, tonight Mike Huckabee can stand tall after a powerful showing in the South. At the moment if there is a two man race, Huckabee has to be considered one that is still standing.

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.

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